Megan, a Labour Party-member writes to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London concerning his recent email to party members which linked to his article in the Guardian about his decision to support Owen Smith and related matters
Dear Sadiq Khan,
You are, truly, beyond belief.
I cannot describe how angry it makes me to receive this email from you. How betrayed I feel by you. How hopelessly furious I feel in knowing (with utmost certainty, thanks to this very email) that to you, my anger and sense of betrayal mean absolutely nothing.
The fact that you could even write this email is true testament to your total lack of care for, or understanding of, the very people who elected you. You are spitting in their faces, neglecting – like almost every other politician – to recognise that we are dangerously close to being done with playing your political games or acting as pawns in your political careers. That inability to read the electorate is dangerous. Revolutions were started for less (just sayin’). So many of us are tired – so very tired – of the continual, never-ending, self-interested nonsense of the political classes.
You, Sadiq, were supposed to be the break from Tory buffoonery in the Mayoral post in London, a step away from the chummy ‘you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’ approach which had characterised the tenure of Boris Johnson. You were a chance for Labour to come back to London, to put a stop to the appalling housing crisis, the floods of young talent and young families fleeing for more affordable, less soul-less destinations. You were supposed to help cut the cost of transport and rent, of essential living items and bring London back to being a city for the people, not just for the obscenely wealthy.
You are, it pains me to say – already – a failure, Sadiq.
How can you hope to ever bring London back to the people, to enact fair policies for the many, when you are so clearly blind to what they need and what they want? This email itself is evidence that you have lost your ability to connect with those in situations similar to that in which you grew up, or to connect to normal people at all. It appears that you have fallen into the ‘power-player trap’; forgetting all the reasons and inspirations which brought you to this career and instead, desperately and diligently – and somewhat humiliatingly – scrabbling for nothing more than the continued existence of the meagre power you have managed to scrape together. Perhaps this is what Westminster does to you if you come to it hoping for power, rather than hoping for change; I couldn’t say, I’ve never worked there, but I’ve seen a similar thing plenty of times in the corporate sector and you resemble nothing more right now than a power-hungry, top-down autocrat – out of touch with the very people he so desperately desires to influence.
As if this weren’t enough, you now pledge allegiance to Owen Smith – a man few had ever heard of and who would have been no aid in your recent Mayoral campaign – over Jeremy Corbyn, the man whose backing you took full advantage of during that campaign and of which he gave you plenty; praise, support and a spotlight when you needed it most. You reached your current position as Mayor – at least in part – thanks to Jeremy’s support. Now, when he needs your support in return, you choose to play games intended to help you maintain power instead of giving power to the people. In doing so, you so clearly show exactly who you are.
You show this, not by backing someone other than Jeremy or by switching your allegiance – neither of which, of course, are inherently bad – but rather by failing to support actual change, to support a man whose policies are so clearly beneficial for so many, a man who has so clearly brought not only hope, but action, back into British politics. Jeremy’s policies are backed by experts from around the world – top economists, ecologists, activists – and are so clearly right-headed and fair; the long-awaited reparation for the multitude of wrongs perpetuated upon the many by the few, that no decent, fair or honest person could deny the truth or benefit of them.
In fact, the reason you give to vote for Owen can be wholly contained (no good thing) within two short, error-laden sentences: “Owen has the strongest Labour values – he led and won our fight against the Tory cuts to tax credits and disability allowances. The polls show he is the most likely Labour candidate to win the next election.”
I think you’ll find, Sadiq, that Kier Hardie and Nye Bevan would disagree with you about Owen being the candidate with the ‘strongest Labour values’, but then again, perhaps you’ve never heard of either of them and so could be forgiven for believing that it was Tony Blair who first established Labour’s “values”, in which case Owen is indeed a front-runner. This level of ignorance can’t be blamed for your erroneous statement about who it was that led and won the fight against Tory cuts to…well, pretty much everything over the last year.
You’ll find that was Jeremy Corbyn. You’ll also find that it is Jeremy and not Owen Smith who packs out town halls, parks and any other venue at which he arrives with hundreds or thousands of supporters. I think the “polls” to which you so confidently refer are likely to be wrong, because as more and more of the general public hears from Jeremy, listens to his message and his policy, your polls will not save you these continually crowded venues nor from his victory or the victory of the many over the few.
The only real reason to disagree with Jeremy is because his position threatens your own. His focus on equality, rather than on lining his own pockets or those of already wealthy men, threatens to unbalance the carefully curated global ecosystem of political corruption and power which allows the faceless minority few – of which you are one – to continually feed their own self-interest at the expense of all others.
These institutions of power are undoubtedly attractive (and not only to you) because they offer the chance to accumulate – much and often – and the only price to be paid in return for all of this is the poverty of those who are not you, not part of these institutions. This price is easy to pay when you distance yourself from the very people whose lives, hopes and children you are selling off for your own advantage, and it seems to me, Sadiq, that you have paid it in full.
Jeremy, on the other hand, is a man who is not only of the people, but who is down here in it with us. The same cannot be said of you, and it is for this reason that you will not win the next Mayoral election in London, nor any other political post, I suspect. To quote a better man than I, the times they are a changing, and emails like the very one you just sent me – with their laughable ‘logic’ and patronising betrayal – will be your downfall as anger rather than complacency becomes the reaction to such inbox fodder.
Not that whether you come or go matters much really; you are but another interchangeable face in the political crowd, as easily forgotten by the public as you are replaced by the establishment.
Now isn’t that a sad and damning critique.