A passionate Corbyn supporter speaks out against the ‘loony’ label

Richard Coles joined the Labour Party for the first time in April this year at the age of 51.  Richard is a secondary school teacher and lives in the North East of England. He joined the party because of the progressive direction that Jeremy Corbyn and his team have taken with the Labour Party.  

Richard is passionate about social justice and wrote the letter below to the editor of The Times newspaper questioning an interview that Matthew Parris, a Times columnist, gave on Channel 4 News. Richard is angry at the ruling elites and is frustrated with the political systems and at how politics is conducted. The letter is a fantastic rebuttal of those who persist in calling Corbyn supporters ‘loonies’ or such like derogatory terms.  

On Channel 4 News this week, interviewed by Jon Snow, Matthew Parris suggested that Jeremy Corbyn winning the pending leadership election would be a good thing as the Labour Party would split and the loonies would be gone.

I find his glib use of this offensive term just that – offensive. To paraphrase John Cleese, why should I be tarred with the epithet loony merely because I have a desire for radical political and social change?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a country in which 1 million families don’t need food banks?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a country where housing is affordable?

How is it ‘loony’ to want an end to the choking stranglehold of austerity?

How is it ‘loony’ to want an inclusive society where the elite 1% do not prosper at the expense of the 99%?

How is it ‘loony’ to want an economic agenda that enables all regions of the UK to have a healthy and balanced economy?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a country in which employment rights are fair, balanced and just?

How is it ‘loony’ to want energy policies that are sustainable, not in thrall to or in the clutches of fossil fuel corporations?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a minimum wage that is actually sufficient to be a genuine ‘living wage’?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a welfare system that supports rather than penalises the old, infirm, vulnerable and needy?

How is it ‘loony’ to want our children to be taught by qualified teachers?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a fully funded, not part-privatised, NHS service?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a system of social care that affords and provides dignified and necessary caring to our elderly and sick?

How is it ‘loony’ to want an education strategy that does not allow private corporations to siphon off £millions in executive salaries?

How is it ‘loony’ to want towns and cities with active, well-resourced libraries?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a government that will seek to collect taxes fully and close tax loopholes for the mega rich?

How is it ‘loony’ to want to invest in housing with the resultant employment and economic activity it brings?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a government that does not sell off national assets at bargain basement prices to city traders?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a fair transition period for pension reform for women born in the 1950s?

How is it ‘loony’ to want a change in education policy so that school grounds are not sold off to property developers?

How is it loony to want a more just and equal society? 

Richard Coles


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