Corbyn at Glastonbury

Although this video of Jeremy Corbyn speaking at Glastonbury has already torn up lefty Twitter and Facebook, it deserves all the plugging it can get:

The full text is here, and it’s a demonstration of how to communicate progressive values and get people – young people, supposedly disengaged self-interested millennials – fired up about politics.

“We have a democracy because people laid down their lives that we might have the right to vote, because women laid down their lives that women would get the right to vote at the time of the First World War.

“That determination of the collective, won us, won us all, the principle of healthcare as a human right for all of us.

“Nothing was given from above, nothing was given from above by the elites and the powerful, it was only ever gained from below by the masses of people demanding something better, demanding their share of the wealth and the cake that’s created.

“So it is about bringing those ideas together, it is about the unity that we achieve and we achieve inspiration though lots of things.

Ipsos MORI estimates 70% of young working-class people voted Labour in the UK general election. 73% of young women. 60% of people who voted in 2017 but didn’t in 2015 or the Brexit referendum voted Labour.

People may be quick to jump in and say “Oh, but he still didn’t win!” but that’s avoiding a really clear point. From the day Corbyn was elected leader of UK Labour, he was decried as unelectable, the Grim Reaper of the Labour Party, doomed to lead them to even greater lows. His policies were doomed idealism, his public meetings were ineffective, his stances on war and asylum-seekers were basically treasonous. And in less than two years he’s achieved an amazing turnaround. Every progressive politician could stand to learn from that.

Now, it would be impossible for me not to take this opportunity to plug the hip-hop act he was speaking ahead of: Run The Jewels. Music to overthrow imperialism to. NSFW!

Inspiration for the day: Killer Mike and Bernie Sanders

A great late-night YouTube find: Killer Mike of Run The Jewels talks to Bernie Sanders about politics, social justice, inequality.

The six-parter starts here:

My favourite quote, from part 2:

“I didn’t get in to politics because I wanted to figure out how to become President or a Senator. I got into politics because I gave a damn.”

Bernie Sanders may not get the Democratic nomination, much less the US presidency – we can dream – but it’s incredibly heartening having someone making these kind of statements from a large platform.

The usual smear against Sanders is he’s “extreme” or “hard left”. But if you listen to what he’s saying, there’s nothing radical about it at all. There’s a problem, especially in the US, with big business buying elections. There’s a problem with people feeling disenfranchised from their own democracy. It’s ridiculous that workers are producing more and being paid less. And these things are all connected. Education, healthcare, support for people in vulnerable situations – these are all good things that build a happier community and a stronger society.

None of this is really debatable (unless your response is “there’s nothing wrong with kids going to school hungry, it’s an incentive to work!”). But damn is it threatening to the powers that be.

And here’s my favourite track from Run The Jewels 2. Content note: language NSFW, police violence.