The political process: extracted from Jeremy Corbyn’s 2016 conference address

We need an inclusive team from all political wings of our party and from every part of our country. That gives us the right foundation for the open debate our Party must now have about the future.

I am not leader who wants to impose leadership lines all the time. I don’t believe anyone of us has a monopoly on wisdom and ideas – we all have ideas and a vision of how things can be better. I want open debate in our party and our movement. I will listen to everyone. I firmly believe leadership is about listening.

We will reach out to our new members and supporters. Involve people in our debates on policy and then our party as a whole will decide.  

I’ve been given a huge mandate, by 59% of the electorate who supported my campaign. I believe it is a mandate for change. I want to explain how. First and foremost it’s a vote for change in the way we do politics, in the Labour Party and in the country. Politics that’s kinder, more inclusive. Bottom up, not top down, in every community and workplace, not just in Westminster. Real debate, not necessarily message discipline all the time. But above all, straight talking. Honest. That’s the politics we’re going to have in the future in this party and in this movement.

Social democracy itself was exhausted – dead on its feet. Yet something new and invigorating, popular and authentic has exploded. To understand this all of us have to share our ideas and our contributions. 

Our common project must be to embrace the emergence of a modern left movement and harness it to build a society for the majority, to lead local and national campaigns against injustice and the dreadful impact of Tory austerity, to work in local communities to make people’s lives better.

(This movement doesn’t) want to do things the old way 

Young people and older people are fizzing with ideas. Let’s give them the space for that fizz to explode into the joy we want of a better society. They want a new politics of engagement and involvement. Many of them are already active in their communities, in voluntary organisations, in local campaigns. And we’ve convinced them now to take a further step and join our Labour Party. What a tremendous opportunity for our Labour Party to be the hub of every community.

This is grown up politics, where people put forward different views, debate issues, take a decision go forward together. We look to persuade each other. On occasions we might agree to disagree. But whatever the outcome we stand together, united as Labour, to put forward a better way to the misery on offer from the Conservatives.

  • You may be born poor but you don’t have to stay poor. You don’t have to live without power and without hope.
  • You don’t have to set limits on your talent and your ambition – or those of your children.
  • You don’t have to accept prejudice and discrimination, or sickness or poverty, or destruction and war.
  • You don’t have to be grateful to survive in a world made by others.

No, you set the terms for the people in power over you, and you dismiss them when they fail you.” That’s what democracy is about.

My work has consisted of trying to stir up a divine discontent with wrong”. Don’t accept injustice, stand up against prejudice. Let us build a kinder politics, a more caring society together. Let us put our values, the people’s values, back into politics.




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