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MUCH of the mainstream media coverage of Labour conference today will inevitably focus on the party’s position on Brexit and no doubt feature many misrepresentations of it.
So I’ve decided to focus this column on how the day illustrated that two key parts of Jeremy Corbyn’s politics — international solidarity and anti-racism — have become central to the agenda of the transformed Labour Party, which is a million miles away from the pro-war agenda of the Blair years.
This was reflected with the discussions on the Windrush and Palestine solidarity motions, which received overwhelming support from the floor, and also in an excellent speech from Lord Dubs on how Labour will stand up for refugees, and refugee children in particular.
The contrast between Labour’s approach — seeking justice for the Windrush generation and supporting refugees — and the callous attitude of the Tories and their “hostile environment,” couldn’t be starker and it represents the differences between Labour’s values of equality and liberation and the Tories’ scapegoating of migrants.
Diane Abbott’s speech as shadow home secretary showed us just how far Labour has come in this area, with motions also confirming a clear commitment to ending the “hostile environment” and shutting the inhumane Yarl’s Wood and Brooks House detention centres.
Abbott said that Labour “will not rest until there is justice for the Windrush generation.”
The Palestine motion was part of a clear and visible upsurge of support for the Palestinian people, which has been reflected throughout conference, setting out clear opposition to Israel’s recent assault on Gaza and Donald Trump’s cutting of UNRWA funding.
This support was also marked by the launch meeting of a new platform, Labour and Palestine, at an event supported by Unite, Unison, Aslef and others, and a sea of Palestinian flags being waved during the debate on conference floor.
This support was also reflected in the highest echelons of the party, with shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor among those promoting the hashtag #Labour4Palestine on social media.
It was also particularly welcome that Momentum played a central role in ensuring this visible and real support for Palestine, including through recommending the motion be chosen as a priority and through representative Becky Boumelha speaking at the Labour and Palestine event.
This evening will also see the return of the legendary Socialist Campaign Group of MPs’ rally and tomorrow will see Corbyn’s speech.
Make sure to show your support for the Morning Star stalls and yellow pages distributors and then we must get on with the reason we are all here — to get the Tories out and win a transformative Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
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