The Happy Warrior

Gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could vote for a genuinely nice person who cares about you and your needs and making the world a better place for everybody, not just finding ways for their Billionaire Donors to rip you off and make your life miserable?

Why not vote for “good” instead of “lesser”?

Jeremy Corbyn Says He Won’t Quit Even If He Loses The General Election
by Jim Waterson, BuzzFeed
May 08, 2017, 20:33 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn is enjoying his first general election as Labour leader, and he wants to make something very clear: He intends to remain in the job, even if he isn’t victorious in next month’s vote.

“I was elected leader of this party and I’ll stay leader of this party,” Corbyn told BuzzFeed News, taking a few minutes out from campaigning in the Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa.

No matter what happens on 8 June, he said, he would be “carrying on”. And he insisted that the constant criticism and poor poll ratings were not getting to him. “Monsieur Zen is fine,” he said.

A suggestion by BuzzFeed News to conduct our interview in a park shelter – having already had to drive away from a nearby rally to escape dozens of people wanting selfies – begins with a short discussion about the vintage of a brass plaque marking a 1969 donation towards park funds.

“I love it, I’ve spent my life travelling the length and breadth of this country supporting people and I’m doing it all again,” Corbyn said, referring to the election as a continuation of the last two Labour leadership campaigns. “This is the third summer running out on the road!”

After Corbyn’s formal duties were finished for the day, he spent 10 minutes talking to people in the park, wishing a schoolgirl good luck with her exams and debating the relative benefits of various methods of long distance railway construction with a member of the public. His media handlers struggled to get him moving as he talked with people and took an interest in a retired guide dog now used for breeding purposes.

Corbyn sketched out a different economic vision: “I think this is a time when we need to look the inequality in economic structures in society, and so I’m proposing an economic agenda which benefits the vast majority of people and does challenge inequality.”

He also wants action on loneliness, especially among the elderly, in an attempt to create “that sense of cohesion in our society”.

He said he was particularly worried about the fate of young people who missed out on life chances due to “a combination of poverty, bad housing, and underfunded schools”.

Corbyn told BuzzFeed News he felt he didn’t get treated fairly by the media: “I’m not going to spend my whole life complaining about it. I know what I believe in, I know what I do. I never respond to personal abuse of me, because I’d rather get my policies across. By not responding it forces the other side to engage with the policy debate.”

He insisted he always found time to read about things other than politics during campaigns and was currently working through a 1908 dystopian novel called The Iron Heel by Jack London, which the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature describes as a warning about fascist plutocrats who, “fearing the popularity of socialism”, collude to “eliminate democracy and, with their secret police and military, terrorise the citizenry”.

He also laughed at being told that the Conservatives had just sent out a press release branding him and shadow chancellor John McDonnell as the “Marx brothers”.

“Marx is a standard text in most university economics courses and I urge anyone who’s serious about economics to read Marx but also to read Adam Smith, David Ricardo,” he said. “Read other people! Read Varoufakis and what he went through in Greece! Read Joseph Stiglitz! Read around the subject – don’t always look for an echo chamber of yourself. How else do you learn how the world is?”

He has no major concerns about Russian interference in the election. “We’re all under threat from hackers all the time… Let’s not get paranoid about it”. Nor is he troubled by personal attacks. “The only time it gets really nasty is when there’s abuse of my family or loved ones.”

How does the Labour leader cope with the substantial number of lifelong Labour voters who say they still like the party but won’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn?

“It doesn’t get to me at all,” he said. “What I would say is that is about the party as a whole, the policies we’re putting forward as a whole, and the individual messenger is the person who’s doing their best to put those policies forward. I was elected leader of this party, I’m proud to do it, and I’ll carry on doing it.”

Instead, Corbyn’s spending his time on the campaign trail imagining the people he believes he could help if he became prime minister: “I think of lots of people I know. I think of the homeless, those looking for a house, those in work where their skills are not properly recognised, I think of people trying to run a small business being ripped off by big business. I think of all those issues and try to encapsulate them into a coherent strategy.”

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