Corbyn enters the fray

JEREMY Corbyn has joined the race for the Labour Party leadership last week and his campaign has already galvanised the debate within the Parliamentary Party. Corbyn is up against four Labour hasbeens who have little to offer apart from the same old class collaborationist policies that lost them the last election.

Three of them have already won sufficient support amongst the Parliamentary Labour Party to guarantee their place on the ballot paper. Whether Corbyn can get past the first post is another matter.

Corbyn says the start to his campaign has been really encouraging. “Support has been pouring in from Labour Party members across the country who are desperate for a fully democratic election and policy debate,” he declared. “All we are asking for is a truly democratic choice in this election.”

Labour’s leader is ultimate elected by the one-member- one-vote system under the party’s new rules that were adopted last year to abolish the block vote of the affiliated unions. Though this also ended the old electoral college system, which gave Labour MPs a third of the total vote, it established that each candidate must be nominated by at least 15 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party. At the moment that means that every candidate must have the support of at least 35 MPs to go forward.

The Islington MP and veteran peace activist who is a pillar of the Labour Representation Committee, now has 14 nominations from MPs that include Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner and Michael Meacher.

Corbyn is the only contender who is opposed to the Trident nuclear weapons system.

He voted against the Iraq war, ID cards and increasing tuition fees. He is opposed to austerity, supports the restoration of the public sector and social welfare and the demand for a £10 minimum wage.

When Corbyn threw his hat into the ring last week he said he wanted to give grassroots Labour members a voice in a “broad debate”. That will only take place if his name appears on the ballot paper.

Social media and a Mirror poll show that there is a lot of support for Corbyn from within the labour movement and thousands of people have signed an online petition to help secure enough nominations for Jeremy Corbyn to contest the Labour leadership.

During the Blair years, Corbyn opposed the privatisation of public services, PFIs, academies, tuition fees, Trident and was a tireless campaigner against the Iraq War. Jeremy voted against the welfare cap and refused the instruction to abstain over the government’s illegal use of workfare.

As well as being active in the peace movement, Jeremy Corbyn is a committed supporter of the trade union movement: someone who has stood on countless picket lines and supported campaigns against injustice all of his political life.

Every activist needs to approach Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn regardless of where they stand within the Labour Party on the grounds that members must be given a proper choice on who should lead them into the next election.