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Voices of Scotland: Gearing up for the fight of our lives

The Tories are in disarray thanks to Johnson’s terrible leadership and Corbyn’s smart responses – we must get ready to crush them in a general election, writes SAM RITCHIE

JEREMY CORBYN is a principled politician who has always fought for a better world throughout his life.

We are approaching the end of 2019. It is nearly 10 years since the Tories got into power: they have made it their political agenda to attack the lives of working-class people.

Austerity, homelessness, the failed implementation of universal credit, the rise in zero-hours contracts, cuts, the closure of community centres; the list goes on and on.

This is and was a political choice by the right. We had to pay for the mistakes of the bankers, the stock market brokers and the rich.

The Tories took it upon themselves to strip every bit of hope out of people’s lives. Why should a single mum who already has two children need to prove she’s raped in order to receive child tax credits?

Since Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party (the first time) he has suffered an obscene amount of abuse from the media and politicians.

Remember when David Cameron told him to wear a shirt and tie in Parliament?

Who set the rules in saying what you can and cannot wear in order to be taken seriously? That a suit somehow makes you more important than someone in a cleaner’s uniform or “workie” gear?

These rules weren’t created by workers. These rules were created by the elite to keep working-class people in their place.

In Scotland, we need to defeat the Tories and the SNP. We are in this strange political state where people refuse to vote for Labour any more following the independence referendum.

The SNP comes up with populist policies and does anything not to upset the apple cart. It covers up the cuts with a big media plaster portraying itself as being on the side of the people.

You only have to speak to a nurse, a council worker, a police officer, a teacher or any other public-sector worker out there to realise that the SNP is not supporting these vital services properly. Our services need to be properly funded with an industrial strategy to go along with it.

Right now in politics we are at a crossroads. Boris Johnson thought he would somehow be the saviour of Brexit. He thought that even if he lost his majority the Labour Party would jump at the chance to have an election, only to lose, gaining him a larger majority.

The arrogance and ego of the right wing enrages me. This isn’t a game. This is peoples’ lives. While the men in suits (Johnson and co) decide what working rights we will have after Brexit, whether our chicken is doused in chlorine or what parts of our NHS will be privatised, we have to sit and watch it all unfold as if it’s some sort of sick reality show.

Families going to foodbanks and the rise of in-work poverty, never mind absolute poverty, is the reality for so many. Yet we watch people like Jacob Rees-Mogg spread himself along the benches in Parliament. He slouched like all of these decisions were a boring inconvenience to him.

I enjoy watching the Tories squirm with their wiped-out majority after Johnson sacked 21 senior Conservatives for breaking the whip.

And as for the other Tories, they on the news daily criticising their leader, with even Boris Johnson’s own brother chucking the towel in.

Why give them what they want? Let them sit in their own mess for all to see. Let their egos be dented. Let them be seen for who they are. They did not care when they attacked working-class people and communities.

But if an election is called, this is the fight of our lives. We must build on the win from the 2017 snap election and use that manifesto to bring hope to people’s lives — to invest in decent jobs which pay a decent wage for everyone to live on, access to education for all and the building for new social housing.

We will build a world of hope for the many. Because for too long this world has been run by the few. Electing Corbyn as prime minister is the first step in killing off the obscene greed of capitalism. Together united we will not be defeated.

Sam Ritchie is chair of Unite Scotland’s youth committee.


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