Today is a sad day for democracy in this country. It is the day that Jeremy Corbyn steps down from the position to which he was twice elected by the majority of the Labour Party membership. During his time as leader of the Opposition, as JonathanPieNews said some time ago, ‘Jeremy Corbyn has been stabbed in the back so many times, he’s like a f…..g colander. He’s never stopped working #4TheMany when others would have buckled under the weight of hate. We owe him, ALL of us.’
Another writer on Twitter called Michelle, put her feelings equally clearly and movingly. ‘It was,’ she wrote, ‘and has never been about just ONE man, it was and always will be about ALL of us wanting a better world for OUR children and our children’s children. That fight and aspiration continue. Today I want to pay tribute and thank @jeremycorbyn for his inspiration.’
So what will happen now in our sordid political world? Will the fight and aspiration continue? I do hope it will because there is so much at stake. I am 89 now and very old, so old that I actually saw the first Labour Revolution in 1945 and that was an absolutely wonderful day. I would like to stay alive long enough to see another. But today’s revolutionaries have much more stacked against them than we did and their job – ours if I’m still around to join them – will very, very difficult.
For a start the billionaire-owned media will be stridently against them. The next leader of the opposition will be ripped to shreds with exactly the same indefatigable venom as Corbyn has been. In the Forties our newspaper represented pretty well every shade of political opinion from the Daily Mail’s slavish adoration of the British Fascists and the Daily Worker’s more impoverished admiration for the Communists who opposed those Fascists, through the middle of the road papers who supported the Tories, the Liberals and the Labour Party. The Mirror and the Daily Herald put the Labour point of view throughout the war. You can’t say that now. As far as I can see there are only two places where Labour supporters would be given any attention at all and those are at the Guardian and Channel 4 News.
Then there’s the problem of communication. During the war in the run up to the 45 election, most people worked in large centres, mills, mines, steel works, munitions, workshops of various kinds, schools and colleges. It was easy to pass on news and information, and fine tune our ideas and ambitions. Now we work in small factories, or from home or we’re out of work altogether and we don’t have the opportunity to gather and pass on information to one another. Social media are a poor substitute for direct and daily contact and sadly, they can be and are censored by their rich owners.
And thirdly, nobody has yet written a blueprint for this second revolution in the way William Beveridge did his Report. It came out in 1942, was an instant best seller and became our blueprint for what needed to be done and how we could do it. A job for Jeremy, perhaps with a trustworthy team of knowledgeable Labour supported. It was three years from the Beveridge Report to the Labour victory and I fear this second campaign will be a long haul too, maybe even longer, because there is so much worked up hatred, venom and propaganda to counter. Whoever takes over as Leader from Jeremy Corbyn will be torn to shreds in exactly the same way he has been and for exactly the same ugly reasons.
But ‘Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire” will arrive.
”… the rockets red glare, Bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
Revolution IS possible.