By Marcus Johns
Thousands of people spilled out into Cathedral Gardens in Manchester City Centre last night, as the CWU (Communication Workers’ Union) People’s Post event’s capacity of a thousand fell far short of the number of attendees to the free event.
Cathedral Gardens, between the National Football Museum and Manchester Cathedral, was packed with people as speeches were given from a stage with a gazebo over it on Hanging Ditch, behind the cathedral.
Speakers including Owen Jones; Abby Tomlinson—arch-nemesis of Louise Mensch at only 17 years old and creator of #Milifandom; Natalie Bennett; and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn defied protocol and spoke to the crowds in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference.
Corbyn opened his speech addressing the crowd directly: “Look around you, here outside the cathedral in Manchester. We are all basically normal, decent, ordinary human beings who want to see a society and a world that actually does care for all. That is the fundamental principle of what the Labour party is all about.”
Most speakers were whooped and cheered as they criticised Conservative policy and spoke in favour of the new kind of politics promoted by the Labour leader. There was however slight dismay expressed by Labour MPs such as Rachel Reeves on Twitter over Terry Pullinger’s (Deputy General Secretary of CWU) earlier statement that Jeremy Corbyn’s election and the Corbynmania following “almost makes you want to celebrate the fact Labour lost the election.”
The quote came as part of a wider attack on the neo-liberal consensus that began with Thatcher and his claims that Jeremy Corbyn’s election has “blown [the consensus] wide open and is one of the greatest things I have seen in all my year in a trade union,” was met with rapturous applause.
Owen Jones was also met with loud applause—though he was heckled and booed whilst admitting: “I love London,” and talking about leaving the North. He laughed off the hecklers by asking his mum to be quiet.
The event took place to support the People’s Post campaign; a campaign that aims to introduce new legislation to ensure daily deliveries to all addresses in the United Kingdom are safeguarded, an end to the promotion of zero-hours minimum wage roles in the postal service, and more safeguards for a statutory universal postal service at standardised pricing.
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