LABOUR leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn has said critics who have resorted to personal abuse and attacks on his character are “nervous about the power of democracy”.
He attacked the “politics of celebrity” on the day that former prime minister Tony Blair warned Mr Corbyn’s supporters are driving Labour towards “annihilation”, and leadership rival Yvette Cooper said he is offering “old solutions to old problems”.
North Islington MP Mr Corbyn said Labour is paying the price for Mr Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and pledged never to go to war “on behalf of whatever capricious US president happens to be in office at that time”.
He also issued a warning to the rich and powerful guarding their tax breaks that his campaign is offering “something very different and it’s gaining amazing levels of support”.
Mr Corbyn brought his campaign trail to Scotland today, beginning in Aberdeen before moving on to Dundee, and then to Edinburgh and Glasgow on Friday.
In a speech to supporters in Aberdeen, he said: “This is an election within the Labour Party, it is a debate, but it’s also about the kind of politics that we want in our society.
“It’s not a question of us as a movement or as a party looking back, it’s a question of us learning the lessons of those people that gave up and suffered so much for all of us and take it forward.
“People aren’t interested in the ‘yah boo sucks’ abusive politics.
“They’re interested in how they can mould and develop society in the future. Democracy is complicated, difficult, but very exciting.
“I feel that some of those people that resort to personal abuse, name calling and all that are probably a bit nervous about the power of democracy.
“Probably 600,000 people will be taking part in this process in the next month. What is there not to like about that?
“That excitement, that mandate for change, peace, economic and social justice. That mandate for real democracy and real empowerment in our society.
“This campaign is not about, and never will be about, personal abuse, name calling, calling into question the character of other people or other candidates.
“I believe many people, particularly young people, are totally turned off by the politics of celebrity, personality, personal abuse, name calling and all that kind of thing.
“Let’s be adult about it. Let’s have a serious debate, serious discussion, serious proposals put forward.
“The poor, the vulnerable, the weak deserve a political system that works for them and helps them.
“The rich, the powerful that benefit so much from our political system, don’t care what kind of name calling goes on providing their tax breaks go on.
“I’ve got news for them. We’re offering something very different in this campaign and it’s gaining amazing levels of support.”
He added: “We’re all paying the price of Iraq. The Labour Party has paid the price of Iraq.
“I’m determined that we will learn that lesson, and we will not go to war on behalf of whatever capricious US president happens to be in office at that time.
“We won’t go to war on the basis of a lie, we won’t go to war knowing that one war leads to another and another and another.”