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Corbyn: ‘After this crisis, our society and economy must be very different’

If we value and support each other, the fabric of society can emerge from this current crisis much strengthened, writes Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn

10 April, 2020 — By Jeremy Corbyn

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn

MANY thanks to the Islington Tribune for inviting me to write this column at this difficult time for all of us.

I hope all readers and their loved ones are keeping safe and well.

At this time, we all have a duty to do what we can for the collective good. We must come together to look out for each other, our loved ones, our neighbours and our communities.

As the MP for Islington North, I would especially like to take this opportunity to thank all of you whose efforts will help us overcome this virus together.

Thank you to those working in Islington and beyond, in key jobs and professions, plus those organising in mutual aid groups to help your local community.

It is truly awe-inspiring to see so many people showing such compassion in the face of adversity, and to see everyone participating in the weekly claps to show our appreciation for carers, key workers and the NHS every Thursday.

Locally, we must do all we can to support our wonderful health workers on the front line, including the Whittington Hospital team who were already overstretched and are now coming under unimaginable pressure.

Thanks also go to the social care workers caring for vulnerable people.

Thanks also go to the civil servants putting in long hours, including our Islington Council local government workers, teachers, postal workers and so many others.

But when we talk about key workers, it’s not only those I have mentioned who keep society going.

In this crisis, we have all seen how jobs that are too rarely celebrated are essential to keep society going.

We have seen how important the refuse workers, the supermarket shelf-stackers, the delivery drivers, the cleaners, and so many others are to our economy and society.

We can also see the importance of those keeping media outlets and publications like the Islington Tribune going so we can stay informed and connected.

Going forward, all those workers need so much more than our thanks. They also need our respect and to be treated with dignity.

After this crisis, there is no doubt that our society and our economy will be, and must be, very different. Treating all working people fairly must be an essential part of this.

Readers will also know that last week I stood down as Labour Leader. I want to thank everyone in Islington for the support you have given the Labour Party, and me personally, over the last four-and-a-half years.

Our local Labour members have been an inspiration and I continue to learn so much from them.

I will continue to campaign on the issues and principles that have inspired me as an MP, as Labour Leader, previously as a councillor and as a Labour Party member (the latter for more than 50 years).

My voice will not be stilled. I’ll be out there campaigning for all my constituents and a better future.

Campaigning on many of these issues – such as properly resourcing our NHS, social care and other essential public services, tackling homelessness, and ending precarious, insecure work to name just a few – will be more important than ever in the months and years ahead.

We are midway through a crisis unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. Not only has the coronavirus outbreak exposed vulnerabilities in our economy and society, it will also have a lasting impact on how we live afterwards.

We have seen just how dependent we are on each other and on the many ties of mutual aid that, woven together, make up the fabric of our society.

If we value and support each other, we can emerge from this crisis with that fabric strengthened.

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