The biggest political event for Ealing in years, just happened on Monday 17th August, and I was there. Awesome.
5:50pm – I just left Ealing Broadway station and had no idea where the Ealing Town Hall was, (you’ve probably guessed, this is not an area I’m familiar with). I asked a virgin media advertiser for the town hall whereabouts,’I know where Virgin Media Gym is … only joking, walk straight down this road, turn right, keep walking and it will be there on your right, but first join our gym’ was the response I got. I remember smiling, then telling him that ‘I’m broke, gotta save money to pay for university’, hoping that the new Labour leader would change that fact. Did I mention that one of Jeremy Corbyn’s plans is to scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants?
So, I manage to locate the town hall, but I didn’t expect there to be a massive queue an hour and ten minutes before the Q&A even began. What a great turnout?! Hundreds lined up to hear the alternative offerer (if that makes sense) – Mr Corbyn. I saw ITV’s big van parked on the pavement outside the town hall with their satellite dish sitting on the rooftop of the van, the ‘CNBC’ camera crew, the Guardian interviewing people around, cameras everywhere, everyone ready for the man of the hour to appear. There was so much going on. I’m already starting to think that he will be a great representative of the people since he’s gaining support from a microcosm of what Britain is about – multiculturalism. The diversity of people in the queues was brilliant; a mixture of age groups, gender, ethnicity, all there to support Corbyn.
Unfortunately, the town hall wasn’t large enough to fit everyone who’d queued up, so many were placed in an extra room available which showed a live streaming of Jeremy’s speech from the main hall. However, once that room was filled up, the rest of the people remained outside. Despite, missing out on the Q&A Jeremy Corbyn did take the time to greet the people left outside, and in the extra room (hence why the late start), before making his way to the main hall where he was embraced with an audience standing on their feet, clapping, supporters smiling from ear to ear, some holding their pro-Jeremy homemade miniature.
There was cheering after one of Jeremy’s statements: ‘do we think it’s right that money should be flowing into London to buy luxury houses only to be left empty whilst there are people sleeping on the streets and desperate for somewhere to live?’, as well as constant claps, coming in at the same time. It was inspiring to see the way Jeremy defended the homeless, and seeing people in agreement with his argument.
These are the statements that stood out most for me on the evening:
‘If we don’t develop an economy that works for all, and we don’t develop housing that everyone needs, what do we do? – we end up ascending into a blame culture where you blame the latest group of migrants that have arrived in Britain for the housing prices, or we use the abominable language of the PM describing those in Calais, which are victims of war as a ‘swarm of people’ trying to evade rules and regulations’.
‘It is up to wealthy and powerful nations not to seek in military solutions of everything, bigger boundaries, bigger fences, more gunboats, more guns in order to keep the poor and the more desperate out; surely it’s up to us to look into the causes of that poverty, that desperation’.
‘In the US we hear about people who got scholarships, who’ve done well like Bill Clinton, but we don’t hear about those who didn’t get a scholarship, who didn’t get into and Ivy League university because they couldn’t afford it’ – hinting that he doesn’t want Britain heading in that direction.
‘We are humans, we are part of humanity; can we embrace everyone as part of humanity?’
I remember him suggesting we ‘Raise tax by 0.5 per cent’ to help pay for tuition fees and eliminate the almost impossible debt, since it has become difficult for students to become employed to pay it off. He mentioned that it’s not fair that students have trained hard for their skills only to then not be able to use them efficiently. This 66-year-old man is pretty cool at empathising with the youth of today; he read my mind, he said what we were all thinking (to the students out there who read my blogs). I genuinely believe he can reduce youth apathy and increase their participation in politics. I was shouting ‘PREACH!’… in my head though – it was quite a formal event.
A summary of his manifestos:
- A new national investment bank to encourage growth and reduce the deficit
- Public ownership of the railway and energy sector
- Replace Trident with jobs that retain the skills of the workers
- Reduce the welfare bill through growth and investment
- Housebuilding programme and rent controls
- Integrate social care with the NHS
- A new national education service providing universal childcare, abolishing student fees, restoring grants and funding adult skills
- Scrap zero-hours contracts and a national living wage for all, regardless of age
Or if you want to watch the first minute of Russell Brand’s ‘Who is worst for Britain – Blair or Corbyn?’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=93&v=2YgwiXXuaAY (Thanks Russell!)
What’s my interest in Mr Corbyn?
I have been a follower of the Palestine and Israel conflict since five years of age and I’ve always admired Jeremy for never forgetting the people of Palestine. I’ve seen him speak live at ‘stop the war’ events, which is where I’d first heard of him. I remember him speaking out on his condemnation of the ‘War on Terror’ in protests at the time and earlier this year when he confronted the Iraq inquiry in Parliament, (epic).
If you haven’t seen it, click here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pNOTKhwIIM (definitely worth the time)
His speech is really worth taking a look at, you can find that here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlayj5CVTVM (Thanks Jonathan Notley!)
Please share your opinions on what you think of Jeremy, other Labour leaders and who you will be backing (?) If you’re backing someone and if not, why not? I’d love to hear your perspective.