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In Upset, Socialist Jeremy Corbyn Elected as U.K. Labour Leader on Antiwar, Pro-Refugee Platform

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Longtime British socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has just been elected leader of the opposition Labour Party after running on an antiwar, anti-austerity platform. When Corbyn first announced his candidacy three months ago, oddsmakers put his odds of winning at 200 to one. But on Saturday, Corbyn won in a landslide, receiving 59 percent of the vote. He will succeed Ed Miliband, who quit after the Conservatives retained power in May’s election. Corbyn addressed supporters at a victory celebration on Saturday. “Let us be a force for change in the world, a force for humanity in the world, a force for peace in the world, and a force that recognizes we cannot go on like this, with grotesque levels of global insecurity, grotesque threats to our environment all around the world, without the rich and powerful governments stepping up to the plate to make sure our world becomes safer and better,” said Corbyn during his victory speech. Corbyn then left the celebration to attend the #RefugeesWelcome rally in London.

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Video squareStorySep 14, 2015“A Political Insurrection in Britain”: Tariq Ali on Election of Jeremy Corbyn as New Labour Leader
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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show in Britain, where a longtime socialist MP, Jeremy Corbyn, has just been elected leader of the opposition Labour Party after running on an antiwar, anti-austerity, pro-refugee platform. When Corbyn first announced his candidacy three months ago, oddsmakers put the odds of his winning at 200 to one. But on Saturday, Jeremy Corbyn won in a landslide, receiving 59 percent of the vote. He’ll succeed Ed Miliband, who quit after the Conservatives retained power in the May elections. Corbyn addressed supporters at a victory celebration on Saturday.

JEREMY CORBYN: This week, the Tories will show what they’re really made of. On Monday, they have the trade union bill, designed to undermine even the ILO conventions and shackle democratic unions and destroy another element of democracy within our society. We have to oppose that. They’re also pushing the welfare reform bill, which will bring such misery and poverty to so many of the poorest in our society. I want us, as a movement, to be proud, strong and able to stand up and say, 'We want to live in a society where we don't pass by on the other side of those people rejected by an unfair welfare system; instead, we reach out to end the scourge of homelessness and desperation that so many people face in our society.’ We’re strong enough and big enough and able to do that. That is what we’re about.

There are many, many issues we face, and many people face desperation in other parts of the world. And I think it’s quite incredible the way the mood in Europe has changed over the past few weeks of understanding that people fleeing from wars, they are the victims of wars, they are the generational victims of war, they’re the intergenerational victims of war, end up in desperation, end up in terrible places, end up trying to gain a place of safety, end up trying to be—exercise their refugee rights. They are human beings just like you, just like me. Let’s deal with the refugee crisis with humanity, with support, with help, with compassion, to try to help people who are trying to get to a place of safety, trying to help people who are stuck in refugee camps, but recognize going to war creates a legacy of bitterness and problems.

Let us be a force for change in the world, a force for humanity in the world, a force for peace in the world, and a force that recognizes we cannot go on like this, with grotesque levels of global inequality, grotesque threats to our environment all around the world, without the rich and powerful governments stepping up to the plate to make sure our world becomes safer and better, and those people don’t end up in poverty, in refugee camps, wasting their lives away when they could be contributing so much to the good of all of us on this planet. We are one world. Let that message go out today from this conference center here in London.

AMY GOODMAN: After his victory speech, Jeremy Corbyn went to the #RefugeesWelcome rally in London, where he called on the British government to do more to help refugees seeking safety in Europe.

JEREMY CORBYN: The refugees move on and on. And there are whole generations of refugees around the world that are victims of various wars. So those desperate people in camps in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Libya and so many other places, desperate people trying to cross into Turkey and other places, they are all, in a sense, victims of wars. So, surely, surely, surely, our objective ought to be to find peaceful solutions to the problems of this world.

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“A Political Insurrection in Britain”: Tariq Ali on Election of Jeremy Corbyn as New Labour Leader

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