Tag: London

ENDORSEMENT: Jeremy Corbyn for British Labour Party leader

Although I’m an American, I’m offering my support to Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn (L-Islington North) in his bid to become the leader of the British Labour Party.

Corbyn, who would probably be an Elizabeth Warren-type Democrat if he were an American politician, has fought for progressive ideals on many issues in over three decades. Most recently, he was one of 47 Labour MPs to vote against Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron’s legislation to gut the British welfare system, despite the fact that the interim Labour leadership advised Corbyn and the rest of their MPs not to vote on the measure at all.

If elected to lead the main left-wing political party in Britain, Corbyn won’t bow down and cave to the right-wingers or their enablers in the British media. Instead, he’ll fight against austerity policies and fight for progressive policies that benefit Britons:

I have been proud to be a trade union rep, a trade union official, a local councillor and a Labour MP for the last 32 years. My purpose in every role has been to share that power, providing a platform to the voiceless, at home and abroad, and to stand up with them.

I am now asking for your support to become Labour leader. I want that role for the same reason – to work with you to right the many wrongs we see around us.

Our party must become a social movement again. It was founded to stand up to injustice, and too often we have lost our way, ignored our supporters or been cowed by powerful commercial interests and the press.

Austerity policies are harming people’s life chances and taking away opportunities. We must reject the notion that the journey to prosperity tramples over people – and become an anti-austerity movement. You can’t build a fair economy by casting people aside.

Corbyn’s campaign is gaining so much momentum, former British Prime Minister and George W. Bush crony Tony Blair is openly attacking Corbyn for standing up for poor and working-class Britons. Given that Blair was a staunch supporter of Britain’s involvement in the unjustified Iraq War, that makes me like Corbyn even more.

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ENDORSEMENT: YES for Scottish independence

I’m an American who lives in a small town in the east central part of the U.S. state of Illinois, so I have no vested interest whatsoever in the politics of the United Kingdom, but I’ve been inspired by the social media-driven Yes campaign for Scottish independence, and my endorsement of Scottish independence is more of a way of expressing my admiration of Scottish independence supporters than anything else.

In order to circumvent the British press, the Yes campaign in Scotland has developed an extensive social media network, and I’ve seen it in action. Recently, rock musician Sir Bob Geldof, who was born in the Republic of Ireland (which fought a war against the UK for independence and won), gave a speech opposing Scottish independence from London, which is the single worst place one could pick to give a speech opposing Scottish independence. Because of the Twitter presence of Scottish independence supporters, several topics related to Geldof’s speech, such as “Bob Geldof” and “Trafalgar Square”, are trending on Twitter as I type this blog post. The pro-Scottish independence campaign’s network of supporters on social media reminds me a lot of the social media presence that progressive activists in the U.S. state of Wisconsin built up during the 2011 protests against the busting of labor unions there.

Besides, what does Scotland get with its 307-year-old union with England and Wales? Nothing but a ton of bloviating Westminster politicians and the British press fawning over the Duchess of Cambridge at every opportunity. Worst of all, the No campaign against Scottish independence has resorted to the kind of right-wing fearmongering that is normally seen from Republican politicians here in the United States.

I encourage Scottish voters to vote Yes on the Scottish independence referendum on Thursday.