Over the past 12 months Jeremy Corbyn has toured the country appearing in town halls, cathedrals, city parks and even city centres as hundreds of thousands of people turned out to support the new leader. I say toured as that is exactly what it was, hundreds of people gathered around sold out halls and venues whilst Corbyn had to go outside and address supporters who could not gain entry. Never before have people turned out in such masses for a new party leader.
So since becoming Labour leader how has Corbyn faired? We think far more effective than mainstream media outlets will have you believe. Corbyn has forced the Tories into several embarrassing U- Turns, so many u-turns that the majority of the country can not even keep up to date with them...
1. Child Tax Credits U TURN - Firstly fighting off Osbourne's plan to cut child working tax credits for working families on low pay. This resulted in Ian Duncan Smith quitting the cabinet as he said Osbourne and Cameron's policies are hurting the poor so badly that he cannot sit idily by and be a part of it anymore. However many think this is rich after it had been revealed that over 3,000 people lost their lives due to disability benefit cuts where Ian Duncan Smith held the role in cutting these benefits. There is now an independent led investigation into the deaths covered up by the DWP and office of Ian Duncan Smith.
2. DISABILITY U-TURN - Jeremy opposed the disability cuts for the disabled week after week until the tories backed down.
3. JUNIOR DOCTORS - ON GOING - He has marched hand in hand with junior doctors supporting them against the farcical contract presented by an unrelenting and arrogant Jeremy Hunt.
4. FORCED ACADEMIES - U-TURN We recently saw David Cameron state in the house of commons that every school in England would become an Academy. Jeremy Corbyn used prime ministers questions two weeks in a row to advice Cameron that this was the wrong decision for schools, parents and the country as the whole. Nicky Morgan education secretary was then booed at the national teachers conference. So how did the Tories announce this major u-turn? The tories who are now masters of spin of covering up huge calamities spectacularly backed down on forced academies and released a last minute press release on the afternoon of the local election results whereby they lost the London Mayoral election. Talk about brushing bad news under the carpet.
5. POLICE CUTS - U TURN - Jeremy's labour stopped drastic police cuts across the country after their vote against cuts helped the Lords send the debate of cuts back to parliament.
6. British Steel, Corbyn used an emergency parliamentary meeting to urge business secretary Sajid David to return from India to the UK at once to help negotiate a deal for the steel industry as thousands are threatened with job losses. Corbyn and Labour had pressed the government to act many month prior to the announcement of job losses. Corbyn stated Italy, France and German have put precautions into the steel industry to avoid a collapse, why haven't the tories?
7. CHILD REFUGEES - U - TURN Corbyn along with members of other parties spoke at Cameron's opposition to just 3,000 displaced child refugees who are displaced and a threat to child sexual exploitation.
8. GOOGLE TAX - FAILURE - A cosy tax deal for Google, it was revealed that Britain had negotiated one of the lowest tax revenues from google. of around 130 million, whilst France may receive ten times the amount and with Italy and other European counterparts getting a better deal than the UK. Shadow Chancellor John Mcdonnell called this an absolute insult to the British tax player whilst Osbourne was stating this was a triumph and a great deal, something he later had to back down from. Richard Murphy, from the independent Tax Justice Network, estimated Google should be paying £200m every year in Corporation Tax. Google earned profits of £4.5bn in Britain in 2013 yet paid only £20.4m in UK taxes. Google makes most of its UK profits through online advertising. If Labour had negotiated these dreadful tax deals the Tories would be rounding on Labour like wolves.. Labour is pushing the conservatives to negotiate a better deal. France has asked Google for 1 billion and many economists support their claim, this highlighting Osbourne's complete failure.
9. THE NORTHERN POWER HOUSE - U-TURN We all remember George Osbourne's pre election visits in 2015 appearing in a hard hat and high vis yellow jacket announcing mass investment in the Norths rail network and manufacturing industry. Yet as soon as the election was over the Tories pulled out this investment announcing Yorkshires lines from Hull to Manchester would not be re-electrified along with other projects which have been axed. Many would say the north power house was an election ploy to win voters and sadly we would have top agree. Later it was revealed the Tories knew they could not deliver on the Northern Power House plans. Furthermore new investment in railway infrastructure in the South was revealed, opening new lines and stations.
You maybe asking how many goddam u-turns is this now, we are also thinking the same thing. We'll stop at 9 but we could go on. You see since re-election last May the Tories have had a disastrous term thus far, yet all they ever seem to do in public is obsess over Jeremy Corbyn. The tories always try to talk the talk and undermine Labour, but as a voter If you really ask yourself what have the tories achieved in the past 6 years? You might struggle to come up with anything at all. Because they have been at war with pretty much every public profession going. We had the top down re-organistion of the NHS, the bedroom tax, the announcement of 3,000+ deaths from the department of work an pensions due to disability and benefit cuts. Which then led to Ian Duncan Smiths resignation as George Osbourne announced further cuts to tax credits to the poor. The conservative government have over ruled local councils who opposed fracking just so that Cameron can support his non-dom, non british tax paying, Australian millionaire electioneering guru Lyton Crosby who is a company executive of an Australian fracking firm who has surprisingly been awarded fracking contracts across our country especially in Yorkshire. We have had lawyers protesting and marching due to cuts in legal aid so people can no longer afford to represent themselves in a court of law to their employers. Every part of public life has been fractured. Cameron's government has managed to the the whole health care profession nurses, doctors, physicians, lawyers. Cuts to social care have put extra pressure on local authorities and NHS A&E units have missed many of the 4 hour waiting targets as wait times have rocketed. Teachers and doctors alike have donned placards as they leave their desks and wards for the day to join thousands across the country opposing botched and ill judged changes to schools and hospitals .
Week in week out Cameron's arrogance and ignorance allows him to avoid answering any questions at prime minsters questions.
Ultimately with u-turn after u-turn Cameron has either been asleep on the job or is completely not up to the job. All of this goes without mentioning the current EU referendum vote which has new prospective leader Boris Johnson fighting against the in campaign of Cameron, May and Osbourne. The tories are now at war as half of the cabinet are against remaining in the EU whilst those at the helm are supporting the in campaign.
So back to Labour...
Many saw the May elections as a test to Jeremy Corbyn's character and policies. Corbyn's Labour did well nationally increasing its votes share by 5% since 2015. Labour won all of its Mayoral elections and holds control of all mayor councils across England, including Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, York, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Liverpool & Sunderland to name a few. However Labour has a milestone to win back the heartlands of Scotland as the Scottish National Party are now thriving as Scotlands number one party. However this situation developed prior to Corbyns leadership, but he must pick up the pieces and reconnect with voters across Scotland.
Many will judge Corbyns leadership credentials by his results in the South, luckily for Corbyn Labours popularity and growth increased in the South winning the Bristol Mayoral campaign and gaining Worchester & Elmbridge, whilst increasing its share of the vote in Exeter and holding onto Southampton against Tory challengers. Some media outlets said Corbyn passed with flying colours whilst others were not so positive. However one cannot deny that Bristol one of the wealthiest middle class areas in the South has elected its first mixed race black candidate in Martin Reeves by an overwhelming majority of 15,000.
At home in Yorkshire there was a by election in Sheffield which saw Labour increase its vote by 6%, this is where Jeremy chose to celebrate his victories the day after the election.
And a note to some of the mindless MPs who continue to mutter and derail Corbyn from the sidelines... Mp's who continue to speak out need to realise that their seat could become unstable if they continue to do so. In recent years the electorate has been crying out for a party to challenge the elite in society as social inequality and private / corporate tax avoidance has risen. Many people who work in their daily lives such as nurses have been denied pay increases of 1% several years running whilst executives have seen an average 22% rise in their take home pay with some executive receiving bonuses in excess of 43% (Ofcom data 2015)
Many of Corbyns peers describe him as genuine, caring and sincere. British-Jamaican writer Benjamin Zephaniah stated on BBC's Question Time that Corbyn is undoubtedly too kind for politics. For decades Corbyn has marched alongside the British people in speaking up against apartheid, equal rights, equal pay for women, against the Iraq war, against bombing Syria and gay marriage.
Corbyn and Labour are the only party who can oust the Tories in May 2020. So if you follow the ideals of fairness, equality and social justice you must continue to support Jeremy and question some mainstream media outlet who try to demean his leadership whilst not holding the current government to account on its mass of failures.