It’s 17 years now since I last shared a platform with Jeremy Corbyn MP, I recall it well. It was in Manchester and it was around the issue of arms sales. I had undertaken a piece of research on behalf of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), entitled ‘The Employment Consequences of a Ban on Arms Exports‘ which pretty much did what it said on the tin. Many people in the Peace Movement were good on the moral argument for greater control and transparency on defence issues but less so on the industrial and economic side of the equation. As an ex-defence worker and trade unionist who led the highly successful Ferranti Workers’ Diversification not Dole campaign, it was a subject close to my heart. Jeremy has always stood up what is right, no matter how popular or unpopular that may be. He’s a person of principle and someone that I respect very much, his candidacy for the Labour leadership was the main reason for me rejoining the Labour Party. Since rejoining, I’ve not been as active as I was before and I’ve witnessed the rise of binary politics both sides of the Tweed. As a direct result of Thatcher and Blair’s assault on trade unionism and the resulting breakup of traditional social bonds, both within and outside of the workplace people have searched for new solutions based on national borders, race, colour or creed. It’s all the fault of immigrants, or Westminster or the EU are easy statements to make but don’t stand up to any real scrutiny. Sadly, when this is pointed out, the response has too often been ‘fake news’ or some other simplistic retort.
There are many problems in Scotland, the UK and the world today that need urgently addressing, we need a radical programme to address the climate, housing, crime, the economy and people’s rights and responsibilities both in and out of work. That’s why it was so good to see Jeremy Corbyn again because he will be standing as the Leader of the Labour Party on a Manifesto which promises to be the most radical in our history at the next General Election whenever it comes. There will be one of two outcomes, either we have a socialist putting people and the climate at the heart of government or we have Boris Johnson who will seek division at every opportunity. The choice is yours.
All photos ©Ian Goudie Photography