‘I fear for the future’: Corbyn concerned for NHS under the Tories
15 November, 2019 — By Emily Finch
Jeremy Corbyn speaking at his campaign launch at the Brickworks Community Centre on Monday night
JEREMY Corbyn says he “fears for the future” if Boris Johnson remains prime minister after the Christmas general election as he launched his campaign to get re-elected as MP for Islington North.
The Labour leader has spent the majority of the past month campaigning in marginal constituencies throughout the country and visiting families affected by devastating floods in Yorkshire and the Midlands.
But Mr Corbyn returned to Islington on Monday night where he was met by hundreds of party members at the Brickworks Community Centre in Crouch Hill where he promised that his government would leave a “legacy” rivalling the NHS through the introduction of a national education service.
In a wide-ranging speech that lasted more than 45 minutes, Mr Corbyn explained his vision for Brexit, the NHS, education and the environment. He was joined on stage by long-time friend and Hackney North MP Diane Abbott alongside former Grange Hill actress and comedian Francesca Martinez.
He told the crowd that “I fear for the future” if the general election resulted in Boris Johnson remaining in power.
He said that “whatever direction” the Tory leader Boris Johnson takes the country in terms of Brexit that it was “clearly in the direction of a trade deal with the United States”.
“It is a Trump trade deal. And last time I looked the USA didn’t do two-way trade agreements, they do one-way trade agreements, they use their power to impose conditions on the other country they’ve done the trade deal with, and they do very well out of it. Well, at least the American companies do very well out of it,” he said.
He warned that the country under Mr Johnson would see more cases of the NHS being opened up for sale, especially to American companies, alongside an erosion of rights for workers and consumers with the food industry becoming unregulated.
The election is about ending austerity and investment in people’s lives for the future, he said.
He said that he wanted to lead a country “that is united and never ever to be divided by racism, by discrimination and all that goes with that”.
And he warned that “racism only divides [and] those that promote racism know that division works. You divide the working class through racism. Who wins? The powerful, the rich and the Tory party.”
He re-committed to the introduction of a National Education Service which was first introduced in the Labour Party manifesto for the 2017 general election which calls for a “cradle-to-the-grave” education system that is free.
The National Education Service would be the “legacy of our government” and he compared this pledge to the introduction of the NHS by the post-Second World War Labour government.
He stressed the importance of Labour’s Green New Deal – a programme to de-carbonise the UK – because the “climate injustice is massive” with the poorest in the world currently suffering the most.
He said his Green New Deal would see the transfer of wealth from the richest to the poorest.
“It’s about investing in communities. It’s about creating those green industrial jobs which we think we can create 300,000 of in Britain, in energy and other things,” he said.
He ended his speech by warning that the alternative to a Labour government was a “political system dominated by cosy deals between [Nigel] Farage and Johnson. Leading us into the hands of Trump and the kind of politics that he is putting forward.”
Diane Abbott told the crowd that she backed Mr Corbyn as prime minister because of his “very genuine commitment to families” and the NHS.
“The other thing that will make Jeremy a truly transformative prime minister is his commitment to a massive shift of wealth and power from the few to the many,” she said.
Francesca Martinez praised Mr Corbyn for being a “kinder and fairer” leader than most.