‘Corbyn’s Labour Party will go back to its roots’

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his party's headquarters in London, Britain September 14, 2015. © Neil Hall
People in the UK are tired of establishment politicians, says journalist and commentator Curtis Ellis, who is executive director of the progressive nonprofit American Jobs Alliance. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour party will return to its working-class roots, rather than representing the City of London, he added.

RT: What changes do you think Corbyn will look to make in the Labour party? 

Curtis Ellis: Well, we’re going to see the Labour party perhaps returning to its roots. Tony Blair was New Labour, which was sort of the [Bill] Clinton centrist picture of the same way that the Democratic party in the US moved to the right – that is what Tony Blair did for the Labour party in the UK.  We’re going to see its return back to its more strident class-oriented roots rather than the City of London roots.

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RT: Corbyn has strong union support and a strong anti-austerity stance. But given that Labour was trounced in the recent general election while standing on similar policies. Can those ideas actually attract support?

CE: What’s important is – that the electorate is getting tired of the establishment politicians, whether it’s establishment right or establishment left. Those people who are hewing to the center are finding the center doesn’t hold. I think that the best way to understand Corbyn is in the context of Mr. [Nigel] Farage, the UKIP folks, Syriza, the Catalan Independence movement, and people across the continent who are either left or right – those are old categories that don’t matter. What it is, it’s the fringe versus the center.

RT: One US presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, also represents a left-wing agenda.  What are his chances of success?

CE: Yes, and it is not just Bernie Sanders, that is what we’re seeing with Donald Trump. These are two figures that, when it comes to free trade, they agree; when it comes to immigration, they agree. Bernie Sanders has said [that] the open borders and unrestricted immigration are something that is being pursued by the corporate elites, who want cheap labor. You have to remember historically we’ve often seen that right-wing parties often gain a lot of their support from the supporters of left-wing parties.  If you look into the 1930s you will see that many of the national socialist supporters used to be communist or socialist supporters, and they switched. So it’s really the extremes versus the center, and we’re seeing this on a global scale.

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RT: If the far-left made it into power in the UK, how would that change the country's relations with the US?

CE: It is very hard to tell. If Trump is president, or Sanders is president, there might be very warm relationships. I think that the relationship between the UK and the US will always be strong. It is the strong cultural affinity, as well as the historical special relationship.

Michael Raddie, co-editor of BS-News, also shared his opinion with RT on Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the leadership election. He said that “the fact the media are attacking him just means that he is not playing by the rules, he has always been anti-war, he has always been anti-poverty, he has been anti-establishment,” and “all the media in this country [UK] are part of the establishment.”

UK left-winger Jeremy Corbyn won election as leader of the Labour Party. He promotes the idea of bringing back the 50 percent tax rate for people who earn more than 150,000 pounds a year.  Corbyn is also known for his anti-war rhetoric.

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RT: The British PM has branded Corbyn a “threat to Britain's national security”.  What's he afraid of?

Michael Raddie: It is a strange thing to say. It is quite sinister, especially in light of Cameron’s recent admission – that he is now sanctioning the extrajudicial killing of British citizens in foreign lands in the last few months in Syria. So this is sinister undertones. To me it sounds like a vile threat as well.

Jeremy Corbyn may be a threat to Cameron’s true constituents - and they are obviously the elites in this country, the billionaires, the heads of the multinational corporations and banking institutions; they are who Cameron represents truly. There is nothing to do with the rest of the people in this country. The 99.9 percent of the population – there is no threat for them from Jeremy Corbyn, of course there isn’t. In fact, he is probably going to make country safer for most people, if we’re not bombing other countries. He has very non-hawkish foreign policy, and we’ll be withdrawing our military from places like Syria, from places like Libya; we won’t be bombing other countries. There has to be a good thing, and that would certainly encourage UK residents not to be fighting abroad, because they won’t have the backing of their own government behind them.

READ MORE: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announces shadow cabinet

RT: Corbyn mentioned during the campaign the pressures members of his family were put under by the media. Why some media outlets don’t like him?

MR: I don’t even think it’s some, I think it’s been so interesting to watch that all of the media –  left all the way to the right side of the spectrum – they’ve been marching in lockstep with their attacks on Corbyn. Even the Guardian, I know that [they’ve done] some pro-Corbyn articles, but the most of [them] have been anti-Corbyn.

The fact that [the media] marched in lockstep against the man who has probably the most brilliant record of integrity in the Commons to date.  He’s been voted in as an MP for 32 years, he’s been the MP with the lowest expenses claims for the last 10 years, I think. He was my MP when I lived in North London. I’ve known about Jeremy Corbyn for a long time, and he does seem a very honest guy. The fact the media are attacking him just means that he is not playing by the rules, he has always been anti-war, he has always been anti-poverty, he has been anti-establishment effectively.

So they don’t like that. Since all the media in this country are part of the establishment, it is not a surprise that they are going after him in the way they have.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.