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Grime4Corbyn reviews Labour manifesto
Grime4Corbyn launch eventPhotography Alfred Bronson

Grime4Corbyn reviews the Labour party’s transformative manifesto

As the youth music movement relaunches ahead of the general election, the organisers reflect on the integral pillars of Jeremy Corbyn’s party pledges

Amid the 2017 general election, the UK saw a political ‘youthquake’ – Jeremy Corbyn was met with football-like chants at Glastonbury, a “Corbyn Riddim” dropped, and some of grime’s biggest names came out in support of Labour as part of the Grime4Corbyn campaign.

Fast forward to November 2019 – one month before another election – and speculation began to arise as to whether grime was still backing the current Labour party leader. Reports in the Guardian suggested artists felt “used” by Labour, who “didn’t follow up” after the election two years ago. But as the campaign relaunches, Grime4Corbyn dismisses these claims.

“At the same time as certain media outlets were running stories about grime artists no longer supporting Labour, Wiley, Lethal B, Professor Green, and a number of other artists were vocally supporting Labour on social media,” the group tells Dazed now. “The scene has a diverse range of opinions – everyone in the grime scene isn’t going to think exactly the same on every issue – but the fact remains that the Tories clearly don’t care about our communities, and Corbyn does.”

Following the announcement of Grime4Corbyn’s return at Labour’s Arts for All policy launch, Stormzy came out in support of Corbyn, urging his millions of followers to register to vote, which caused a huge registration surge. “There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for (Corbyn),” the rapper wrote on Instagram, “for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving power back to the people.”

“The Tories clearly don’t care about our communities, and Corbyn does” – Grime4Corbyn

Last Friday (November 29), a number of grime artists took to the mic at Grime4Corbyn’s relaunch event, including Nadia Rose, Logan Sama, and Sharky Major. Four hours of back-to-back sets were live streamed online, in a digital take on the genre’s pirate radio roots. Speaking to Dazed after the event, performer Lady Shocker said: “we were close (in 2017) – this time we are determined to get Corbyn in”, adding that this year the group is “bigger and better”.

“The levels of political engagement among young people just seems to keep increasing,” Grime4Corbyn explains. “The youth vote was always going to be massive in this election – we’re super excited about building on the energy from 2017, but offering something different.”

The group continues: “We don’t think Labour has the golden bullet that will solve all the problems we face overnight – voting is just one small act, but is always part of a wider movement for social change. Protecting the NHS and ending austerity have been two of the major issues people are concerned with, and it’s through music and culture that these social issues can be communicated and discussed. There is so much at stake this election, and Corbyn’s Labour are offering real change for the country.”

Below, Grime4Corbyn zone in on their chosen key points from Labour’s manifesto, explaining the importance of each.


The NHS is being privatised through the back door, with companies making profits from taxpayer-funded healthcare. We need every penny of our health budget reinvested back into the service, not lining the pockets of billionaires. Labour will never sell our NHS, and will double the spending on mental health provision. According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 150 children are denied mental health services every day. Dealing with this problem will help us to identify related social problems, such as school exclusion, youth violence, and domestic abuse.”


“For many young people – particularly those living in large cities – accessing good quality, long-term housing at an affordable rate has felt like a pipedream. In cities like London, where homes are too often built for profit rather than people, council homes are rarely built and private rents are too often out of reach. The Tories introduced so-called ‘affordable’ housing, which can be up to 80 per cent of the market rate. For people living in gentrifying inner-London boroughs like Newham or Tower Hamlets, those kinds of rates are an insult. Labour will scrap these ‘affordable’ rents, built 150,000 council and social homes every year – the biggest council house building programme in more than a generation – and introduce rent controls for those renting from private landlords.”


“David Cameron scrapped EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance is a means-tested, fortnightly allowance for students who stay on at school or go to college) because he said it was “inefficient”, while his Lib Dem coalition partners went back on their promise to students and supported the tripling of university tuition fees. Jeremy Corbyn has consistently voted against tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA, recognising the importance of removing financial barriers to education and training. 

As well as bringing back EMA and abolishing tuition fees, Labour also understands that learning shouldn’t be about just passing exams every year, but maximising the potential of every child. If elected, the party will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school. They will introduce a more diverse curriculum, including topics such as Black History and the Holocaust. Labour will also scrap the stressful and unnecessary Key Stage One and Two SATs tests, so teachers are able to teach a wide range of topics, rather than having students learn to simply pass an exam.”