06:17 GMT +321 February 2019
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    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

    UK Labour Leader Corbyn Puts Caring Politics Before Tory Bullying

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    The leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who was swept to power after starting out as the 200-1 outsider, is set to use his first conference speech as leader, to call for a more caring kind of politics in contrast to the Conservative agenda.

    Corbyn is keen to build on his more relaxed and inclusive image as he strives to pull together a party that is divided over his leadership. In his 32 year career as a British lawmaker, he has consistently challenged the party line, standing firmly to his left-wing views. 

    Since being elected Corbyn has struggled to explain how his left-of-center views can be compatible with the largely center-ground policies of the Labour Party – as well as the fact that 90 percent of his Westminster colleagues did not want him as leader and many refused to sit in his shadow cabinet. 

    He failed to get his party’s annual conference to allow a debate on the replacement of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent, Trident, which he opposes, but which the majority of his party supports.

    In his first week as leader he struggled to reconcile his hard-left personal beliefs with the more moderate ones of his party on issues as important as Britain’s membership of the EU, nationalization of the utilities and education.

    Yet Corbyn is reaching instead for a more personal politics in his approach, which he believes will play to the hearts and minds of traditional left wing Labour supporters who feel that the party under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown went too far towards the center ground and abandoned its trade union and working-class roots.

    Bullingdon Bullies

    Corbyn will contrast his style with that of David Cameron’s party, who are often portrayed as upper-class toffs from Oxbridge who were all born with a spoon in their mouths and are keen to shrink the state, reduce benefits, kick the trade unions and privatize anything it can.

    Much is made of the fact that UK Prime Minister David Cameron, his Chancellor George Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson were all members of the exclusive Bullingdon Club in Oxford, famous for its lavish dining and drinking habits.

    In contrast, Corbyn is portraying himself as a man of the people, eschewing as he does ties and only getting around on a bicycle, not having a car. In his speech, he will call for a "kinder politics" for a more "caring society".

    He used his first Prime Minister’s Question Time to confront Cameron with questions submitted by his supporters, in order to end the personalized tit-for-tat traditionally associated with the weekly battering between prime ministers and opposition leaders in the House of Commons.

    Corbyn will also talk of his love of Britain, in a clear message that he sees a future with Scotland very much part of the union, following the referendum last year and the subsequent success of the Scottish National Party at the general election when Labour was routed north of the border.

    "It is because I am driven by these British majority values, because I love this country, that I want to rid it of injustice to make it more fair, more decent, more equal. It is the sense of fair play, these shared British majority values that are the fundamental reason why I love this country and its people."


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