September 29th, 2016

Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn in Coventry attacks “orgy of criticism” over benefits and asylum seekers

Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn in Coventry attacks “orgy of criticism” over benefits and asylum seekers Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn in Coventry attacks “orgy of criticism” over benefits and asylum seekers
Updated: 10:37 am, Aug 04, 2015

JEREMY Corbyn MP – favourite to become the next Labour leader – came to Coventry to deliver his vision of a society free of an “orgy of criticism of the victims of an often very brutal system.”

He spoke to a packed 400-strong audience against denigrating government language towards people in need, from benefits claimants to asylum seekers, including migrants at the French port of Calais seeking entry into Britain.

Speaking at the union Unite’s Transport House building in Coventry city centre on Sunday (August 2), the bookies’ favourite for the leadership race also riled against a society saddling young people with debts, unable to get on the housing ladder.

While many fellow Labour MPs failed to oppose the Tory budget’s £12billion more welfare cuts, Mr Corbyn evoked the struggle of working people in the nineteenth century and the 1930s Great Depression to establish a more caring and equal society without poverty.

The Islington left-wing MP said they were decried as “obscure fanatacists” and dreamers, but added: “That generation won us the National Health Service and won us the principle of the welfare state..

“.. The idea as a society we would not pass by on the other side when a fellow human being was facing debt, homelessness and poverty or spending the night on the streets.

“We’ve been deterred from that direction and have gone down a debate about ‘Benefit Street’, abuse of people who receive disability benefits… Pass by on the other side while those people who’ve been passed as ‘available to work’ facing mental health problems have even taken their own lives.

“The sheer brutality of the way the Tories are running the benefits system is beyond disgusting.

“We have to be firm and honest enough to say, ‘We want to live in a society where nobody is destitute, where no child goes hungry, where no child has to sleep on the streets’.

“Isn’t there something wrong about a wealthy country like ours indulging itself in an orgy of criticism of those people who are victims of an often very brutal system?”

He called for the statutory minimum wage to rise to £10-an-hour, and for the abolition of student fees – to be paid for by a small rise in corporation tax to 20.5 per cent. Savings would also come from not replacing the trident missile nuclear system at a cost of £100billion.

He said governments should not make a “habit” of running debts, but defended Labour’s pre-2008 banking collapse record.

Some rival Labour leadership candidates have been keener to blame Labour for that economic crisis in seeking to appeal to the electorate.

Mr Corbyn said women were still paid 21 per cent less than men, and black youngsters still had fewer opportunities and were more likely to be in the criminal justice system.

He said the language used to describe the current asylum seeker protests at Calais was an example of the rise of the far right and of a “blame culture against minorities”.

He added: “I look at the situation in Calais as a humatarian crisis. Let’s look at the desparation of those people.. the victims of war.. the desparate journeys they’re making, the hundreds that die along the way.

“There’s more displaced people on the planet now than at any time in recorded history, including the Second World War.”

In calling for a humanitarian solution rather than a military one and “going to war on behalf of the USA”, he said there were no easy answers, but added: “We don’t need the kind of abusive language used in the last few days towards those people.”

Mr Corbyn’s rivals for the Labour leadership are former Labour ministers Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, and relative newcomer Liz Kendall.

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