For the Many, not the billionaires
Labour has started its election campaign with a bang before parliament has even dissolved. The Tories’ only story of note – despite themselves calling for the election – is Boris Johnson being booed out of a hospital. Expect more excellent moments like this. It’ll be a long 6 weeks if you’re a parliamentary candidate and hate the working class.
Labour’s campaign on the other hand has been on the front foot with antagonistic rhetoric taking aim at the ruling class. It all began with Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Battersea and calling out by name billionaires including Sport Direct’s Mike Ashley and mega-landlord the Duke of Westminster.
BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett then embarrassed herself by feigning shock at the assertion of Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, that billionaires shouldn’t exist. Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, and Laura Parker, Momentum’s National Coordinator, both took to the airwaves to double down and launch stinging attacks on the inequality this country’s wealthiest benefit from.
Jeremy Corbyn followed up again declaring on Twitter that: “In a fair society there would be no billionaires and no one would live in poverty.”
This discourse has forced Tories and their outriders to defend the most grotesque symptoms of their ideology from the very beginning. As Novara Media’s Michael Walker tweeted: “When they’re defending billionaires, we’re winning.”
In recent months, Labour has also begun to be much more direct in their criticisms of fossil fuel companies. They have always called for climate justice and a green industrial revolution, but now they’re naming and shaming climate criminals. John McDonnell yesterday released a report recommending penalties for banks that finance fossil fuels.
The whole thing seems inspired by Bernie Sanders’ confrontational rhetoric. Pitting the many against the few worked in 2017. This time, getting personal will provide the added vigour to get even more people onto the streets from the start. That’s what we need for Labour to win.
Header image credit: YouTube screengrab