“Jeremy Corbyn? Who’s he?”
What? You mean you don’t soak up all the language and broadcasting of the political class? Don’t you watch the news, QT, Daily Politics, Newsnight? You don’t read the papers? You don’t know who Laura Kuenssburg or Andrew Neil are? Political. Brain. Can. Not. Compute.
It’s hard to realise when you’re tucked safely in your politico bubble but to yer man and woman on the street, politics is neither engaging nor inviting. Messages do not get through easily and to many, Labour is still just devious old New Labour as opposed to a fresh and invigorating new Old Labour.
On Newsnight a couple of nights ago, I listened to a Burnley woman tell the reporter that she’d stopped listening after the fated Brown years. This echoed what I heard whilst out leafleting for Momentum. Passers-by told me that they were once traditional Labour supporters but they had switched off before Jezza babes had even been elected.
That’s the inconvenient truth for the political establishment. Large swathes of the general public just don’t know who he is or what he stands for. Or if they do, it’s because they have heard that the PLP and the media dinosaurs hate him, ergo he must be awful. One woman told me he had to go. I asked her why she felt that way. His policies? His leadership skills? She pointed to his lack of leadership as highlighted by the vitriol within elements of his own party. However, when we actually got chatting, she detailed how passionate she was about affecting change in society. Bottom up, grassroots action. I told her that is exactly what Corbyn stands for. She was taken aback. The sheer hatred from within the PLP and the mainstream media had drowned out any positive message from getting to her.
There are undoubtedly millions who are ready for a shake up in English politics. If Corbyn’s message is allowed to get out there, it might just be more popular than the comfy political establishment are willing to accept.
Animal welfare is horrendously overlooked across the political spectrum in this country (the Green Party and Animal Welfare Party are notable exceptions). Despite England claiming to be a nation of animal lovers, fox hunting and badger culling are accepted as just ways of treating living things.
However, the idea of animals as food is slowly losing support. The Telegraph (hardly a friend of lefty veggies/vegans) reported in May that Veganism in the UK is up 360% in the past ten years. It’s evident up and down the UK that moods are a’ changin’. I remember a time when a veggie had to sprawl the streets looking for an option, only to end up in some hippy’s front room or with a plate of chips in a pub. In the last few years, I’ve had a veggie sausage supper in Inverness, a veggie sausage roll in a Cardiff bakery and lots of other non-sausage related veggie options up and down the land. In Sheffield, you can’t move for veggie options and not just in the studenty areas.
You get the point. Almost every restaurant now has a decent veggie option. Bravo!
Which takes me to the point of this post. A girl from the above mentioned and wonderful city of Sheffield (they’ve got morals up there; must be how they raise them, love), called Lucy Gavaghan, has taken on the supermarkets over eggs. She wants all supermarkets to stop selling eggs from caged hens and started a petition to highlight her case. Amazingly, she has won part of the battle! After a meeting with Tesco (stop the booing at the back) they agreed to stop stocking them by 2025. Furthermore, as of two days ago, Morrisons have agreed too!
A fantastic result by anyone’s standards and life affirming to know that a 14 year old has achieved this. Lucy you are an inspiration to all! Especially us old cynics. You can sign Lucy’s petition here:
This blog won’t be foraying into the grimy and frankly baffling (to my Limey eyes) world of American politics often but I wanted to have a quick word about the Trump Tower and concur with Michael Moore’s prediction that this man will become the next top dog in the White House.
Trump has come out fighting and winning (in his words) throughout the campaign. He is the momentum candidate. Trump seems to be America’s answer to Brexit; big, bolshy and fiercely anti establishment from a very established point. Just like Brexit, he has no real idea of what he wants but he knows how to get it. He epitomises the anti-politik sweeping the western world and he is the radical choice when compared with Clinton.
That radicalism is often atrocious: that hideous wall, his flip flopping on abortion rights, the insistence on maintaining archaic gun laws. However, his stances on NATO, drug control and TTIP are very alien to what any of the staid political classes are swilling right now.
What’s Hillary got? Maintain death penalty, bring in slight restrictions on gun ownership, continue with the same foreign policy agenda, blah, blah, blah.
Trump has strong ideas and that’s what people are looking for right now. Particularly the disenfranchised working classes throughout the western world. Those big ideas are probably just sloganeering but that doesn’t matter. It’s a winning formula. He’s the UKIP of the US. Sanders was the man to beat Trump. He had ideas. Hilary doesn’t. That leaves us with President Trump.
Mr Smith, the latest attempt at New Labour flocking a dead corpse in front of a disinterested public, was on Newsnight last night. He really is a revolutionary. Let me tell you his big ideas in case you missed out (you poor soul):
-Pressing that elusive red button
-Bringing nationalism (not nationalisation) back to the fore
-Stopping strawberry pickets from Bulgaria entering the UK so that our British boys and gals can have such wonderful job ops.
He explained that Jeremy just isn’t jingoistic enough and that he’s the man to talk to the common people of Scotland, Wales and England (he forgot the other country of our United Kingdom) on terms they know. Flag waving, racist, war mongers. I think that’s what he was saying anyway. He was pretty confused and I couldn’t hear him very well as I had my Union Jack draped over me and my pint of bitter.
Anyway, I’m sold! #youowenyet?
Unresigning is something many of us wouldn’t have the luxury of doing. That Monday morning notice on a hangover is quickly filled with regret when you have to resort to shopping in Asda’s ‘going off’ section. However, today politics’s biggest unresigner since Mr Farage unresigned from UKIP (for the second time) is upon us. It’s the first returnee to the Labour front bench since that damp squib of a mutiny. Her name is Sarah Champion and she’s an MP in Rotherham. Champion by name, champion by nature. Cheers for getting back on board with old Jezza babes! May more follow on (or perhaps not if they are of Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn’s ilk).
The English Left are back. Woolly liberals are out, Guardian readership has plummeted, moderates are passé and simply out of tune. People are fighting for Labour to be left once more. This is the beginning of a 21st Century England; an England where party politics and PR politicians are redundant. Join me on our adventure through this new world in a familiar land. Let’s create a New England: