Stick to ideological principles to stay relevant — Corbyn

BY: Sebastian Syme
 Mr Jeremy Corbyn
Mr Jeremy Corbyn

The leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, has entreated socialist-inclined political parties in Africa and other parts of the world to stick to their ideological principles to stay politically relevant for the benefit of their people.

He stated that it was only governments formed by socialist-oriented political parties which, by their cardinal policies, brought about meaningful development to improve the living conditions of the vast majority of the people.

Keeping faith

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Newcastle upon Tyne, a university city on the River Tyne in northeast England, Mr Corbyn entreated incumbent governments with socialist leanings to keep faith with their citizenry by formulating human-centred policies to cater for the need of the vulnerable in the society.

He stated that the policies of socialist-disposed political parties were to build safety nets for their people, especially the vulnerable in the society, to ensure they were not left out in the development process.

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Ideologically, Mr Corbyn identifies as a democratic socialist who advocates reversing austerity cuts to public services and welfare funding and proposes the re-nationalisation of public utilities and the railways in Britain.

He has also been an anti-war and anti-nuclear campaigner since his youth and broadly supports a foreign policy of military non-interventionism and unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Invest in people

With this orientation, he told the Daily Graphic that the state had a responsibility to invest in the people to make them financially viable to afford the cost of living and access social services with ease.

Mr Corbyn, who was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Islington North in 1983, began his career as a representative for various trade unions.

He announced his candidacy for the Labour Party leadership following the party’s defeat in the 2015 general election and the resignation of Mr Ed Miliband, who was the party leader at the time.

Despite entering the leadership race as the no-hoper candidate and having only just secured 35 nominations from fellow Labour MPs to be placed on the ballot, Mr Corbyn emerged as the leading candidate and was elected leader in September 2015, with a first-round vote of 59.5 per cent.

“I have come a long way. The Labour Party is strong and we are confident of winning the next election,” he told the Daily Graphic when asked about his party’s chances of winning the next polls, which is not due until 2022.

Good sister relationship

The Labour leader submitted that his party had a good relationship with its sister parties in other parts of the world, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Ghana, and the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, adding that “the Labour Party believed Britain’s international role must be an extension of its vision at home.”

“We have to promote our national interest, secure growth and champion our core values of equality, social justice and opportunity for all. This resonates in the way our party engages with our global partners,” he added.