Jeremy Corbyn is no extremist. Instead he is a socialist who has a proven commitment to standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside his class, the working-class.
Such an unswerving dedication to social justice however stands quite at odds with the lack of socialist principles of most Labour councillors, who have collectively failed to pose any significant alternative to the Tories relentless attacks on the rest of us.
This is why if the mandatory reselection of councillors ever became the norm, there can be little doubt that the majority of Leicester’s Labour councillors and MP’s would find themselves out of work.
Unfortunately such democratic changes regarding reselection have not yet been proposed by Corbyn. Nevertheless, his positive influence upon his Party is already being felt locally here in Leicester.
This change is evidenced by the way in which Labour’s deputy mayor councillor Rory Palmer has come out fighting (with harsh words) against the Government’s Trade Union Bill. “This Bill is a draconian set of proposals to aggressively curtail the activities of trade unions,” he has told the Leicester Mercury (October 5). All true.
But actual meaningful opposition to the Tories is not something that comes naturally to councillor Palmer, a man, who in recent years, has used his leading role within our Council to quash all efforts to stand up against Tory cuts and austerity.
That is why I wait with only slightly baited breathe to see whether Palmer’s proposed motion against the Tories hated Bill (at the Council’s next meeting) will be accompanied by any of the necessary political actions that will be needed to build a powerful grassroots movement in our city to bring an end to all budget cuts.
In his further comments to the Mercury, Palmer added: “We (Labour members) believe unions are an important and democratic part of society.” Now that is a positive statement that is certainly good to hear.
So the question remains: what will Palmer and our Labour Council make of the latest demand made by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – the central organising body of 6 million workers – “to lobby and rally against the trade union bill” in London on Monday 2 November?
The TUC explains that this critically important political rally will provide “a big opportunity to make sure MPs hear directly from people who are worried that the bill will undermine the right to strike and risk public safety and service quality.”
Let’s hope that our Labour Council will do everything in their power to ensure that this forthcoming protest will involve even more people than the massive 100,000 turnout that was achieved at the protest against Tory austerity that was held in Manchester last Sunday.
There can be little doubt that all local trade unions branches will already be organising coaches to help people travel down to this lobby: but what actions will our Council be proposing to support opposition to the Government’s latest aggressive and draconian attacks upon our class?
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on 6th October.