Our second contributor is Hannah Webb, a 23 year old student living in north London,
What do you think is the most significant thing Jeremy Corbyn has achieved as leader of the Labour Party?
I think that one of the most significant things that Jeremy Corbyn has achieved as leader so far is his emphasis on democracy, pushing against the top-down approach to democracy which the Labour right pushes within the party, and emphasising the need for grassroots and actively participative democracy, both within the Labour Party, and in wider society. Alongside emphasising the need for control by the membership of the Labour Party, in recent proposals Corbyn emphasised the need to democratise the legislature; replacing the House of Lords with an elected second chamber and offering greater power to local communities.
He also presented plans in the context of democratisation to strengthen trade union rights, with greater collective and individual bargaining rights, and mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250+ employees. His focus on democracy is particularly significant as it would be more than a simple policy change, and could result in strengthened popular pressure against austerity, holding any future Labour governments to account, and setting the framework for widespread better visions of what society can and should be like.
As a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, is there anything you would change about the way he does things in his second year as leader?
In his second year as leader, Jeremy Corbyn should bring together his helpful rhetoric of ‘distribution of wealth’ and of a society ‘for the millions, not the millionaires’ into a more explicit discussion and advocacy of class struggle; making it clear that the wealth of millionaires is built off the exploitation of the working class. Greater investment in the NHS, or rent controls would make a significant difference to quality of life for the vast majority of people, but socialism cannot be won through policy change, no matter how good the policies are; instead an entire transformation needs to take place. His plans for ‘a democratic revolution in our politics, communities and workplaces’ would be exciting and transformative, but for a socialist revolution to take place, much more than legislation is needed.