Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Big Meeting, Indeed

I have entered the Durham Miners' Gala in some colourful company in my time, but being danced in by the Kurds was a new one even for me. They have promised to send me the pictures. Burnhope literally embraced me, and a Shadow Cabinet member took only one breath, both to compliment my suit, and to tell me that I was very, very, very bad for, well, you know why.

If the media ever bothered to report what was always the largest political event of the year, then they would have had a proper scoop yesterday. After the video message from Bernie Sanders, the great Ian Lavery took the opportunity to promise that the next Labour Government would reopen the mines, utilising clean coal technology. 

When Jeremy Corbyn rose to speak, then he did not correct that in even the most jocular terms. Made possible by a real Brexit, and not by Theresa May's version, that is now the stated policy of the Labour Party: to reverse the defeat of the miners in 1985.

Before at least 200,000 people in the baking sun, Ibrahim Dogus was excellent in the Kurdish cause, Howard Beckett stormed the barn, Dennis Skinner was greeted like a rock star and presented with a painting of himself, Jennie Formby and Frances O'Grady reminded us that working-class women had had to fight for another 10 years in order to win the right to vote, Matt Wrack moved us for the second year running over Grenfell Tower, and Emily Thornberry was rapturously received as befitted a former barrister for the Durham miners during the Strike. That is real working-class culture.

And then there was Corbyn. Oh, but there was Corbyn. He delivered the speech that I had waited my entire life to hear. Based on the reaction, so had everyone else there. Relatively few of those, however, either were or will be Labour MPs.

There is going to be another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

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