Back in July British Green Party leader Natalie Bennett
welcomed the Jeremy Corbyn campaign
as indicative that the country was ready for “massive political change. Just as the rise of Thatcher marked the end of a political era, the combination of the ‘Green surge’ (Green Party membership more than treble what is was a year ago), the rise of the SNP and the support for Corbyn mark the start of a shift to a new political era.”
Commenting on Corbyn’s victory
on Sunday, Bennett said it showed “how many people support an alternative to austerity economics.”
The British political establishment (including most of the British Labour caucus) thought they could marginalise Corbyn by smearing him as far left, hard left, a Trotskyist, soft on terrorism, you name it. To their shame, our two state broadcasters bought into this, on Sunday calling Corbyn “an admirer of Marxism” (Jessica Mutch, OneNews) and “a supporter of Karl Marx” (Radio New Zealand news).
However, the reality is that
Corbyn’s policy platform
is more popular than Ed Miliband’s was, with many policies also striking a chord with conservative voters.
Polls quoted by the Independent newspaper
show this, as elaborated below.
Re-nationalising the railways
. Supported by 60% of the population (including 42% of Tory voters) in a YouGov poll. Hardly a radical policy in New Zealand, where we have re-nationalised the railways.
A 50% tax rate on those earning over 150,000 pounds a year
. YouGov has 56% of Britons supporting a top tax rate of 75%.
. 59% support in a YouGov poll.
Opposing the bombing of Syria
. 60% also oppose it.
Cutting tuition fees
. 49% support.
A mandatory living wage
. 60% support.
Other popular policies are to scrap the 100 billion pound Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme; bringing energy companies into public ownership; a 2.5% increase in corporate tax (which would still leave the rate lower than in New Zealand); opposition to the TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership); opposition to fracking; a big green jobs programme; and stronger action on climate change. Corbyn’s call for more support to refugees drew massive applause at a big London rally yesterday.
Unlike Labour to date, Corbyn is also willing to call out the British-backed warmakers, as he did
in his Guardian opinion piece yesterday
. Not only did Corbyn say that, “Isis is utterly abhorrent and President Assad’s regime has committed appalling crimes.” He went on to say: “But we must also oppose Saudi bombs falling on Yemen and the Bahraini dictatorship murdering its democracy movement, armed by us.”