LONDON - (Labour Buzz) Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour’s election campaign yesterday in Battersea. In a barnstorming speech, the Labour leader launched a full front attack on the government and spelt out Labour’s radical, transformative vision for Britain - for the many and not the few.
Labour is determined to make this election about more than Brexit. Labour will present itself as the party of ordinary people, against an establishment that is not standing up for them. Corbyn contrasted Labour with Johnson’s born-to-rule Conservatives who will only look after the privileged few.
The shadow cabinet was in attendance as well as hundreds of Labour party members, supporters and candidates, as well as leaders of the Trade Union movement. In a launch full of energy and optimism, Corbyn spelt out Labour’s policies in a direct challenge to the establishment.
He launched criticisms against Tory donors such as Crispin Odey, who have bet against this country by short selling the pound. He also criticised other elites such as the “dodgy landlord” Duke of Westminster, the UK’s biggest property developer, for his treatment of some of his tenants. Labour is committed to standing up against privilege to ensure ordinary people get a fair deal including the building of a million council homes.
Rallying Labour campaigners, Corbyn said, “Labour will be out there in every city, town and village with the biggest and most confident campaign that our country has ever seen, bringing a message of hope and change to every community. Even if the rivers freeze over, we’re going out to bring about real change for the many, not the few.”
In 2017, the right wing media launched a vicious campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party. In a direct challenge to the media, the Labour leader said, “I ask the media and all good journalists, to just report what we say.” In his speech he also attacked Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul, for spreading “propaganda.”
Labour has outlined policies including protecting the NHS from trade deals, guaranteeing that the NHS is not for sale. Addressing the launch rally, Corbyn called out the government for holding secret talks with the US administration in which the price of medicines were discussed. Corbyn pledged, “The NHS is not for sale,” to rapturous applause from the audience.
Labour is currently fifteen points behind the Conservatives in the latest opinion poll by YouGov with Labour on 21 and the Conservatives on 36. IpsosMORI has the Conservatives on 41 and Labour on 24. Labour points to the 2017 election for optimism, where Labour was significantly behind the Conservatives yet the party was able to deprive them of a majority.
In an election that will be dominated by Brexit, Corbyn said that Labour would negotiate a new deal with the European Union and put it to the people in a referendum so they could have the final say. He said this would be achieved within the first six months of a Labour government. Conscious of the possible challenge from the Brexit Party and the Conservatives in Labour’s leave heartlands, Corbyn highlighted that whether people voted remain or leave the challenges of housing, universal credit, the threat to the NHS and the climate emergency remain the same for all.
The general election will take place on December 12, the first December election since 1923. Parliament will be dissolved on November 6 leading to a five week election campaign.
(Written by Brendan Chilton, edited by Sam Gallagher)