Labourcoup, latest, Reader's Letters, UK
Comments 49

Thank you Owen Smith, From a Jeremy Corbyn supporter

openletter

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,
Louise

PS. Can we please get back to work immediately after 24th September? This Tory government is destroying everything we hold dear. Thank you.


49 Comments

  1. Steph says

    I wouldn’t join Momentum if you paid me (being a fair bit older than you and thus more wary of schisms).

    But I did leave the Greens to support Jeremy Corbyn. And I wouldn’t have joined the Greens in the first place if there’d been a Socialist alternative out there… been a Labour voter for decades until I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the Tories any more.

    There wasn’t another Socialist alternative at the last election. Hopefully now there will be… whatever the outcome of this monstrous leadership challenge. Because even if Owen Smith wins (and I sincerely hope he doesn’t) the whole tone of the conversation has changed. Hallelujah!!!

    Like

    • LOUISE HERSEE says

      That’s a shame Steph,
      I don’t think age has anything to do with it; at our Momentum meeting last night we had folk whose ages ranged from their 20s to their 80s, all with their own personal experiences of politics.
      We are planning lots of activities within our local community to make it a fairer place, tackling things such as the possible closure of our Post Office, supporting our rail workers as they stand up to Govia, and a campaign to challenge the stigma attached to mental health issues. It’s hard because we are being demonised by mainstream media but we really are a good bunch.
      It’s really great to hear of another socialist coming home though! Like you, I felt I was ideologically more at home with the Green party even though I voted Labour; this was because of my local Labour representative being brilliant, not because of Blair, Brown, and Miliband.

      Like

      • Steph says

        Thing is, the local Labour party should be doing those things, not Momentum. (If the NEC hadn’t prevented local meetings…. bleh…. see your point!)

        Like

  2. Johnwinstanley says

    Still awaiting the jc to number ten roadmap,that resonates with the ELECTORATE.

    Like

  3. Mick McNulty says

    i think the right wing of the Labour Party is in league with the rest of the establishment to create a one-party state that has the illusion of an opposition. Lenin did say the best way to control the opposition is to lead it. Then again, he also said to a western journalist who was gloating over the “success” western capitalism, wait another eighty years until you get to the stage of gangster capitalism.

    What the Labour PLP and the establishment is orchestrating against Corbyn is Leninism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ian Lawson says

      Consider whether the Labour party has been used for some time now as a means to channel, contain and neutralise working class discontent. This is an important function for the 1% elite and they DO NOT want the Labour party in the hands of the likes of you who want to use it to improve peoples lives and futures. They will fight you, and they are fighting yo. Stay strong.

      Like

  4. James Carless says

    I do not agree with all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies , I voted for Brexit so that a future Labour government could bring back the railways into public ownership and resist the creeping privatisation of the NHS and schools.
    I, like thousands of others, returned to the Labour fold because I trust the personal and political integrity of Corbyn.
    I don’t vote for a politician because corporate newspapers claim to know who has the mass appeal to be PM,that’s the contrived, PR spin agenda that brought Blair to power.
    The red line to me, is Trident.
    No true socialist/humanist/green/progressive could ever endorse the myth that nuclear weapons make anyone safer and would not lead to the end of life on this planet.
    Corbyn had the moral courage to not fudge or equivocate “I would not press the nuclear button”.
    That answer alone puts him head and shoulders above the Owen Smiths faux socialists/liberals.
    We need a leader to be proud of and stop having to apologise for the ‘New Labour’ deviants.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ian Westell says

    Thatcher divided the working classes by selling the council houses it created an ‘us and them’ within our own ranks and the divide continues today in the Labour Party. Like sleeper sells the millionaire labour MPs wait for every opportunity to destroy it from within. If Corbyn wants to build the country he has a vision of there will have to be a purge the PLP of the faux socialists that exist there. Millionaires will never vote for their wealth to be taxed, if they see it coming more of their wealth will go offshore, they will deliberately trash the economy and blame it on the left. The voting public continually vote against their own interests and I can only see this continuing until they are given a real alternative. Something that won’t happen with our rabid right wing press

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Owen Smith is part of the problem and not the solution. He is symptomatic of an establishment that wants us to simmer down and be good little passive voters. This highlights how out of touch those in the Westminster Bubble are. Like Louise, I am not a hard left, mooney, trot nazi entryist etc etc either, and it speaks volumes that these people find it acceptable to name call an energised membership. What I am – and what 9 out of 10 out of the ‘new entryists’ are are …. is a socialist. I like the rest, believe in democracy but have joined a democratic socialist party which has a PLP and NEC that is doing a very good job of demonstrating neither of these qualities. They even went to court to prevent democracy and put a tax on voting that is so anti-socialist it beggars belief. What is does do is show that there needs to be change. It shows there needs to be root and branch reform of the party. I do not think that when Corbyn wins – which he will – there is a future for a a number of MPs in the Labour Party. They cannot stomach socialism which begs the question as to why they are in a socialist party in the first place. No doubt they will do an SDP and seceed the Co-operative Party – which as a member of the Co-operative Party I will fight. If they do, the vast majority of them will lose their seats. Then, because the CLPs will no longer agree to have oven ready political battery hens for PPCs forced on them from jobs in Westminster, they will put forward local activists with a vested interest in their local community. Either way the PLP as it stands is over. Please turn the light off on your way out.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Frank Torr says

    I can just see his face contorting into its usual grotesque frozen grin as he reads this, similar to when all the don’t knows crossed and stood beside Jeremy supporters.

    Like

  8. jacqui pope says

    Yawn.. Have been a labour voter for over 40 years now and would rather have Thatcher back in control than Comrade Corbyn and the promises he won’t follow through with. Wake Up and smell the roses!

    Like

    • Sharon Taylor says

      Really Jaqui….. perhaps you never were a real Labour supporter then…. do you just prefer the colour red to blue by any chance?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Andrea Busby says

      Then you are supporting the rise of neo-liberalism. The end of caring about people, and government for the rich at the expense of everyone else. Even if you don’t like Corbyn, you must understand that our society is heading downhill at an increasing rate!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dahlian Kirby says

      jacqui is that the best you can do as a critique of corbyn’s policies? Why on earth have you voted Labour for 40 years when you are aThatcherite?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mick McNulty says

      The economy is a train heading over a cliff and all austerity does is throw poor people off the train before it gets there. It doesn’t stop it going over. Jeremy is our best chance to stop it or 95% of us will all suffer. That probably includes you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Maureen Duffy, says

      Thatcher sold off the north sea gas and oil,to OPEC, it was supposed to reduce the fuel bill’s of the people, I don’t know about you but I haven’t had a reduction in my bills, she sold off British Rail and British Telecom, destroyed our coal industry, not content with that she also destroyed the steel industry, she tried to sell off N.H.S, tried to sell of the Royal Mail which Cameron managed to do by changing its name to just the Post Office, brought in the poll tax, used the Mayfair tax loophole so she didn’t pay any taxes, and also took the third of a pint of milk off schoolchildren, which in some cases was needed, and you think that “Witch” is better than our HERO, Jeremy Corbyn, who is honest, and care’s for the people, I suppose you think it was right to criminalise the homeless, and cut benefits off mentally ill people, and cause the death off so many people, of which the won’t inform the media of how many they killed by proxy.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I don’t think the electrate is as thick as what these MP’s are trying to say, We know there is no way that they can’t be antisemetic and Nazi’s at the same time. How do they know that there is Trots and Rabble in the party? They have been to busy with the coup to bother who’s in the party.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are more than a few too many Labour MPs in the wrong party – sitting like Cuckoos ready to kick the legitimate leader out.

    Corbyn will win but can he purge ?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sarah says

    My first vote was in ’79. I was 18. It was another 18 years before I got to elect a Labour government. A far from perfect, but nevertheless a Labour one. The children of that government are the ones who have taken us to the top of the medal table, and produced outstanding academic results. As a teacher I am in no doubt that this is due to the investment in the early years of their education. And the open door policy, that which unfortunately Gordon Brown and Ed Milliband failed to adequately explain the benefits of to the electorate.
    I joined as I was promised a vote in the ’09 leadership election. I certainly share the disappointment that some new members have had this taken away.
    Personally I think my vote will go to the one who will be most proactive on Syria. Peace is more than the absence of war.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ann Bonner says

    In a way the electorate love a leader with strong views look at the support for Mrs Thatcher. To say Mr Corbyn is unelectable is not proven given all the results since he became leader in the Mayors and council seats. Mr Corbyn is unshakeable in his view of politics. I think the electorate will find that very attractive.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. rtj1211 says

    ‘If Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable then why has the membership grown immensely under his watch?’

    This is a very interesting question and one which may have a strange answer.

    If you are a politician with strong principles, it is unlikely that most will view you with disinterest. It is far more likely that you will arouse strong emotions.

    The consequence of that is that you will galvanise the support base of those who you appeal to, whilst creating a virulent hatred, fear and aggression amongst those who do not.

    Nigel Farage is very similar, not that I am suggesting for one moment that his politics and those of Mr Corbyn are alike. He is referred to repeatedly as ‘divisive’, despite having grown UKIP from nothing to winning the European Elections, 4 million votes in the 2015 GE and then contributed greatly to the Brexit vote in 2016. Everyone was saying that ‘he couldn’t take UKIP to the next level’. Who knows whether that is true or not, since he has retired to pastures greener.

    So it is entirely feasible that Mr Corbyn will galvanise those with left wing convictions in a way that Tony Blair simply did not.

    The real question is whether or not he can attract sufficient votes from the ‘floating middle’ to win a General Election.

    At that level, principles per se are not enough. You have to make calculations as to what you have to offer to win sufficient of the middle voting stream without alienating your core supporters.

    It’s quite frustrating that for core supporters. They may well feel, with some justification, that they get a less good deal for unquestioned support than those on the margins do for shopping around.

    In my view, that’s one of the better arguments for a proper PR system of Westminster Elections. It stops the distortion of GE results by the ‘rate tarts’ who play off the major parties for selfish gain.

    What you and your kind need to do is do honest sampling of people in different parts of the political spectrum to see if Mr Corbyn is indeed the polarising figure based on two scenarios:
    1. What people believe based on what they read in the Press.
    2. What they believe after they have been exposed to the truth of his positions.

    AS a democrat, I believe in all political parties doing that. My highest priority, is after all, good government of the people. It’s not personal sinecures from a PM.

    So don’t see this as anything but the sharing of views from someone who wants a better deal for the British people, irrespective of which party is in Government…….

    Like

    • John says

      Yours is the rational approach, which can work – though not always.
      The reason Labour won and won big in 1945 was because the people wanted something different from the Tories-as-usual form of government. They wanted a new and better world than the one they had been accustomed to being doled out to them by a wealth-appropriating class. Think of Philip Green luxuriating on his massive yacht.
      I believe we are at another 1945 moment in British politics, particularly where young people are concerned.
      They face far worse prospects than any previous generation under the Tories-as-usual form of government.
      They – if they are part o the 99 per cent – have a bleak outlook possibly for the rest of their entire lives.
      A Corbyn-led Government would change all that and change it all or the better.
      Affordable housing; fairness; equality; and a national education, health and social care system – all free to use.
      Is that not a vision to stir and motivate a rising generation?

      Liked by 4 people

    • Just a little reminder, the Tories were elected by less than 25% of the eligible vote, that means the greater proportion did not vote for them, so why chase after marginal Tory votes when there is the other 75% to go for, But then you probably understand that anyway and are just espousing what the establishment want people to think.

      What is absolutely clear that the policies of Bernie Sanders, another real socialist gained more support than either Trump or Clinton, and we are talking America, the good old USA, that bastion of capitalism that has wreaked such havoc throughout the world. So if Bernie can do it so can Jeremy, yes Clinton is the presidential candidate, but the Democratic Party had to rig that just like the PLP have tried doing here.

      We all know it has nothing to do with his electability, but dishonest politics by the establishment who know full well he highly electable, why else would they pursue him with such venom if he was an electoral liability?

      The real reason is the stakes are very high, the Neo-Liberal agenda is culminating in a forty year journey to entrap the populace at large into a form of corporate slavery, TTIP is the final instalment in the grand plan where corporations can sue governments with impunity and any other organisation such as trade unions, and Jeremy Corbyn and a revived Labour Party will stand in the way of that.

      Look at how those standing against Jeremy in the PLP have stood silent as they watched the asset stripping of our state and even introduced the Tory PFI instrument that enabled that process.

      Jeremy is our last bastion against the Tyranny of global corporate power, this is all about democracy and if you can’t see it now you probably won’t until it is too late.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mary Livesey says

        Thank you very good article, wish we could get this message to everyone, but many people seem to be entrenched in the way things are and will not even read articles that are likely to upset what they beleive and come out with stupid statements, like Corbyn will not press the button to save our country and other lies that they have read in the national press,( even left wing the Gaurdian newspaper). I am begining to feel as though Georgr Orwell was a prophet and 1984 is arriving with its double speak and black is white. Trying not to be too pessimistic! Hope that I am wrong

        Like

      • Mike says

        If Bernie Sanders was a real socialist, then he wouldn’t have endorsed Hillary. I was with him all the way right up until that moment.

        Progressive Americans should now be voting for Jill Stein (Green Party). (So that’s me banned from the Labour Party then….just as well i’m not in it, or trying to get in…).

        Like

    • Ian Lawson says

      The question of whether he can attract the “floating middle” may not be as important as whether he can get 10% or so of the nonvoters out. Remember that to govern you need about 35% of the electorate, while 25% represents a pretty miserable failure. Keep your core vote and get even a third of those who think politicians are all the same and so never vote to get out and vote Labour and it is “Job Done”, electorally. Mind you, thats when the REALLY difficult bits start, about democracy, leadership,teamwork and economics.

      Like

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