Norman Thomas, chair of Corbyn support group, Momentum Thanet, argues that although Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected Labour Party leader, there is no time to pause or celebrate.
Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as leader of the Labour Party is an historic victory both for the left in particular and for democracy as a whole.
Despite wholesale vilification in the mainstream media, despite blistering opposition from famous figures including Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and J K Rowling, and despite – worst of all – a barrage of dirty tricks, smear tactics and bureaucratic mantraps laid by Jeremy’s own party, the Corbynistas have got their choice, the majority have had their way and a new and exciting path has been opened up in the moribund jungle of British politics.
But there’s no time for breath or celebration – the fight must go on.
Here’s why. In Thanet we have two Tory MPs and a UKIP-controlled council: people armed with the most backward, repressive and prejudiced policies of any politicians in the land. With them in charge austerity will continue, inequality will grow and prejudice will flourish.
But this apparent domination of our community by the right is deceptive.
It has come about because of apathy and cynicism, the inevitable byproducts of a long-term depressed and impoverished local economy. It has come about because of the readiness of individuals – without any rational basis for their beliefs – to blame immigrants for their economic ills. It has come about because generations of our residents have no belief or trust – or interest – in their politicians. They don’t “do” politics any more.
But how do we fight this state of affairs?
Well, not by making promises. Thanet has had its fill of political hot air.
The only way forward is to get out into our community and actually DO THINGS – things which will make a real difference to people’s lives.
This is the point of Momentum Thanet’s “Another Thanet Is Possible” campaign which Jeremy Corbyn helped us launch in the Great Ramsgate Rally at the beginning of September. The aim of the campaign is to take on the big issues we face, including housing, jobs, health and education. We will gather hard evidence and data on these topics, we will enlist the aid of people nationally and locally and we will start CHANGING THINGS NOW.
When Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the Great Ramsgate Rally he inspired many. But one or two accused him of “preaching pie in the sky.” It’s the job of Momentum and all who supported Jeremy in his campaign to get to work and turn his pie in the sky into real food on the table for all.
NORMAN THOMAS, CHAIR, MOMENTUM THANET