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Jeremy Corbyn: 'When you create cohesive atmosphere of doing things together, everything becomes possible'

The Labour Party leadership candidate gave a speech at Ealing Town Hall before answering questions from the public

Ealing's own council leader has said it would be an "electoral disaster" if Jeremy Corbyn became the next Labour Party leader - but that didn't stop hundreds of people queuing to hear him speak this week.

The Islington North MP visited the borough for a Q&A evening at Ealing Town Hall on Monday (August 17), delivering a speech to the public detailing what he stands for.

Ealing Council leader Julian Bell, however, previously said he would not be backing the politician, adding: "We need to go forward to 2020 not back to the 1980s.

Mr Corbyn talked about his vision to bring together people in a positive atmosphere, about being a team, about the campaign - which he says has over 10,000 volunteers signing up - attracting the type of people who want something different.

He told tales of different public meetings he's been at around the country and how, when he has looked in the audience, he has seen a multitude of people from all kinds of backgrounds: "They were young, they were old, they were black, white, Hindu, Muslim, no faith..." The list continued.

Mr Corbyn said: "This campaign began because we lost the election, which we did because we did not offer an alternative to austerity.

"Had we been elected we would still be making cuts and the poorest and most vulnerable in our society would still be suffering.

"Do we think it's right that money should be flowing into London to buy luxury homes that are empty while people are sleeping on the streets?

"Do we think it's right our young people are leaving university with thousands of pounds of debt?

"That crisis was not brought about because we were spending too much on skills, hospitals, or paying the refuse and recycling collector.

"In a decent society, we all care for each other. Is it so complicated to adopt that simple, humanitarian approach?

"Away with the market opportunities in health."

The candidate discussed what he called "the horrors of Britain," saying: "When we leave tonight, we will walk home and meet people who are homeless, who are begging, who are going through a mental health crisis. All of us could be in that situation ourselves."

He went on to discourage the term "benefit scroungers," saying everybody in society matters.

Mr Corbyn said: "Our campaign is about asserting these old values in our movement- the equalities and human rights act, the equal pay act, the NHS, health and safety and welfare at work act.

"We have got to develop an economy that works for all. We don't do that by cutting back expenditure... we have to develop the skills of your community.

"It's time we got a government that was serious about collecting taxes and closing the loopholes."

On wars, he said we have to have an approach that is not based on military strength.

One member of the audience questioned the candidate about university fees, asking if they are scrapped will current students still face debts?

Mr Corbyn recognised this as a problem and said that's what they are trying to work out now.

A member of the Southall Black Sisters voiced a concern about the rise of Islamophobia and anti semitism in society, and Mr Corbyn said there was a need to ensure schools are encouraging the diversity of faiths and making sure people are not isolated.

The meeting, chaired by Raj Gill, Ealing Unite Community Branch Secretary, saw a number of other local speakers too.

 

North Greenford councillor Theresa Byrne said: "For the first time in a long time we have a politician standing for leadership who does say things people recognise as their stories.

"We need to have an education system that encourages real learning, not an exam factory that destroys the love of learning.

"As a councillor, I know how much money has been cut from our budget. Time and time having to say we can't, we have not got the money.

"Austerity is a political philosophy, there are no economics behind it.

"Each of Jeremy Corbyn's policies speak to the inner heart of yours."

Labour's Harrow councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick talked about how the party did many "wonderful" things when they were in power, but also some bad things in her eyes, such as cutting benefits and introducing the bedroom tax.

Another speaker, Declan Seachoy, a politics graduate from Manchester University, said Mr Corbyn's "refusal to participate in name calling and negativity is a true breath of fresh air".

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