18 January 2021 | UK NEWS
The former leader of the Labour Party has unveiled latest new project, following his time in charge of the party.
Jeremy Corbyn broadcast the launch of his Project for Peace and Justice on YouTube yesterday afternoon. Besides Mr Corbyn himself, the conference was attended by many speakers, including Unite’s General Secretary Len McCluskey and left-wing academic Noam Chomsky. Zarah Sultana, the Corbynite MP for Coventry South, also spoke, as did Yanis Varoufakis, a former Greek Finance Minister.
A press release put out by the project claimed that over “half a million” people were reached on social media for its launch rally.
The project is his first major venture back into front line activism since his defeat at in the 2019 General Election and his removal of the parliamentary whip by the current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, for his refusal to respect the findings of the EHRC’s investigation into the Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership for anti-Semitism.
In his opening speech, Corbyn said that he hoped this project would unite the “local, national and the global” supporters of the socialist movement. He also hoped the project would mean “our movement can turn the dial away from conflict and inequality and towards peace and justice.”
The movement will focus on four main facets.
Firstly, the project will be campaigning for a Green New Deal, to be paid for by “the wealthy and big polluters”.
Secondly, they will focus on economic support for those affected by the pandemic. This would include creating publicly owned industries.
The third area will be international justice and human rights violations around the world. Mr Corbyn also said he would campaign against war.
Lastly, they are to focus on building a fully democratic society. Part of the campaign will focus on creating a media that puts power “into the hands of the majority, not in the hands of the few”.
“A truly free media will expose truth and challenge the powerful,” Mr Corbyn said.
He continued by attacking the billionaires who own the media and tech companies. In particular, he attacked the “two new TV stations planned in Britain, being set up with the backing of enormous private wealth, competing to out-fox Fox News”.
Corbyn was presumably referring to GB News, chaired by Andrew Neil, and the other new station being planned by the Murdoch media empire.
Len McCluskey, in his speech, reaffirmed the importance of Unite’s campaign to have Jeremy Corbyn’s whip restored, allowing him to re-join the Parliamentary Labour Party following its withdrawal. He called this battle “a fight for justice” and “a disgraceful act”.
He also said that he hopes the project carries on “the best of the Jeremy’s leadership”, in particular the fight against austerity, inequality, ending war and standing up for climate change.
In a slight jab at the current leader, McCluskey said that they will have to “keep reminding Keir” that the Labour Party is socialist party.
In a wide-ranging speech, Zarah Sultana MP attacked the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and blamed them for growing inequality, saying that their response was “deeply ideological”.
She called for not only a “more competent, more forensic government” but also “a socialist government”, adding: “that’s why our 2019 manifesto is more important than ever”.
Mr Corbyn also appeared to attack the strategy employed by the UK and what he called “some riches countries” of stockpiling vaccines in order to enable a rapid roll-out.
He said they had “acquired enough of vaccine for their entire population to be vaccinated three times over, while nine out of ten people in poor countries will not receive a vaccine even this year”.
He continued: “If the Covid emergency has taught us anything, it’s just how connected we all are, and that global problems cannot be fully addressed by local solutions.” He added that he viewed the current stance as “vaccine nationalism”.
The project’s website describes its aim as to “combine analysis, campaigning and networking”, adding that it will “shine a light on injustices, offer space and hope to those driving change, and generate ideas for a future that works for the many, not the few”.