Oh, Jeremy Corbyn

So there you are Jeremy Corbyn.

JeremyCorbyn

When Labour-run London councils were accused of turfing tenants off estates in the name of regeneration – you were working on a plan that brought them back home.

Weren’t you?

As welcome as that conference pledge is – it should have come sooner.

Haringey…Hackney…Lambeth…Southwark…

Over 100 estates in London are targeted for full or partial demolition.

At conference you promised tenants, lulled into limbo by regeneration, could come ‘home’ to the same site on the same terms.

Regeneration, you said, will be for the benefit of local people – not property developers and speculators.

Those ‘local people’ have long been looking for someone to care.

Because the Tories don’t.

With quick-dry crocodile tears over Grenfell spent, their swivel eyes – blindsided by hindsight – fixate on Brexit and ‘the triumph of the will’.

In the real world, Labour councils in London are effectively handing housing policy to developers – with the lives of estate tenants held loosely as collateral.

A fringe meeting at your party conference called for resident ballots whenever estate regeneration is proposed.

It’s a start.

And there’s momentum (with a small ‘m’ ) in acknowledging housing as no longer an ideological fight between left and right, but a struggle to balance social constituencies with concepts of community.

Striking that balance should be what keeps councils honest as to what and who regeneration is actually for.

Fertile territory for your ‘new politics’ to flourish.

It would be too easy to see those councils castigated as last redoubts of ‘zombie’ Blair-ism – the bleed from Labour’s soul.

Bluntly, affected tenants don’t care for such distinctions.

They care about that place within a concept of community.

A place where their need for the most basic, most essential of services is not perpetually put off as someone else’s responsibility, but becomes a catalyst for connected ethics.

Take inspiration in those Lambeth residents who, with a simple series of still pictures, dissolved their council’s image of an estate on its uppers and said: “Over to you”.

Take that approach to ‘the street’ and you’re hitting home.

The politics of perception are judged in reflection Jeremy.

When future generations wonder, as they will, how we ever let such a motley menagerie of mendacious malcontents anywhere near our parliament – let alone government – are you to be the man in the mirror?

With the writing on the wall, the electorate needs more than a human placard.

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