Seumas Milne appointed Labour’s Head of Strategy and Communications

Labour Press

Seumas Milne has been appointed as Labour’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications. Seumas joins the Labour Leader’s office on leave from the Guardian where he is a columnist and associate editor. He will take up his position on 26th October 2015.

Seumas is a former comment editor and labour editor at the Guardian. He previously worked at the Economist, is the author of books about the miners’ strike, global politics and economic policy and was for ten years an executive member of the National Union of Journalists.

The return of the Syrian Army

syrianarmy-510x272Robert Fisk


While the world still rages on at Russia’s presumption in the Middle East – to intervene in Syria instead of letting the Americans decide which dictators should survive or die – we’ve all been forgetting the one institution in that Arab land which continues to function and protect the state which Moscow has decided to preserve: the Syrian army. While Russia has been propagandising its missiles, the Syrian military, undermanned and undergunned a few months ago, has suddenly moved on to the offensive. Earlier this year, we may remember, this same army was being written off, the Bashar al-Assad government said to be reaching its final days.

We employed our own army of clichés to make the case for regime change. The Syrian army was losing ground – at Jisr al-Shugour and at Palmyra – and so we predicted that the whole Assad state had reached a “tipping point”.

Then along came Vladimir Putin with his air and missile fleets and suddenly the whole place is transformed. While we huffed and puffed that the Russians were bombing the “moderate” rebels – moderates who had earlier ceased to exist according to America’s top generals – we’ve been paying no attention to the military offensive which the Syrians themselves are now staging against the Nusra Front fighters around Aleppo and in the valley of the Orontes.

Syrian commanders are now setting the coordinates for almost every Russian air strike. They were originally giving between 200 and 400 coordinates a night. Now the figure sometimes reaches 800. Not that the Russians are going after every map reference, of course. The Syrians have found that the Russians do not want to fire at targets in built-up areas; they intend to leave burning hospitals and dead wedding parties to the Americans in Afghanistan. This policy could always change, of course. No air force bombs countries without killing civilians. Nor without crossing other people’s frontiers.

But the Russians are now telling the Turks – and by logical extension, this information must go to the Americans – their flight coordinates. Even more remarkable, they have set up a hotline communications system between their base on the Syrian Mediterranean coast and the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv. More incredible still is that the Israelis – who have a habit of targeting Syrian and Iranian personnel near the Golan Heights – have suddenly disappeared from the skies. In other words, the Russians are involved in a big operation, not a one-month wonder that is going on in Syria. And it is likely to continue for quite a time.

The Syrians were originally anxious to move back into Palmyra, captured by Isis last May, but the Russians have demonstrated more interest in the Aleppo region, partly because they believe their coastal bases around Lattakia are vulnerable. The Nusra Front has fired several missiles towards Lattakia and Tartous and Moscow has no desire to have its air force targeted on the ground. But the Syrian army is now deploying its four major units – the 1st and 4th Divisions, Republican Guards and Special Forces – on the battle fronts and are moving closer to the Turkish border.

Russian air strikes around the Isis “capital” of Raqqa may or may not be hurting Isis, although the Syrians like to boast that they have plenty of intelligence coming to them from the city. Interesting, if true, because Isis personnel are specialists in torturing to death “agents of the regime” and it would be a brave man to pass on information to Damascus. Yet travellers’ tales can be true. There’s a regular civilian bus route from Raqqa to Damascus – buses have an odd habit of crossing front lines in most civil wars – and if passengers prefer not to talk to journalists, they will talk of what they have seen when they get home.

All this is only the beginning of Mr Putin’s adventure. He is proving to be quite a traveller to the Middle East – and has already made firm friends of another pillar of the region, that President-Field Marshal who scored more than 96 per cent at the polls and who currently rules Egypt. But the Egyptian army, fighting its little war in Sinai, no longer has strategic experience of a major war. Nor, despite their dalliance in the air over Yemen, Libya, Syria and other targets of opportunity, do the present military authorities in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan have much understanding of how a real war is fought. Libya’s own army is in bits. Iraq’s military has scarcely earned any medals against its Islamist enemies.

But there is one factor which should not be overlooked.

If it wins – and if it holds together and if its manpower, which is admittedly at a low level, can be maintained – then the Syrian military is going to come out of this current war as the most ruthless, battle-trained and battle-hardened Arab army in the entire region. Woe betide any of its neighbours who forget this.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared.


If this is a war then Black Lives Matter is losing

Mumia Abu-Jamal


‘Plus ça change …’ say the French; or ‘The more things change, of course, the more they stay the same.’

That thought, with all its despair and wisdom, resonates with particular power when we look at the Black Freedom Struggle, which, despite its ebbs and flows, has a sameness that seems to suspend it in its own time, akin to a Biblical narrative that exists in its own realm, strangely separate from our day-to-day immediacy, yet existing in consciousness.

But this is not a metaphysical discussion.


It is existential. It is blood and bullets. It is the hard bricks and cold steel of prison. And it’s not just the sameness of things for extended spaces of time, nor its sinister intensification of repression, but the incessant nature of such repression as a bipartisan expression of American hegemony over and antipathy towards, the Black Freedom Struggle that gives it its malevolent character.

For generations, Black leaders and organizations have been in search for some solution to our oppressions, some appealing to the international community, as expressed in William Patterson’s “We Charge Genocide’ of 1951 (a charge supported by the late Malcolm X). Some 15 years later the Black Panther Party would produce a list of grievances, called the 10-Point Program, decrying the police state’s violence against Blacks, slum lords exploiting Black home renters, and the bane of Black imprisonment, among other concerns. Seven years thereafter, the Black National Political Convention convened in Gary, Indiana, where it denounced the two capitalist parties, Democrats and Republicans, the continuous police violence against Blacks, and called for the formation of a National Black Independent Political Party to give voice to the needs of Black people

The foundational documents of these Black activists and organizations, if read today, would seem to have been written today – instead of 50 or 60 years ago.

That tells us that our conditions – or real material conditions – have not changed substantially for over ½ century – over 60 years.

Indeed, in many ways, those conditions have worsened, such as the phenomenon of mass incarceration.

Why? Because the material conditions of millions of Black folk have changed due to de-industrialization, the resultant loss of the tax base, the corporatization of the public school systems, and the explosive expansion of the imprisonment industry – the creation of what I call the White Rural Jobs Program – prisons.

From the earliest days of Black arrival in what would one day become the United mumiawritingStates; Africans were seen as resources to be exploited for white profit. And despite relentless rhetoric in the mouths of the Founders of the State, there existed a nightmarish reality of un-freedom and state supported terror waged against Black life, proving the white words of freedom were little but lies.

For under the sweet nothings of liberty lived a world of repression, targeting, isolating and destroying the Black Freedom Movement and its leaders. From Dr. Martin Luther King to Malcolm X; from the Black Panther Party to Black actors and artists, agents of state power sought to weaken and neutralize Black freedom and Black Nationalist movements, using every means – fair and foul.

This wasn’t episodic meanness – random attacks on Blacks because of official distaste of Blacks.


There’s method in this madness; the same madness, which animated lynchings during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Such repression served to instill fear and apprehension in the minds of millions. State terrorism turned people away from the Nationalist and self-determination road towards more acceptable and less critical roads of political acquiescence with dominant capitalist parties.

The State thus canalized Black thought into the sterile roads of the personal instead of the collective, into the parties of personality instead of the programmatic. It also de- radicalized Black response to state terrorism.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence of the governments CoInTelPro initiative, where the U.S. government functioned as both race police – and political police.

These actions of alienation of a population continued, ironically enough, under the play of Black votes (or should we say, ‘the ploy of Black votes?’) who voted overwhelmingly for Bill Clinton, who ran on ‘hope’ and ‘change’. ‘Change’ it might’ve been; but change doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Elected by a plurality of narrow percentages, Clinton, in the name of bipartisanship would prove the architect of a prison expansion boom that would be the beginnings of the mass incarceration that we see today.

This neoliberalism in politics required an operative of considerable skill, one in which Blacks, the most loyal and consistent voting bloc within the democratic coalition, voted for a candidate who would promote and vote for a series of positions against Black interests, while simultaneously voting for white anxieties, fears and longings for white supremacy.

Clinton demonstrated that expertise.

As the late historian Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) has written in his book The Twentieth Century:

‘despite his lofty rhetoric, Clinton showed, in his eight years in office, that he, like other politicians, was more interested in electoral victory than in social change.

To get more votes, he decided he must move the party closer to the center. This meant doing just enough for Blacks, women, and working people to keep their support, while trying to win over white conservative voters with a program of toughness on crime, stern measures on welfare, and a strong military.’ (Zinn, 428)

The neoliberal Clinton regime ushered in a program of repression that included the scuttling of habeas corpus via the anti-terrorism and effective death penalty act; the closing of the courthouse doors to prisoners via the Prison Litigation Reform Act; and the notorious 1996 Crime Bill, which spent billions on new prisons, and added some 60 new death penalties to the books.

The emblems of Clintonism that emerged after two terms in power were the empty factories and the overcrowded prisons – overcrowded with Black men and increasingly, women.

We referenced earlier Patterson’s “We Charge Genocide”; not that the charges in the book were written as a petition, and filed in the U.N charging the U.S. with genocide against Negros. The UN neither acted on, nor decided the petition. Rather, the media focused on Paul Robeson, and using charges he was a communist, demonized the petition, as he was one of its authors. For, in the public mind, to be communist was akin to being crazy.

Blacks, absent an independent politically representative entity, were – and are_ voiceless in spaces like the UN.

So, after many, many years, protest again rages against the repression of the state, a fuse lit by the killing of Mike brown in Ferguson, Missouri. These protests have spread across the country like kudzu in summer.

And now you see the corporate media trying to conspire to denounce Black Lives Matter as some kind of hate group engaged in an alleged ‘war on cops!’

But, here again, there’s some method to their madness. The point that the corporate media serves the capitalist state couldn’t be clearer in this instance. For the BLM throws words at cops who’ve beaten, shot and killed almost countless Blacks, Latinos – and even poor whites!

Guess how many people cops have killed in 2015?

Over 800. Over 800!

If this be war, the BLM is losing.

Over 150 years ago one of our most revered ancestors tried to convince his fellow abolitionists to continue to struggle. You see, the Civil War had ended, and slavery was legally dead.

Frederick Douglass warned them; “.[You and I, and all of us, had better wait and see what new form this old monster will assume, in what new skin this old snake will come forth.”

He was right then. He is right now.

We must be mindful of the old snakes in new skin amongst us.

The struggle continues!

End Note

Zinn, Howard. The Twentieth Century

(New York: MJF Bks, 1980-2003

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of Writing on the Wall.


The moment on BBC Question Time when the illusion that the Tories give a damn about working people was shattered once and for all

Rare it is when the real world manages to penetrate the cocoon in which our political system and political class exists – which is why when it does it gives us pause to think, really think, about the state of our society and the centrality of politics to it.

On the last episode of BBC Question Time the real world not only penetrated the aforementioned cocoon, it did so with the impact of a Cruise missile.

When the woman in the audience, identifying herself as a Tory voter at the last election, almost broke down in the process of skewering Tory minister Amber Rudd over the government’s scheduled cuts to tax credits, despite promising not to during the election campaign, she articulated the almost sociopathic cruelty of this Tory Government in a way that a mountain of written polemic and speeches never could.

If anybody was still in doubt when it comes to the human wreckage that David Cameron and his crew are intent sowing over the next five years, the pain that was etched on that poor woman’s face as she described the impossible financial predicament she is facing surely clarified the issue once and for all.

This Government has turned its guns on the poorest and most economically vulnerable in our society, intent on rolling over their lives like a juggernaut as it continues with an austerity programme which is not only economically illiterate, it violates every moral principle worth having. While cutting the income threshold above which tax credits end, from £6,420 to £3,850, may in their eyes help to bring the deficit down – which in fact it will not given the knock-on and detrimental impact on demand that will ensue – the human cost involved absolutely negates it. Millions of children living in low income families will have to go without even more than they already are, which in 2015 is nothing less than an indictment.

The idea that the introduction of the National Living Wage will counterbalance its impact on the three million families who will see their annual incomes cut by £1000 is risible. For starters, though it is being introduced in April next year the National Living Wage is being rolled out in incremental stages and the full £9.00 per hour rate will not come fully into force until 2020. Working families will fall through the gap created as a consequence, unable to pay their rent, utility bills, and still put food on the table. It is tantamount to punishing people for the crime of being in low paid employment when low paid employment is all there is.

In the perverse worldview of the likes of George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith, welfare is a measure of how flabby, soft, and morally deficient a given society is, ergo the larger the welfare bill the worse it is for the country and its economy. The truth, however, is the very opposite. Rather than a measure of how flabby, soft and morally deficient a given society is, the welfare system is an indicator of how caring, compassionate, and morally just it is.

In a civilised society the economy is a servant of the needs of the majority of its citizens, while in uncivilised Tory Britain the economy is a tyrant; its primary role not to protect the most vulnerable or those who fall on hard times, but to punish and hound them to the depths of despair.

But even placing to one side for a moment the human and moral aspects, economically these cuts will have the egregious effect of weakening, as mentioned, an already sluggish aggregate demand, thus deepening a crisis of under consumption among the least well off. Businesses will suffer as a consequence, particularly small and local businesses, which means unemployment will increase and economic growth will continue to stagnate.

Here let us be clear. This cut to tax credits, as with the rest of the Government’s austerity programme, has less to do with economics and more to do with an ideological commitment to the interests of the rich and most well off. Key to ensuring their interests are prioritised is cutting public spending in order to pay for the tax cuts that they do not need – for example, the cut to inheritance tax. Just so long as this small and narrow constituency are okay then all is right in Tory wonderland. And for proof that the wealthiest in Britain are doing well under the Tories, just take a look at the Sunday Times Rich List, which came out in April. It revealed that the richest people in Britain have seen their wealth double over the past decade, immediately begging the question: Economic crisis, what economic crisis?

The woman in the Question Time audience, almost reduced to tears with the pain and fear of what the cuts to tax credits will mean for her and her ability to provide for her children, provided us with a long overdue jolt over the human suffering which the Tories are doling out to millions of British families with such insouciance. “Shame on you!” she shouted at Amber Rudd on the panel, causing the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to cast her eyes down in the manner of someone who’d just been exposed for defending the indefensible.

In years to come, when people look back at this period in our history, and mull over the legacy of David Cameron’s government, this short but powerful protest against injustice will tell them everything they need to know.

Build Momentum behind Corbyn


Sign up here to get involved

Building Momentum is a vital step, to stabilise the support for the elected leader of the Labour Party. It is necessary to respect the degree to which Labour is a broad church, and that people are entitled to robustly debate and defend their views, but it is also necessary to ensure that any such debate is conducted in such as way as to keep the party and the movement united against our common enemy, the Conservative government.

Syria and the return of the pro regime change left

Remember the antiwar left’s position when it came to regime change in Iraq, which you will recall was ruled by a dictator who’d ruled the country with an iron fist for decades and who had proved ruthless in crushing any and all dissent to his leadership whenever and wherever it arose? Yet despite this, and even though Saddam had launched invasions against two of his neighbours, Iran and Kuwait, the left refused to budge an inch from a position of firm opposition to the war that was about to be a unleashed, understanding it as a cynical and transparent attempt to use the terrorist atrocity of 9/11 to reshape the Middle East and cement US hegemony throughout the region.

You remember that, don’t you?

You will also recall how we warned of the devastating and grievous consequences if the war went ahead; the fact it would result in a brutal and bloody civil conflict, lead to sectarian violence, the proliferation of terrorism, and societal collapse.

And we were right. And they were wrong. And they’ve been wrong ever since. And we’ve been right ever since.

By ‘they’ I’m not just referring to our own governments and their apologists and bag carriers btw. I am also referring to the pro regime left – the Eustonites, the Decents, the swivel eyed supporters of Western military intervention, believing it heralded a new Enlightenment, bringing civilisation and democracy to the benighted Arab masses. Think Hitchens, think Aaronovitch, think Cohen…their names will forever conjure up the word patsy.

Well sadly first the Libyan conflict and now the Syrian conflict has seen more names added to the aforementioned roll of dishonour. Richard Seymour, he of Lenin’s Tomb, has clearly gone all Guardianista native, joined by his American co thinker, Louis Proyect, who runs a discussion list, Marxmail, for embittered white leftists.

They want us to believe – employing the usual intellectual contortions in the process – that because, presumably unlike Saddam, Bashar al-Assad is ‘killing his own people’, and because, presumably unlike in Iraq, there is popular opposition to his regime, that the left should support regime change in Syria.

Finding a revolution in Syria today would be harder than finding Shergar. In fact, it would be impossible to find a revolution in Syria right now using the Hubble Space Telescope. Claims there is one have zero basis in reality – that’s zero, nada – yet regardless Seymour and Proyect et al. refuse to budge.

Just as the US and its allies used 9/11 as a pretext to go into Iraq, they have used the chaos and dislocation of the Arab Spring to topple more regimes. But while they may have succeeded when it comes to Libya, regime change in Syria has hit the buffers. The Syrian government and Syrian Arab Army have proved too strong to be overcome to easily. The army has not disintegrated, as it most certainly would have by now given the duration and intensity of the conflict if the government did not enjoy solid support among the Syrian people. In the latter stages of the conflict involving as it has levels of butchery and barbarism not seen since Cambodia in the 1970s, the stakes have been raised to involve not just the survival of Assad but of Syria itself, given the intent of ISIS and others to turn it into a mass grave.

Now, with Russia’s intervention, the West’s claims to be attacking ISIS have been exposed as a sham. In fact it has been reduced to the role of spectator as the Russians take over the international leadership role in the struggle against this modern equivalent of the Khmer Rouge. What we are witnessing in the process is a multipolar world is being born, which for the pro regime change left is of course a source of anguish and agony.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya…how many countries need to enter the abyss before the penny drops with these fakes? All we can say is that this democracy medicine they’ve been taking must be some strong shit if it leads to the kind of blurred vision with which they’ve been surveying events in Syria.

One can only hope they’re not driving.












Tim Roache writes about the exploitation of agency workers

Tim Roache


We live in exciting times as socialists in Britain, where the arguments we have made, for example, about the need for social justice, employment rights, and an investment led economic recovery, have been thrust into the mainstream by Jeremy Corbyn’s victory.

The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a think tank established in 2012 to act as a hub for left debate and discussion; and has benefitted from both trade unions support, and also a very impressive set of experts on the advisory panel. Class have produced – for example – an excellent briefing on the Tories proposed Trade Union bill, and a useful pamphlet on immigration. The type of research and popularisation of left ideas which Class is engaged with now has far greater potential, in conjunction with the Corbyn led Labour Party, than it did previously, and should be supported.

The elected chair of Class is Tim Roache, who is also Regional Secretary of Yorkshire & North Derbyshire Region of the GMB, and is currently standing as candidate for General Secretary of the union. Ballot papers will be going out to members shortly along with the GMB’s magazine.

I was delighted to see an excellent blog post by Tim on the Class website about the exploitation of agency workers in the Marks and Spencer UK supply chain, through abuse of the so-called Swedish Derogation, an issue that we have been campaigning about in Swindon. as Tim explains:

Over 75% of the workers at M & S Swindon are agency workers. The pay rates range from £8.57 an hour down to £6.50, even for workers who are stood side by side doing identical jobs.

There’s quite a supply chain to follow as well. The Swindon distribution centre, which is owned by M & S, is used to supply their stores. But M & S contract out the running of the facility to DHL. DHL in turn contract recruitment agency 24-7 to provide agency workers, who are given employment contracts in the name of Tempay Ltd – which is registered at the same address as 24-7.

In order to get round the Agency Workers Regulations, Tempay/24-7 have their workers on 7 hour a week permanent contracts. We all know what comes next. The workers who are contracted for 7 hours are routinely working a full 37 hours a week, in reality for DHL and M & S even though they are counted as permanent employees of Tempay when it comes to their pay. Many have been stuck in this trap for years, but because their contract is permanent, the Swedish Derogation applies.

Even worse, because only the 7 hours a week are guaranteed, the company can remove the offer of work at any time. They can even turn staff away when turn up for work at what they thought was the start of their shift, and leave them out of pocket for the week.

With a global revenue topping £10bn it’s hardly like M & S can’t afford to do the right thing, certainly not if we contrast the huge pay and bonus package that CEO Marc Bolland has been awarded with the plight of the Swindon workers.

M & S like to tell us about their values in their PR. They famously started out as an equal partnership between its founders, one a refugee who set up a stall with a borrowed £5. Today, they point to a Code of Ethics and Global Sourcing Principles, including respect for basic labour protections. In fact, their social and environmental programme, marketed as Plan A “because there is no Plan B” promised partnership at work and improvements for workers in the supply chain.

So they’re not just breaching the spirit of the law but of their own policies – surely what applies to overseas suppliers must apply at home. Yet the staff at Swindon are very much living in Plan B and these days, Marks gets paid less than Sparks.

That is why the GMB are now taking legal action on behalf of our members. This is a blatant misuse of the legislation to make a quick profit off the backs of a desperate, exploited workforce. It’s time to take a stand, and the GMB’s position is clear: equal pay for equal work. Nothing less will do



Corbyn’s first conference as leader proves Labour has entered a new chapter

The first Labour Party conference under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has to be considered a resounding success. In fact considering the circumstances in which it took place Corbyn and his shadow chancellor, John McDonell, played a blinder.

After just two weeks in post the newly elected Labour leader, whose election on an unprecedented mandate has been followed by a surge of new members joining the party, immediately found himself faced with a difficult political conundrum. The bulk of support for his leadership, albeit massive, is located outwith the PLP, while the bulk of opposition to it is located within the PLP.

Navigating this conundrum will be key to Corbyn’s success over the coming months, and will involve him utilising his base to bring pressure to bear on the PLP and shadow cabinet when the time is right. For despite his views on having an open debate and being willing to listen, there will have to come a point where the platform upon which he was elected must be reflected in party policy. Just as a ship cannot have a hundred captains, else it will merely sail round in circles, a potential party of government cannot be led from behind.
That said, though Jeremy is undoubtedly sincere in his intention of changing the style of leadership we have become accustomed to in our political leaders, it is hard to escape the feeling that his approach thus far is at least partly driven by his understanding that within the shadow cabinet and the PLP his authority remains weak at present. Placing a positive spin on this fact until it can be changed is therefore essential.

John McDonnell’s conference speech was a game changer. In it the new shadow chancellor planted Labour’s flag firmly on the side of working people and their long neglected needs. In so doing he announced a new and welcome chapter in the history of the party, ending the years in which it has been mired in triangulation and ideology-neutral spin.

Clamping down on corporate welfare and tax avoidance is not only eminently just, it ends the ignoble kowtowing to big business that has become entrenched in our culture. Rebooting the economy from the bottom up on the understanding that a lack of aggregate demand, measured in a crisis of under consumption among working people and the poor, is the only route to sustainable economic growth, is another essential departure from the status quo. When it comes to his intention to embark on borrowing for investment with a view to ending years of economic stagnation due to Tory austerity, this makes impeccable economic sense.

Borrowing for investment and borrowing for consumption are two entirely different things, which the shadow chancellor outlined.

A fantastic development is the creation of an economic advisory committee, consisting of some serious intellectual muscle, which will add credibility to Labour’s economic plans. The highlight of McDonnell’s speech came at the end, when he wrapped up with the words, “Another world is possible… solidarity.”

Hearing those words from a British shadow chancellor was something most of us would never have imagined. What a wonderful antidote to a tradition in which the economy has been viewed as a tyrant of the many in the interests of the few instead of a servant of the many instead of the few. It represents a truly remarkable step-change.

Jeremy’s speech was likewise immense. His core humanity and decency shone through with his reaffirmation of his determination to bring about change in the country’s political culture. Reasoned debate and argument rather than invective and personal abuse is his credo and judging by the response both within the hall and throughout the country, it is being welcomed rather than scorned.

The part of his speech which confirmed he will be no pushover was the rebuke he delivered to those who blocked the debate on Trident. In reminding conference that he has a mandate for his views on scrapping Trident, and in reaffirming his view that there is no moral or economic case for spending £100billion on renewing weapons of mass destruction, he set down a marker for a future struggle within the party.

Trident is not a deterrent to war it is a deterrent to peace. It is not about insuring Britain’s national security it is about wielding power. The money it will cost represents a horrendous waste and could be much better invested elsewhere. In addition, with his pledge to ensure that the jobs concerned will be replaced, it was disappointing to see jobs being used as a reason to oppose him on it. Politically, unless Labour falls into line with progressive opinion on Trident it will be a gift to the SNP in Scotland, ensuring that the party’s ability to regain the huge ground lost to the nationalists will be an even more difficult task than it already is.

There is no moral, ethical, or economic case for nuclear weapons in 2015. On this Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely correct.

Overall, though, it is a case of so far so good with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. He has been personally impressive, dealing with the inordinate pressure, scrutiny, and expectation over these past few months with grace, dignity, and strength. The right wing media’s relentless attempts to undermine and smear him have rebounded. While decency in a political leader is clearly something they have trouble dealing with, thankfully the tens of thousands flocking to the party have no problem dealing with it.

On the contrary, they represent a country that is desperate for it.