As promised following the last general election, Jeremy Corbyn kicked off his summer tour of key marginal seats on 10 August 2017 in the south-west.
As key statistics were released challenging Tory mismanagement of the NHS, Corbyn and Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth spoke at a well-attended rally in Cornwall. The Truro and Falmouth seat saw a 22.5% swing to Labour in the election on 8 June. So Corbyn stated clearly that he was there to offer support to: “two marginals that we came close to winning”.
As reported in The Canary, mainstream media criticism of Corbyn seems increasingly tenuous. But his speech in Cornwall showed clearly why he continues to gain support and popularity among voters. It also showed how out of touch much mainstream reporting is.
Breaking the rules
Corbyn delivered a clear message about just how wrong the mainstream media were in the run up to the last election:
Do you remember the commentariats in every late-night news room? Do you remember the editorials in every broadsheet, the pundits, the bookies and all the rest of it? They said ‘no, no, no… Theresa May is a walk on, she won’t lose the election.’ But do you know what happened? We didn’t play by the rules. We went out and took a message to every part of this country that things could, should and will be done differently in the future.
Again, Corbyn challenged the impact of austerity on the poor and vulnerable, saying:
Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. A political choice made by the Tories and Lib Dems in 2010… Seven years later you see the consequences of that. Rising numbers of people sleeping rough, homeless people. More and more children in supersize classes. More and more stress amongst public health and council workers.
Labour, says Corbyn, offers something “transformational” and promised:
The we would no longer go on slashing public sector pay and punishing the poorest to pay for the excuses of the wealthiest. We would turn it around on tax at the top in order to benefit those at the bottom. That seems to me, fundamentally basic and sensible.
It is this kind of simple ‘logic’ that has appealed to voters and was reflected in the latest YouGov opinion poll.
A key focus of the rally was the NHS. Ashworth spoke about the very real challenges and issues facing the NHS. But Corbyn also went one step further in his praise of NHS workers who are still faced with a 1% pay cap. Because he directly challenged May’s response to NHS workers following recent tragedies in London, Manchester and Grenfell Tower:
Don’t give me the crocodile tears. Pay them properly as well.
The latest posturing between North Korea and Donald Trump has been well documented and reported. But Corbyn’s response to the situation was, as ever, very measured:
I don’t particularly want to fall out with Donald Trump or anybody else. I simply say to him ‘it’s much better to build bridges than build walls’. And its much better to bring about peace by discussion rather than threat and to bring people along with you. And it’s much better for all of us to have a foreign policy based on peace, and justice and on human rights all around the world. In every country around the world and I am determined we will achieve those things.
As Corbyn continues his tour around key marginal seats in the country, it seems highly likely that speeches like this will continue to build Labour’s support. Martin Menear, secretary for Cornwall Labour said:
Jeremy Corbyn set out why a Labour government would be good for Cornwall. It would properly fund our NHS, stop its privatisation and pay its staff properly. It would tackle in work poverty – a huge issue in Cornwall with our low pay and expensive housing and utilities. The introduction of a £10 minimum wage would make a massive difference to thousands of people in Cornwall. Jeremy Corbyn and Labour are connecting to ordinary people in Cornwall and restoring their faith in politics.
So, it seems unlikely that media criticism of him will stop. But, as even small puppies seem to like Corbyn, May should be worried…
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured images author’s own
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?