British elections: ‘Real change is coming’ says Corbyn

Following the European Union’s agreement to grant Boris Johnson’s government until next January to exit the EU, the House of Commons voted to hold a snap election on December 12. At the time of writing the election bill has yet to pass the House of Lords, but looks a certainty.

Labour voted to support the early election proposal after initially having abstained on the vote because of internal disagreement.

During debate, the opposition attempted to amend the bill to allow 16 and 17 year olds and EU nationals residing in Britain to vote, but this was rejected.

Labour can now take its plan to tackle climate change by transitioning to clean energy to an election.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Labour MP who drove this policy, wrote in Tribune Magazine on October 30: “The question facing us now is how to deliver a Green Industrial Revolution that is equivalent to the scale of the challenge.

“To have any chance of success, it will need to push aside the tradition of incremental policy making. We need a rapid and far-reaching transformation of the UK’s infrastructure, from our homes to our transport and energy systems.

“Delivering a Green Industrial Revolution will require taking on powerful corporations and individuals who have amassed obscene wealth by wrecking the climate, and who will stake everything on delaying action and watering down environmental protections until it is too late.

“We also need to talk about jobs. The Green Industrial Revolution will need a clear and properly-funded plan for workers affected by decarbonisation, one that puts workers themselves and their trade unions at the heart of delivering the transition.”

British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour’s election campaign on October 31 in South London.

”We stand for the many,” Corbyn said. “Boris Johnson’s born-to-rule Conservatives protect the privileged few. They’ve slashed taxes for the richest and vital services and support for everyone else.

“But real change is coming. We will end the Conservatives’ great rip-off by putting rail, mail and water into public ownership so they work for everyone, not just Tory donors and shareholders in tax havens.

“We will invest in every nation and region, rebuild our public services and give our NHS [National Health Service], schools and police the money they need by taxing those at the top to properly fund services for everyone.

“This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country, take on the vested interests holding people back and ensure that no community is left behind.”

“You know what really scares the elite?

“What they’re actually afraid of is paying their taxes. So in this election they’ll fight harder and dirtier than ever before. They’ll throw everything at us because they know we’re not afraid to take them on.

“So we’re going after the tax dodgers. We’re going after the dodgy landlords. We’re going after the bad bosses. We’re going after the big polluters. Because we know whose side we’re on.

“Are you on the side of the tax dodgers, who are taking us all for a ride? People who think it is OK to rip people off, hide their money in tax havens so they can have a new super yacht. Or the children with special educational needs who aren’t getting the support they deserve because of Tory and Lib Dem government cuts?

“Whose side are you on? The dodgy landlords, like the Duke of Westminster, Britain’s youngest billionaire, who tried to evict whole blocks of families, to make way for luxury apartments? Or the millions of tenants in Britain who struggle to pay their rent each month?

“Whose side are you on? The bad bosses like Mike Ashley, the billionaire who won’t pay his staff properly and is running Newcastle United [football club] into the ground? Or his exploited workforce, like the woman who was reportedly forced to give birth in a warehouse toilet because she was terrified of missing her shift?

“Whose side are you on? The big polluters like Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who makes his money by polluting the environment? Or the children growing up in our cities with reduced lung capacity because of choking pollution?

“Whose side are you on? The greedy bankers like Crispin Odey, who makes millions betting against our country and on other people’s misery and donated huge sums to Johnson and the Conservative Party? Or are you on the side of working people, the people who create the wealth that’s then squirreled away in tax havens?

“And whose side are you on? The billionaire media barons like Rupert Murdoch, whose empire pumps out propaganda to support a rigged system. Or the overwhelming majority who want to live in a decent, fair, diverse and prosperous society?

“Boris Johnson thought he was being smart holding this election in a dark and cold December. He thinks you won’t go out to vote. He thinks you won’t go out to campaign.

“Even if the rivers freeze over, we’re going out to bring about real change for the many not the few. All we need to keep us warm is the thought of removing Boris Johnson’s Conservatives from government — and the chance to rebuild and transform our country.”

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