A Divisive View
Opinion By Guy Westcott. Eight MPs just betrayed the Labour party.. But in refusing to listen to the views of the membership, the Labour leadership has also betrayed us.
So, clearly, the eight MPs who just quit the Labour party are awful, and our party is better off without them. If the Tories win the next election, these seven MPs are complicit in the genocidal Tory campaign against the working class. They are not decent, hard-working moderates who feel there is no place for them in their party. Rather, they are selfish egotistical right wingers, whose place should never have been in the Labour party in the first place. They have betrayed their party, they have betrayed their constituents, and they have betrayed their country.
However. Their betrayal is hardly unexpected, and nowhere near as personally disappointing as Corbyn's.
I know some of what I have to say in this piece will be controversial among the left. And to be clear, everything I have to say represents my own view. I do not claim to speak for the Prole Star, or the Labour Party. This is also not a piece I ever wished to write. But I do believe it is absolutely essential to hold our representatives to account, and speak out when they fail to represent us, even if we support a lot of the same aims.
Anyone who knows anything about me is likely to know I've been a passionate supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and his policy platform ever since he stood for the Labour leadership as an obscure backbencher without a prayer of victory. After decades of self-serving Tory-light right-wing pretenders, the "democratic socialist political party" had a leader who stood up for the values on which the party was founded. A leader who had been on the right side of every major political issue to arise during his career. A democrat, who promised to put policy making in the hands of the rank and file members, and not the elite. A leader who, whatever some may claim about his alleged apathy, campaigned passionately in favour of remaining and reforming the imperfect EU from within, and delivered the vast majority of his party's voters even though he was ignored by almost all of the mainstream media.
But now he is acting in opposition to the national interest, not to the government, and utterly disregarding the wishes of the people who put him in his position. Did he cause this mess? No. Is he doing anything to stop it? Also no. Every analysis shows that Brexit will make this country poorer, and increasingly terrifying for the many, not the few. The damage from Brexit must be prevented, and the way to do that is with a #PeoplesVote. This is what the Labour party members want, and is in accordance with our official policy voted for at conference. Jeremy Corbyn is simply not listening, and this is absolutely unacceptable. Corbyn secured my vote in two Labour leadership elections. He will not have it in a third.
I remain convinced that the promises in Labour's 2017 general election manifesto are the policies which are in the best interests of the many in this country. Corbyn's platform, Brexit aside, is what we need to fix the country, so the NHS does not collapse; so hard-working people do not need to rely on food banks to survive; so we don't have thousands of people dying after being declared fit for work; so we don't provide military support to middle eastern genocides; so everybody has the opportunity to lead a comfortable life. Jeremy Corbyn is still the best prime ministerial candidate we've had in my lifetime. But a man who has built his reputation on the values of integrity, respect for Labour party democracy, and putting the British people first must be called out when he seemingly sacrifices all of these values on the altar of nationalism, isolationism, and, arguably, racism.
To be clear, I do not believe that Jeremy Corbyn is a racist. This is a man who has been fighting for anti-racist causes his entire political life, and was even arrested for protesting against apartheid in 1984. Though those who wish to undermine his message have attempted to suggest he is a racist, I view this as approximately equally nonsensical as Theresa May’s claims to offer the nation a “strong and stable” government. But as the popular expression goes, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. And nothing, it seems to me, is exactly what the good man I voted for is doing.
In the last general election, Labour achieved the greatest swing in their favour in post-WWII history, and in no small part because Jeremy Corbyn's message resonated with the younger generation, who traditionally do not turn out to vote. But this generation overwhelmingly wishes to remain in the EU, and we will not forgive those who flatly refuse to represent us.
Jeremy, these are the people whose votes you need to get into number 10 and start implementing your manifesto. Stop disregarding us.