End cycle of hate with talks over Syria, says Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Labour members in the South West at the Bristol Conference.
Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Labour members in the South West at the Bristol Conference.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has told Labour members in the South West that Britain should work through the United Nations to try to bring a negotiated end to the Syrian civil war and end the “murderous rule” of ISIS. And he said “we must not be drawn into responses that feed a cycle of violence and hate.”

Jeremy was speaking at the Labour South West regional conference in Bristol, where new members joined long-serving activists to hear him set out what he called the “three pillars” of his leadership. They are:

• A new politics building from the ground up to bring power closer to the people and give grassroots Labour members a real say in policy
• Anti austerity economics and “socialism for the 21st century.”
• A different kind of foreign policy, based on the idea that “war is absolutely a last resort.”

Negotiated settlement

Somerset Labour's Andy Lewis (Councillor for Minehead) meets Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn in Bristol
Somerset Labour’s Andy Lewis (Councillor for Minehead) meets Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn in Bristol

Jeremy said: The dreadful Paris attacks make the case for a far more urgent effort to reach a negotiated settlement of the civil war in Syria and the end to the threat from Isis. It is the conflict in Syria and the consequences of the Iraq war which have created the conditions for Isis to thrive and spread its murderous rule.

Britain has been at the centre of a succession of disastrous wars that have brought devastation to large parts of the wider Middle East. They have increased, not diminished, the threats to our own national security in the process.

That in no way excuses or mitigates the responsibility of those who carry out these indefensible outrages, whether in Paris a week ago or in the last 24 hours in Bamako, Mali, or Beirut or Ankara. Absolutely nothing can justify attacks on civilian anywhere.”

He said British people must be protected from terrorist attacks and condemned Tory plans for cuts in the police, saying: “After Paris there must be no cuts to the police front line. To press ahead (with cuts) would be to gamble with our security.


CorbynistasOn the economy he called for a re-industrialisation of Britain for the digital age, driven by a National Investment Bank. He said:

Austerity is not an economic necessity, it is a political choice. George Osborne’s economics is a house built on sand. Rampant inequality has become the great scandal of our time. “We are not backward looking – we want a new socialism for the 21st century. Our aim is to take back power from the one per cent and put it in the hands of our communities.”

Bridgwater CLP was represented at the conference by Pat Warren, Kathy Pearce and Andy Lewis. Speakers during the day included deputy leader Tom Watson, shadow cabinet members Kerry McCarthy and Hillary Benn, MEP Clare Moody and the Labour candidate for Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.

After his speech, Jeremy stayed on to talk to delegates and conference visitors. The West Somerset Labour secretary, Andy Lewis, said: “Jeremy clearly wants to hear the views of all Labour members. I asked him about rural policy and it is clear that he understands our fears about issues such as inadequate public transport and the Tory attack on social housing.”

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Maureen Smith
Maureen Smith
8 years ago

Thanks to Andy for this prompt report. Jeremy is views are thought through and right. In a recent Radio 4 programme about her career as a foreign correspondent, Kate Adie made the point that western bombing from the air always resulted in increased roadside bombs and attacks from which ever extremist group was active at the time. Bombing will drive more refugees to leave Syria and more young people from Western Europe to join Isis, as it exactly fits their myth of an ideal Islamic culture being attacked by western infidels. Will the UK be willing to rebuild the country.
The elephant in the room is Saudi Arabia, who are thought to be partly funding Isis (who share their extreme religious beliefs) and with whom the Tories are keen to do business, including selling them arms.

Christina M Lawson
Christina M Lawson
8 years ago

I have waited a long time to hear a Labour leader talking the sense that Jeremy talks. One of the biggest dangers to our country is the increasing gap between rich and poor, just as one of the biggest dangers to the world is reliance on fossil fuels leading to more climate change. I admire Jeremy’s attempts to involve ordinary people in putting forward their concerns, and for having the courage to state the wrongness of relying on military might. Please keep us thinking!

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