30/09/2015

Jeremy Corbyn quotes Nigerian writer Ben Okri and pays homage to Keir Hardie at Labour conference


Here is the quote:

"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering".
Ben Okri



Labour has seen a significant membership surge since its leadership election




And he ended his speech by calling for:  

"a kinder politics, a more caring society".



Listen here:


Jeremy Corbyn: "Let us build a kinder politics, a more caring society together." #lab15

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Read more about his inspirations in this Guardian article:




Who are the inspirational figures quoted by Jeremy Corbyn in his speech?

References to Maya Angelou, Ben Okri and James Keir Hardie give us an idea of the Labour leader’s intended message

Link to the article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/29/jeremy-corbyn-quote-maya-angelou-ben-okri-keir-hardie

From an American civil rights activist to a Nigerian novelist and the last bearded man to lead Labour, Jeremy Corbyn peppered his speech to the party conference on Tuesday with quotes from three key inspirational figures. Here’s what he quoted:
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Corbyn took this quote from Maya Angelou’s third book of essays Letter to my Daughter. The remarks come in the opening comments of the book, which consists of 28 short essays and is dedicated to “the daughter [she] never had”. Angelou, who died in 2014 aged 86, became one of the most distinctive voices of black America, widely admired both as a civil rights activist, a friend of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and as an author of prose, poetry and polemics. She had been a teenage single mother, and worked as a dancer, cook, night club singer and actor before she wrote her first and most famous memoir. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was an unforgettable account of a childhood in racially segregated Arkansas. She was awarded more than 50 honorary degrees by universities across the world, wrote and and delivered a poem for the inauguration of Bill Clinton as president, and was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by Barack Obama.
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The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love.
This quote, from the Nigerian poet and novelist, Ben Okri, goes on in full to say “… and to be greater than our suffering”. Its origin is not easily identifiable but the proliferation of its use on inspiration quote sites such as brainyquote.com cements its popularity. Nigeria has inspired much of Okri’s work including his 1991 Booker-winning novel The Famished Road, and he is regarded as one of Africa’s leading writers. However, the writer born in 1959 was partly brought up and educated in England, coming first to London as an infant with his family, and returning to study literature at the University of Essex. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 and an honorary doctorate from Essex the following year. His work, which includes 10 novels and many collections of poetry, essays and short stories, is noted for the beauty and poetic intensity of his writing, and has been translated into 26 languages.

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 Ben Okri, Nigerian novelist and poet. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

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"My work has consisted of trying to stir up a divine discontent with wrong."


Here Corbyn turned to who he called “the last bearded man to lead Labour”, Keir Hardie, who held the party’s top position from 1906 to 1908. Various sources suggest Hardie delivered the soundbite around 1908, close to the time of his resignation. Corbyn chose to drop the words immediately preceding this quote: “I am an agitator.” Many have drawn comparisons between Corbyn and Hardie, who, as well as having a white beard, was similarily a vegetarian and a total abstainer from alcohol. Hardie wore a tweed suit instead of a black frock coat when elected an MP, and was born into a two-room cottage in North Lanarkshire in 1856. Formal schooling ended when he got his first job aged seven as a messenger boy, but he attended night school while working in a colliery and learned public speaking as an lay preacher. He became a miner’s leader, one of the founders and first elected leader of the Independent Labour party, a supporter of votes for women and on the outbreak of the first world war, an outspoken pacifist. In 2008, delegates at a Labour conference voted him Labour’s greatest hero, and Jeremy Corbyn was among the contributors to a new book on his relevance to 21st-century politics, What Would Keir Hardie Say?

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This politician, Jeremy Corbyn is all I've been waiting for in politics and here he comes from the 2015 UK!! After the latest general elections in May, I could not expect such an inspirational outcome. But here it is indeed.



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