He took a floundering political party that had badly lost its way after being hijacked by right-wing neoliberals and steered it back to its socialist roots.
It was exactly the right thing to do, triggering a massive membership boost that made Corbyn’s Labour the largest political organisation in western Europe.
Sadly, elements on the right wing of the party did not accept Labour’s shift back to its roots, and did everything they could to undermine him.
They launched an attempt to unseat him with a no-confidence vote that only led to him consolidating his position as leader with a high majority than before.
They lied that he supported terrorists.
And they plagued him with unfounded claims that he was an anti-Semite and had made the party a safe haven for anti-Semites.
But it was Labour’s loss in the 2019 general election – caused by the party’s support for a vote-losing Brexit policy put forward by Keir Starmer – that led to Mr Corbyn’s resignation as leader.
Starmer went on to stand as a candidate to lead the party, and there are fears that – if he is successful – he’ll drag Labour back to the dark days of neoliberal ‘New Labour’.
One person who understands the hatred that Mr Corbyn had to endure is his wife, Laura Alvarez.
She told the Mirror: “Jeremy’s record in parliament, whether as a backbench MP or as the Leader of the Labour Party, is testament to his belief in a world where, social justice, human rights and peace are valued more greatly than money and greed. As an MP he has always sought to protect the most vulnerable.
“It has been incredibly hard for me to watch my husband vilified and to hear his words twisted by his political opponents and some in the media.
“It has been even harder to watch him be attacked by his own Party.
“The brutal irony is that if we had pulled together, we would have been ready to lead the country rather than suffer more austerity under the Tories.”
That’s true – to the shame of the right-wingers who are trying to pervert Labour once again.
Movie director Ken Loach – who has himself been falsely vilified as an anti-Semite after he declared his support for Mr Corbyn – told iNews: “In 2017, Corbyn and McDonnell came within a whisker of being in government. This would have meant cutting back the power of capital. Far from continued expansion and finding new ways of exploiting working people – public services and utilities, like health, energy, water and transport, would no longer be sources of profit for private companies. And that might be only the beginning. A Labour government could be the threat of a good example.
“Corporate power and its political allies, including the right-wing of the Labour Party, launched a campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and the possibilities he represented. We could see the attacks coming but failed to deal with them.
“Corbyn, a man of peace, was branded a friend of terrorists, a life-long anti-racist he was called an antisemite. He was said to be either too weak or too controlling, too old, wanting a return to the seventies, or an unrealistic dreamer. His supporters were made out to be fanatics by the likes of the Daily Mail. The liberal press and the broadcasters joined in, from a respectful distance of course.
“Labour MPs were allowed to insult and humiliate Corbyn, when there should have been a clear call for open selection of candidates at every election. If the BBC wanted someone to attack Corbyn, no need to ask a Tory, get in a Labour backbencher instead.
“Throughout this, the mainly young supporters stayed loyal, and they saw that Corbyn represented the only viable future for them.
“We see now that the leadership should have been much tougher in dealing with those determined to destroy it. When the history is written, those who led the vilification of Corbyn will rightly be excoriated.”
Mr Corbyn’s senior policy advisor Andrew Fisher, writing in iNews, said the coronavirus is proving his boss’s policies right. He stated: “This crisis is proving policies are more important, and proving Corbyn to have been right on so many of the policies he chose to highlight in his leadership.
“First and foremost, it is clear that Corbyn was right when he said, from his 2015 leadership campaign onwards, “austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity”. Even before the scale of the coronavirus outbreak had been accepted in 10 Downing Street, the spending taps had been turned on – with new Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing bundles of cash that his own party had been denouncing when John McDonnell proposed them just three months earlier.
“The coronavirus outbreak has shown that when there is a crisis, money can be found – just as it was to bail out the banks in 2008/09. But the damage done by austerity is plain to see: our NHS went into this crisis after the longest funding squeeze in its history, with 100,000 staff vacancies and with 17,000 fewer beds than in 2010.
“The coronavirus crisis has also made clear that people need stronger rights at work. The loss of trade union representation across so many workplaces is one of the main reasons why so many workers need benefits just to makes ends meet or to pay the rent, while their bosses amass grotesque wealth.
“Many recently laid-off workers are also now confronting the shambles that is our benefits system… when, or rather if, people do get through to make a claim they will be shocked at the poverty rates at which our benefits are paid. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock candidly admitted he could not live on the £94 per week paid through statutory sick pay. Yet those who have lost their jobs will be receiving just £73 per week on Jobseeker’s Allowance. Labour had been campaigning scrap Universal Credit, raise benefit levels, end sanctions, and trial Universal Basic Income.”
Let’s finish with a few comments from people on Twitter:
Its Jeremy Corbyn’s final day as the leader of the Labour Party. I thank him for giving us hope again. Sadly, many party members have been conned in to thinking the best person to replace him and win back the heartlands is a man called Sir in a sharp suit.
It’ll never happen.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) April 3, 2020
The media campaign against Corbyn's Labour was so vicious that our activists were assaulted in the street because of it.
They painted us as thugs – as well as painting a target on our backs.
I want to live in a democracy, so I'll keep fighting for it.#ThankYouJeremy
— Chris Henry #ThankYouJeremy (@Socialist_Chris) April 3, 2020
I've been a loyal Labour member for cc35 years, & campaigned in every GE under every Leader *sigh*.
For just 5 years I had the privilege of working with a Leader whose values I share.
Thank you @jeremycorbyn.
We'll miss your integrity and soft power. pic.twitter.com/t0w0v4syo2
— Emma Dent Coad (@emmadentcoad) April 3, 2020
If Jeremy Corbyn started a new party I'd join it in a heartbeat. Who feels the same? #ThankYouJeremy
— Chelley Ryan – I ❤️ our NHS! (@chelleryn99) April 3, 2020
You have been our hope and our joy. You have transformed our party from a lickspittle shadow of itself to a real social movement for the many, not the few, and made us proud to be Labour members again.
We salute you, Jeremy Corbyn. You are our pride.#ThankYouJeremy pic.twitter.com/MmsxBXZRHD
— The Prole Star (@TheProleStar) April 3, 2020
Last word goes to Mr Corbyn himself:
As I stand down as Leader, I also want to thank you for all the support you have given the party, and me personally, over the last four and a half years.https://t.co/dE3mnKQHwz
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 3, 2020
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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