Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, speaking outside Iraq inquiry, London, on 29th January 2010 - with Tony Blair giving evidence inside. Photo: Chris Beckett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).
The Ecologist is for Corbyn
20th August 2015
Jeremy Corbyn is the one candidate for the Labour leadership who is serious about the environment and social justice. Only he can re-energise the Party, turn it into a political force capable of defeating neo-liberalism, and lead the progressive government that Britain so desperately needs.
The lesson of Miliband's defeat is not that he was too left wing, but that he put forward an incoherent 'Tory-lite' agenda that gave Labour supporters little positive reason to bother voting. And we know Corbyn's not going to make that mistake!
The Guardian's for Yvette Cooper. The Mirror is for Andy Burnham. The Telegraph was for Jeremy Corbyn. Until they suddenly got a sick feeling in the pit of their guts as they realised he was set to win the contest. So who's The Ecologist for? Corbyn, of course.
The decision's an easy one. He's the only candidate to publish a substantial, detailed manifesto purely on green issues. And we like what he says. He's for all for renewable energy, against nuclear power and nuclear weapons, against fracking and the TTIP, and he wants to bring the Big Six power monopolists to heel. Along with the water companies and the railways.
As for coal, mischief has been made over his suggestion of restarting coal mining in South Wales. In fact, he's clear that he wants any new coal power stations to be equipped with 'clean coal' technology to pump the CO2 emissions safely underground. Moreover he's after high quality anthracite from deep mines, not landscape destroying open cast pits.
He's been widely slagged off as a 'yesterday's man' with 'old solutions for old problems', like nationalising energy companies. But his mission is not to recreate the old monopolies of the CEGB and the Gas Board. It's to devolve energy to communities, cooperatives and local authorities to create real freedom of choice and democratic accountability, not to mention lower energy bills. That's a modern approach to a problem of today.
We know also that Jeremy is no recent convert to green issues. For example he was an outspoken supporter of the 1990s road protests against the M11 Link Road in Leytonstone, a ghastly project that cut a huge swathe though housing, parks and open spaces in a deprived corner of northeast London.
And can be confident that Jeremy will stand up against the iniquities of Tory rule today. As Team Cameron takes a sledgehammer to wind and solar power, home insulation programmes and the fight against fuel poverty, while featherbedding fossil fuels and energy monopolists, it's been hard to detect a squeak of dissent from the opposition benches. Under Corbyn that will all change. And about time too.
Now, the counter-revolution swings in
But just in case anyone lacks conviction that Jeremy is the right choice, just heed the panicked reaction to his success of the establishment, both inside and outside the Labour Party.
Today openDemocracy reports of a "great Labour purge" of its membership and voting lists, in which thousands of people are being stripped of their legitimate right to vote. Of course this is being done in the name of 'democracy' - purging 'infiltrators' from other parties and those who oppose Labour and its ideals.
But among those being purged are many who have never been a member of any political party at all, who are simply left wing and not afraid to say so, whose only offence is to be a student, or who have posted pro-Corbyn material on Facebook and Twitter. Now it seems that merely to be young or left wing is to oppose the Labour Party.
By the way, Labour is inviting people to email firstname.lastname@example.org to report people who are abusing the system, providing proof. Do not for a moment take this as an invitation to send hundreds of emails reporting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as infiltrators, or just gum up the system with reports of random made up people's disloyalty.
The BBC is also swinging the 'anti-Semite' tar brush at Corbyn, along with other media, because he once in 2009 shared a speaking platform with a Palestinian liberation campaigner who is accused of being an anti-Semite. Of course they say that no one actually believes Corbyn is anti-Semitic himself - yet the taint remains.
These attacks reveal only the perversity of mainstream media and political opinion. It's absolutely fine to lie to Parliament, attack Iraq without provocation, cause the deaths of a million or more people, and set off a train of events that has turned the entire Middle East into a hell hole.
It's entirely respectable to promote the combustion of climate-destroying fossil fuels, pass legislation that mandates their fullest possible exploitation, force fracking wells on unwilling communities, and attack two of the most important ways of reducing emissions, energy efficiency and renewables.
And it is statemanlike to allocate a scarce £100 billion of taxpayers' money to nuclear weapons of mass destruction whose only purpose is to commit indiscriminate mass murder against millions of men, women, children.
But to have shared a podium with an alleged anti-Semite six years ago - that's not on!
Can he win a general election? Yes he can!
Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell, Gordon Brown, Jack Straw and other Labour 'grandees' with dubious pasts have all weighed in against Corbyn. Their favourite line is that we must make sure he doesn't win the leadership, because he will never be elected prime minister.
But what they are really worried about is the precise reverse (first rule of political life - listen carefully to what politicans say, believe the opposite). That is, that he will be elected prime minister. Heaven help us! All they hold dear - from Trident to anti-Union laws to economic austerity, NHS privatisation and the TTIP trade deal - would be scrapped.
Can a Corbyn-led Labour Party really win? The SNP's sweeping of the political board in Scotland shows that there's a huge public appetite for progressive reform. The lesson of Miliband's defeat is not that he was too left wing, but that he put forward an incoherent 'Tory-lite' agenda that gave Labour supporters little positive reason to vote.
We know Corbyn's not going to make that mistake! And his enviable record of ever-increasing popularity in his Islington North constituency, the packed halls as thousands throng to hear him speak from Plymouth to Glasgow, and the surge of support within the party, the trade union movement and the country, all cry out: "Yes he can!"
Urgent information: If you've been told you can't vote, ring the Labour Party on 08450 922 299. Many people are finding out they were sent the disqualification email 'by mistake'.
Important clarification: This article was written by the editor of The Ecologist, Oliver Tickell, in that capacity, however it represents a purely personal viewpoint.
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