The Socialist 7 November 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
Crowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby
Jeremy should condemn Blairite cuts and promise nationalisation
Nuneaton Socialist Party including Paul Reilly (front) (Click to enlarge)
Clive Dunkley, Rugby Socialist Party
350 people packed into Rugby's Indian Association on 3 November to hear Jeremy Corbyn and the Momentum-backed parliamentary candidate for Rugby, Debbie Bannigan.
Socialist Party members leafleting the crowd were warmly received. Many wanted to kick the Blairites out of Labour.
One person asked whether I thought the Socialist Party would be allowed back into Labour. All 300 leaflets were taken and several papers were sold.
Corbyn and Bannigan rightly visited threatened GE Energy Power Conversion site in Rugby before attending the rally. But this 90-minute delay, as well as the hour-long queue to get in, didn't dampen the enthusiasm for Jeremy.
GE intends to cease manufacturing in Rugby and 197 jobs are at risk. Corbyn declared: "Decades of manufacturing decline and eight years of austerity have held Rugby back.
"Last week's budget did nothing to revive and renew our country's industry in towns like Rugby. Labour has a plan for a green-jobs revolution to dramatically expand renewable energy and rebuild British industry.
"That's why we'll back the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, which will bring high-skill jobs designing and producing turbines to Rugby."
These remarks are welcome, but a serious strategy is needed to achieve such a 'revolution'. Ultimately, you can't control what you don't own. Only real nationalisation, including of the big engineering companies, can safeguard jobs.
Meetings in Tory marginals are necessary, and Corbyn couldn't be more correct that such towns are being held back by Tory austerity. But it's a shame that he has only chosen to visit the handful of Tory-run local authorities in the West Midlands, and avoid the numerous Labour-run towns and cities that have also seen sickening levels of austerity and attacks by Labour councils
A stark example of this is the Birmingham homecare workers who were on strike on the same day against Birmingham Labour Council. If Jeremy Corbyn really wants the Labour Party to be for the many not the few, he needs to also show support for heroic fighting workers like these.
But anti-democratic methods on show in Nuneaton
Jeremy Corbyn met a similar reception earlier in the day in Nuneaton. But Labour Party officials tried to stop Socialist Party members leafleting and bar them from the event.
This hostility was also extended to RMT transport union national executive committee member for the Midlands, Paul Reilly.