There I was, begrudgingly packing my bags to go and live in Scotland after the Tories consolidated their position by ‘winning’ the General Election with about 21 per cent of the total electoral vote. Following the soul-searching and post-mortem carried out by the Labour Party, they decided, as policy dictated they should have an election to choose a new leader.
Jeremy Corbyn, a lifetime socialist was disdainfully added to the list of candidates to make it look not too over-biased in favour of the old Blairite camp. I stopped packing my bags and listened carefully to what the man had to say. Out of Pandora’s Box came hope.
There is now hope for the mentally and physically-ill whose benefits are under constant threat, hope for people who have to use food banks to feed their families, hope for low-paid workers and for those who are increasingly denied basic human rights at work, hope for those needing a council house, hope for those living in high-rented and bed and breakfast accommodation.
Hope for exploited junior hospital doctors and GPs, nurses and the rest of NHS staff.
There is a great desire in this country to see a change to nasty capitalism, currently manifesting itself in the form of austerity. There is a mood in the country that says we don’t have to put up with it or bow to the rich and the City. People voted in their tens of thousands in the leadership election for the Labour Party to reclaim its soul.
When asked in the 1992 General election what his principles were, Julian Barnes, an essayist, outlined them and famously said: ‘ If you don’t like those I have more’.
Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand said recently: ‘These are my principles, I’ve had them for 50 years and don’t have any others’.
Of course the national media, with a few notable exceptions will try to crucify Corbyn, as they did with Michael Foot, and to a great extent Tony Benn.
But this time it won’t work, because we have a new phenomenon - social media.
Now people across the country can discuss issues in a grown up, adult way, and in my view to interact and to share their values without the continual anti-democratic Tory press bombardment that will in the end have little effect.
More and more are joining the Labour Party, including myself, and in time it will, in my opinion become a great movement for good rather than what it has become, a Westminster rump.
Those MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party who do not subscribe to the principles of peace, fairness, equality and justice, from which the Labour movement was born, should consider their position.
Watch this space - as a great man once said: ‘We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Highfield Lane, Chesterfield