Sunday, 25 September 2016

#StayinLabour - I won’t be quitting Labour

I won’t be quitting Labour

Not a great day yesterday – the result from Liverpool was not unexpected, and then throw in a lacklustre defeat for Ipswich in Leeds, I did not wake up in the best of moods this morning.
Turning on my phone did not help, people I respect and trust telling me they are leaving the party – I chat to some Corbyn supporters, vow to give him a chance, even not to attack him on twitter but then the car crash of a morning for the party starts.

McDonnell refuses to apologise for the vile comments he made about a woman MP – the woman may be a Tory and not a nice piece of work and someone who should be attacked for her actions as a minister but not with the words McDonnell used. But he could have just apologised and that would have put water on the fire – but, no he said it was OK as he was being honest- this is just minutes after Jeremy Corbyn said he will not accept any abuse. He stated that he is not nasty to anyone – correct but if his closest ally is being abusive and he does not suspend or censor him then he is as guilty as McDonnell.

We then had the offer of an olive branch, wiping the slate clean – seems to have fell on deaf ears if you see the coverage of the Labour First meeting, but then I understand their anger – Corbyn on the Marr show had the opportunity to say there will be no de-selections – he failed to give that assurance.
He is dragging his feet at the NEC on how a Shadow Cabinet should be elected - a real leader would want the most capable people on his front bench. An election would have achieved that plus would have been a real sign of peace in Labour.

Then we find out is he not only dragging his feet on that issue we find out he also spoke out against more autonomy for Scottish Labour and rumour has it that he wants the next NEC to look at reversing some of the decisions made last Tuesday. Democracy?

We then had McCluskey telling us we were ahead in the polls before the coup a myth that Corbyn supporters now seem to see as fact.

You can add in the open anti Semitism being displayed at the  Momentum alternative conference (attended by Corbyn and other Front Benchers like Clive Lewis) you can see why people worry about the future of the party.

It seems most members from pre 2015 did not want Corbyn so new members have changed the party many of us joined – but that does not mean it was all good. We had lost two elections, the membership was distanced from Westminster – we did need clearer policies- in particular on education. But we just get someone who has spent most of his life in Westminster, London centric and a serial rebel – who has a team round him that seem to make constant PR cock-ups and his polices just seem to be words.

I campaigned hard in 2010 and 2015, we lost because we were not trusted on the economy – not because we were Tory lite!

But we need to get behind Corbyn – Am I being a hypocrite? No, I support the Labour Party, not Corbyn the same as I voted for Labour not Foot, Blair or Brown.

I will stay in Labour, fight hard to return more Councillors to the County Council – I will attack the Tories – in particular over this Brexit shambles – but that does not mean I will forgive Corbyn for his poor performance in the EU campaign. But from the news today it seems May joins Johnson, Corbyn and Cameron in a group of MPs who put their own future in front of what would have been better for the country.

Interesting it seems that those who voted in the election campaign, the majority of those under 24 voted for Owen Smith the same generation who feel most betrayed by the EU vote.
So I stay and work hard for the party, attack the Tories, knock on doors, get involved in policy – Corbyn states today that activists will have more of a say in policy – good news as most of the activists who are out on the streets of Ipswich each Saturday are not Corbyn followers- he may have confused the word activists with members.

I want Corbyn to lead, disappointed that in his speech after he won he  'demanded followership,  not what is needed.

I am proud of what this party has achieved in 120 years, the NHS of Bevan, the involvement of Attlee in the founding of NATO and the minimum wage of the Blair Government
There of course were mistakes – Iraq the most commonly used example but I was also proud to be in the army sent by Blair to help in Kosovo as my friends were proud to help secure peace in Sierra Leone.

I fear Corbyn is an isolationist that is not what this party believes in and I believe many who voted for Corbyn also see us as an international movement.

So I stay, work hard for my constituents, campaign hard for Labour victories and where possible stay loyal to the leadership – but I will at times be critical – but never as critical as Corbyn was of Labour leaders – I like him will say if  I disagree on policy – NATO, Trident, EU but I am sure it will not be the 500 times he felt he needed to vote with the Tories.I will not take lectures on loyalty from Corbyn or people like Shami Chakrabarti who have been in the party for all of five minutes.

I would ask all Labour members to stay, the party, the county, the electorate are far more important that one leader.