What showing up for Western Sahara says about Jeremy Corbyn

God, I’m enjoying seeing all the Blairite New Labour people writhing over Jeremy Corbyn’s success in the leadership campaign. I know Jeremy. He has been – by far – the most steadfast supporter of the liberation of the Western Sahara in the British parliament, for decades. I love him for that alone. The Western Sahara must unfortunately be close to the bottom of the list of fashionable international issues in the world. The celebs and self-promoting politicians make a big show of their concern for Aung San Suu Kyi, Bring Back our Girls, or Kony 2012. He shows up for a group of people who have been left to rot, forgotten, in refugee camps in the Sahara desert for forty years. The Western Sahara campaign in the UK is, it must be said, a small group of people but my word they are dedicated and determined. Jeremy has turned up to meetings on rainy Tuesday nights in crappy meeting halls in untrendy parts of London while other Labour pols are dining at Granito plotting their careers or angling to get onto “Question Time”. He has made the long, difficult and uncomfortable journey to the camps themselves, I don’t know how many times. That says a lot to me about this man’s priorities and his concern for those who are suffering the most – and they, not the “middle class” – should always be government’s first concern. This man shows up. He’s also a nice bloke who treats everyone politely and respectfully. I don’t remember these qualities among the Labour ministers I encountered when they came to power.

Instead of mocking Corbynism those on Labour’s centre-left should develop a coherent political vision of their own
theguardian.com|By Owen Jones
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