Dear Mr Smith,
I’m sure you’d agree that 2016 has been a turbulent time for UK politics – indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if my young son were to be writing about it in future exam papers in years to come.
I am one of those pesky newcomers to the Labour Party, I joined because, after years of voting Labour through gritted teeth (my first ever vote was in 1997), I had finally found someone willing to speak up for me, and those like me, in Jeremy Corbyn. Oh Mr Smith, how wonderful it was last year to hear the results come in and feel as if I were part of a great change to politics. The hope! The end to feeling disenfranchised by a party I knew in my heart was supposed to be for people like me but had moved so far to the right it made my teeth itch! It was truly a glorious moment!
The grassroots movement (Momentum) set up to help spread the word that the Labour Party had had a reboot and was fit for purpose again reinvigorated me, made it possible to promote Labour again, and even feel included as it was okay to say the word socialism again.
And then came the growing discontent amongst the PLP followed by the mass resignations and the call for a second leadership contest. Okay I thought, if this is going to clear things up and show who the members truly want to be leader then I’m all for it. But, Mr Smith, the way this has come about is truly despicable. The underhand tactics used by some are so very disappointing, I was angry at first but now I am resigned to the fact that these people will not go away, they have too much to lose.
The NEC’s decision to prevent us newcomers from voting in the leadership contest (despite advertising the point that they could when they joined up) unless they had the £25 to prove their Labour credentials was the biggest clarion call to just how frightened the PLP have become.
The faux declarations of Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘unelectability’ by Labour Party MPs in a bid to make it true via the media’s continual use of the word is so very dispiriting and utterly transparent. This is the job of the Tories, not our own party.
The ‘concerns’ over Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to lead the party are, again, so transparent it’d be laughable if it had come from another party. But it didn’t. It came from our party.
If Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable then why has the membership grown immensely under his watch?
If Jeremy Corbyn is not able to lead the party then why are you keen to create a new role for him as ‘President of the Labour Party’ were you to become leader?
Mr Smith, this just does not ring true.
However, I do want to thank you Mr Smith and I really mean this.
Since you contested the leadership, Jeremy Corbyn’s support has grown.
Since you contested the leadership, support for Momentum has grown.
Since you contested the leadership, the mainstream media has been forced to cover the policies of the Labour Party.
Since you contested the leadership, the Labour Party is being talked about again by the electorate.
I believe it is essential for every person to engage in conversation with people that hold opinions different to their own. It’s a great intellectual exercise that either bolsters your beliefs or alters them. You have done this for me Mr Smith without even realising it. Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are not blindly following him; if there were a credible opposition that held the same integrity I would be open to changing my mind. I do not believe Jeremy is the only socialist in Westminster, no one does, I do not understand why you are pushing this as if it were the case.
Jeremy Corbyn is about to win the leadership contest. However, this time I am apprehensive instead of hopeful. This past year has opened my eyes to just how unwelcome real change is to those in power in the Labour Party. And yet, it is this change to politics that places us in the best position to be in government!
Right now I am working with my local Momentum group in order to bring about change in my local community. We are a lovely bunch (with ne’er a Trot or Nazi, or whatever else we’re being accused of being this week, to be seen) and have already achieved so much in such a short amount of time and have so much to offer in the future. That is a direct result of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
So thank you again Mr Smith for your part in galvanizing my support for a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party. I’m sure it’s all been part of the plan hasn’t it?
With best wishes,
PS. Can we please get back to work immediately after 24th September? This Tory government is destroying everything we hold dear. Thank you.