Sunday, 21 August 2016
I will be voting for Owen Smith to be leader of the Labour Party
I will be voting for Owen Smith this to be the new leader of the Labour Party, I hope and believe Owen can win but if he does not I expect to be campaigning again in either 2017 or 2018 for someone to replace Jeremy Corbyn.
For saying that I expect to be attacked by some from the Far Left, from Corbynistas who can’t seem to accept any criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. I will be accused of lacking loyalty, of ignoring the wishes of members, for attacking democracy. I was selected to be the candidate for Rushmere Ward and then I was elected by the constituents not as a delegate but as a representative. I am not delegated to vote this way or that by the membership of the Labour Party nor by my electorate. But they have asked me to represent them and I hope that I make the right decisions on their behalf.
The only whip I follow is the Labour whip on Ipswich Borough Council, a whip that I have never broken. Compare that with the voting history of Jeremy Corbyn – voted with the Tories hundreds of times, voted against the whip hundreds of times, campaigned against every elected Labour leader since he became an MP – a man who since he has become leader has still not stuck to Labour policy – please do not lecture me on loyalty.
Over the past 12 months I have knocked on hundreds if not thousands of doors, I have telephone canvassed hundreds of constituents and attended many meetings and community events using every opportunity to talk to voters. The consistent answer I receive from voters in Rushmere and across Ipswich is they will not vote for a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. We have had those switch to us from the Green Party and some Labour voters have now joined the party but for every one who has switched, we have lost three or four others. There is no way that we can win the Ipswich parliamentary constituency whilst Jeremy Corbyn remains leader. The vote is simply not there, we will also be in danger of losing our seats on Suffolk County Council and maybe even in the long term, control of Ipswich
There is also the baggage Corbyn brings with him, the historical pictures of him with IRA members, his quotes in support of Hamas and Putin and then there is his work for Iranian TV and his senior roles in the anti West organisation – ‘Stop the War’.
But I am even more concerned about some of his friends – Momentum, former Militant and Socialist Party members – now I am happy that some of those will have moved slightly to the right and they should be welcomed back but we are on about some of them returning and taking senior roles in CLPs with little evidence that their views have changed one iota since they returned.
What is the betting that a Corbyn win will see the return of Galloway, Hatton and maybe even Livingstone returning to a role that will see him involved in setting Labour policy?
I expect a Corbyn win will see McDonnell and Momentum then use their supporters on the NEC to change the rules so that the left will always have a candidate on any future leadership ballots.
Some of my friends, colleagues and comrades will vote for Corbyn – please open your eyes, open your ears the abuse that members like myself are already receiving will not stop, voters will not return, idiots like Galloway will be welcomed back and another year of Corbyn could see the end of this great party that we support.
A large number of members want Corbyn to win, party democracy is important, members do need to have more of a say in party policy – some may say a victory for Corbyn will give members more power but what is certain is that a vote for Corbyn will leave millions of Labour voters without a voice, it will leave millions of us left powerless under a right wing Tory Government.
Please think hard before you vote and then if you can, join me and vote for Owen - a vote that will not only help save the Labour Party but will give millions of Labour voters a chance of a Labour Government.