Often accused of “sounding like a broken-record,” Jeremy Corbyn spent 30 years championing the Left in Parliament. Trade unions. Socialism. Democracy.
But the truth is; far from being a broken-record: Jeremy Corbyn is a record-breaker:
12th September, 2015: Wins leadership election by 59.5%.
24th September, 2016: Wins leadership election by 61.8%.
6th October, 2016: Gives two-out-of-three “great offices of state” (Foreign Secretary, Chancellor, Home Secretary) to women, creating the most diverse Shadow Cabinet ever, with a record number of BAME Ministers.
With 550,000 Party members, 180,000 supporters and 168,000 affiliates, Labour’s grassroots has boomed; making it the biggest political Party in Western Europe.
Two landslide leadership elections have allowed Corbyn to form a front-bench entirely of his own choosing; with some MPs returning, having previously resigned.
The inclusion of Jonny Reynolds, Sarah Champion, Keir Starmer and Nia Griffith signals not just Corbyn’s desire to work with the PLP; but the PLP’s desire to work with him; respecting his mandate and focusing on the Tories.
Aided by an increased mandate of over 2 per cent; Corbyn has managed to build not just a Shadow Cabinet of “all the talents;” but one that’s representative of the country.
A single-parent, Shadow Education Secretary; who dropped-out of school to feed her family. The first Asian, Shadow Attorney General. The first Black, Shadow Home Secretary. A Shadow Business Secretary who grew-up on a council estate and served in the military. A Shadow DfID Secretary, born to first-generation migrants, having grown-up in East London and a Shadow Minister for BME Communities; also a second-generation migrant and former trade union officer.
Corbyn’s Cabinet is more talented, energetic, passionate and hard-working than the one in government. Theresa May’s Cabinet may be headed by a woman, but it has a grand total of two BAME Ministers; one of whom is a multi-millionaire; the other earned £165 per hour from British American Tobacco: supporting a Burmese dictatorship, paying its workers £15 per month. The only country the Tories represent is a third-world dictatorship.
To say Labour’s Shadow Cabinet was “more representative” than the Tories’ would be an understatement.
This is the team to lead us into the next general election – but it will only succeed if we make it. From now on, our hit-pieces should be against the Tories only; not our own MPs.
We have our own resources. Our own wisdom. Our campaigning abilities are beyond the competence of our enemies. The second leadership election proved it.
There is no need to indulge Phillips, Streeting, Austin and others. They had their opportunity. They failed.
The new Shadow Cabinet gives us the opportunity to unite around Jeremy Corbyn – around the membership – and put Labour back in government.
Corbyn has been plagued with accusations he’s “not electable.” That he’s “consigning Labour to oblivion.” That he’s “out-of-touch.” But we’re the ones who decide. We’re the ones who build the future. We all shoulder the responsibility to ensure Corbyn succeeds.
We have a Shadow Cabinet ready to break the foundations of this Tory government. A leader with the biggest mandate for change in Labour history. A movement of dedicated activists – expert campaigners – and a Party ready to embrace new ideas and campaigning techniques, under re-appointed Head of Campaigns, Jon Trickett (see here).
It’s up to us to make it happen: to work. To campaign. To fight. Not just against the Tories. But for Jeremy Corbyn. For Labour. And for the country.
“No one. Anywhere. Ever. Left-behind.”
No ifs. No buts. No excuses. We’re going to do this. And it’s in our hands to deliver it.
Suggested read: Labour Transformed: Campaign Machine.