“Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader – I’d go for that”.
The first time I’d heard Jeremy Corbyn’s name mentioned was shortly after the 2015 General Election in a friend’s online post. Soon after that I heard him speak for the first time. It was at the huge anti-austerity rally held outside Parliament.
He was inspiring. Saying all of the things I thought needed to be said. I remember clearly thinking at the time how wonderful it would be if there was someone in a prominent political position speaking out about those issues. At the time it seemed a far flung dream that that could happen, among the political landscape of neo-liberal consensus of that time.
At that moment he wasn’t even on the ballot, and it even seemed doubtful that he would get that far. However, as we know, he did manage to gain the support needed among Labour MPs to run for the leadership, with the aim of opening up and bringing more balance the debate. Starting at a 200-1 odds to be leader, what followed is history.
An unprecedented rise in support among members, and in Labour membership, followed by an momentous victory with a wide majority. However, coupled with this rise in popularity and support, came the onslaught of villifaction, lies and even abuse from the much of the mainstream media to an extent that has been unprecedented towards any other political leader. Which has, continued throughout his leadership, and worse still has been fed by key MP’s from his own party.
I’m not going to detail as to ‘why the villification’, as I think it is quite common knowledge, that this was a man who was actually wanting to make a difference, and prepared to speak out agains injustice, and as such threaten to the privileges of the establishement’s powerful.
He has stood tall throughout a coup led by the party’s own MPs, prevailed through a second Leadership election with an increased majority, then when his approval ratings, (or so was reported by the pollsters), had been reduced to an all time low, as a result of the continuous slander by the press and myths implanted in the public psyche, he was thrust into a last minute snap election.
Throughout all of this he has never lost his dignity, by stooping to some of the low levels we often see others in ‘the political game’ stoop to. And he has never compromised his principles to please the establishment or public opinion, or to escape criticism. And once again history has been made, with an unprecedented swing in the polls during this current General Election campaign of 2017 towards Labour and in favour of Jeremy Corbyn.
Of course that’s because, as it’s now a General Election, and he has to be given unedited exposure in TV debates and election speeches, more people are actually now getting to see the man for who he is and what he stands for, unedited and beyond the myths.
Jeremy Corbyn really is a rare breed of man. He is a man who has dedicated his life to the service of people and working for the greater good, be in service of his local community as a longstanding MP in Islignton, or fighting for causes on a wider scale. I can’t imagine anyone else having the strength and resilience he has shown over the past couple of years, and the stamina and energy to keep showing up, speaking with clarity, intelligence and compassion as he campaigns tirelessly for the 3rd year running all across the country against the odds.
When I had the idea to create the screen-print series of Jeremy Corbyn last Summer, it was to celebrate and honour this man whom I admire greatly. I was then spurred on with the call of this year,s General Election. I thought it apt to call it “Jeremy Corbyn – The Real Strong and Stable”
Whatever the result of todays electionJeremy Corbyn has certainly succeeded, in making that which seemed a far flung dream a reality. The debate has changed significantly. He has brought back to the table issues of investing in social care, the NHS, homelessness... Anti-austerity is now a largely accepted and credible stance, and central to the debate. Tax evasion of the super-rich, and corruption are being exposed, as are shady arms deals and their effects. In addition to the need for a move towards greener energy sources, which will have benefits not only for our environment, but also economy as new jobs are created with investment in these newer industries.
He has already scored incredible victories by this alone.
One wonders from where he draws such strength, resilience and energy. I’d say it’s clearly by standing on a firm foundation of principles, the stability of truth and the fire of passion to deliver upon those principles to create a better world.
Jeremy Corbyn is certainly a rare breed of man, and I think we would be? will be?.. extremely fortunate to have him as our Prime Minister.
By Annette Ross 8 June 2017