Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Today's Email From My Labour Party Branch

Steve Ballard, the secretary of my local Labour Party Branch sent out this email today: below it is my response.

As a current officer in our branch, I feel moved to say that we all have differences of view, but that in amongst what is a clearly a time of tumult, we must create spaces where people can share their views, collaborate and debate. All with mutual respect and an awareness that we do share common goals around equality and social justice, power for the many not the few, tolerance and solidarity... (I hope we do!)
2.Jeremy is clearly a decent, principled politician but it's time for him to step aside. The Labour movement is not a protest group. We should be seeking to return to power and then getting on with improving the lives of the millions of people in this country who need our help.
Jeremy has raised some excellent points during his time as leader. In fact, I think we'll look back and recognise how his time in office helped rebalance the party between idealism and pragmatism.
But, ultimately, politics is about leadership. When you're a representative of the people you can't just be a conduit for a protest movement; you actually have to lead. Jeremy is simply not a leader. We need a leader who will listen to all sides and unite the party. To take the fight to the Tories and guide us to election victory.
Many people clearly still support Jeremy. But many do not. I fear for our party if this situation continues.
I won't accept being a member of a leaderless, ambition-free protest group for much longer. And I'm not alone. Not by a long way...

My response was as follows. It rambles a bit, isn't as organised as I'd like, and doesn't press every button, and I'm very sad that I had to write it.

"I'm sorry I can't come along in person tonight as I would welcome the opportunity to express my views.
I am shocked and saddened by your lack of commitment to creating a fairer and more just and peaceful world for us and our children.
For me to abandon those principles by joining David Cameron when he called for Jeremy Corbyn to step down, head of a government delivered on Monday of the most stinging rebuke in the history of the United Nations, and to join those in the PLP who have consistently enabled by their abstentions the egregious punishment of the poor, sick, disabled and disadvantaged to provide tax breaks for the rich; by voting to bomb Syria, creating hundreds of thousands of refugees now being victimised for their very existence, and increasing immeasurably the terrorist threat to this country and others; by enabling the genocide now taking place in Yemen at the hands of the Saudis; and most importantly to join those "grandees" who took us to illegal war in Iraq - responsible for the biggest decline of membership in Labour's history and who lost us 2 general elections, and are now briefing every paper, every pundit, every news outlet against Jeremy Corbyn using trumped-up nonsense, paid "hecklers" and fabricated "evidence" as on Monday in order to save their own worthless skins; who await the publication of the Chilcot Report with trepidation and are using every possible ruse to unseat the one politician who has vowed to take it seriously; if I were to abandon these principles of what use, then, would be any power I might gain? To what end?
 Politics is not about leadership at any cost. This is exactly why we are in this mess today. We stand on the brink of the most horrible future imaginable and your answer is to stand with the unprincipled thieves and liars that brought us here?
No thank you. I stand with the vast majority of the Labour Party 
membership, with the 17,000 who have joined the party in the last week to defend Jeremy Corbyn, with the thousands in Momentum and the millions in the country who want a fairer society free from racism, war, poverty and injustice.
 You stand where you think your own advantage lies; I won't be standing there with you."

Also, this:


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