Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Labour is worth fighting for!

The polls on the Labour Leader election are not looking good, funny how Corbyn supporters are willing to quote the YouGov poll today but will not accept the same firms polls that show we will lose many seats in 2020!

One figure I did read that interested me was to show that 85% of members who joined before 2015 did not want Corbyn as leader and it is the supporters rather than members who are the most pro-Corbyn.

So do all these new members and supporters share the goals and policies of the Labour Party that I joined, or the party my parents belonged to - I think the answer is no.

2020 may not be as bad as we think if Corbyn can get all these new members and supporters out knocking on doors, meeting voters, delivering leaflets- but as of yet on or Saturday morning sessions, we have been joined by very few new Corbyn supporters.

I can imagine many of the far left will call for a purge of those of us who have been vocal against Corbyn, many moderates will just leave but I will fight on - as Dan Jarvis the Barnsley MP stated today -
 " Only then can Labour deliver real change for working people.
That is why Labour is worth fighting for."

More from the excellent article by Dan this morning;

Finally, the leader must work constructively to unite our party so that Labour can once again command the confidence of the country.
Many Labour party members have spent the summer reflecting on a turbulent year and thinking about how to cast their vote.
One I spoke with recently told me the real enthusiasm she felt after voting to elect Jeremy Corbyn last year.
But her conclusion today is somewhat different: “I’ve waited my whole life for a socialist country that I now accept Jeremy cannot deliver. I just want to see a Labour Government before I die.”
There are no easy answers to the challenges we face as a party and a country, but the starting point is new leadership to renew our party and earn the opportunity to serve our country.
Only then can Labour deliver real change for working people.
That is why Labour is worth fighting for.

Dan Jarvis is the Labour MP for Barnsley Central

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.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Invited to your own funeral – can we save the Labour Party?

Last night we heard the results for the election of constituency representatives to the NEC. Not a great night for the moderates with the ‘Left’ slate winning all six seats. It does not mean the fight for the party is over but it makes it more likely that Corbyn will remain leader – but for how long?
Yesterday I shared a conversation on twitter and  afterwards I felt almost helpless and very sad that we have got to this point – I feel let down by the PLP, not because they passed a no confidence vote in Corbyn but because some of them lent votes to Corbyn to get him into the last leadership competition.

Facts – not sure why I bother with facts as most of the Corbyn support (some of who I class as friends) seem to have decided to almost have a cult like view of Jeremy Corbyn – he can do no wrong in their eyes and they always seem to have an excuse at hand for his many mistakes.
But some facts – as I see them:

The PLP and in some cases – Cllrs and CLPs had moved away from the membership – and now they are even further away from the views of a much larger (and in most cases) and new membership.
So it is understandable that many of the membership have little faith in the PLP –the trouble is for the Labour Party, in my view the MPs views are closer to Labour voters than our new membership, we have become a middle class party, with a membership who in most cases have had little to do with the people who need a Labour Government most. Here in Ipswich, the ward which has seen the largest increase in membership is St Margaret’s – a ward that is held by the Lib Dems with the Tories in second place, whilst in wards that would be seen as working class and safe Labour seats (depending on the state of UKIP after their own leadership battle) we have seen very few new members.

Bur Corbyn supporters can see nothing wrong in Corbyn – and they seem in many cases oblivious to the fact that behind Corbyn, McDonnell and others (through Momentum) are pushing the party further left and makes us un-electable.

Why did Corbyn not put as much effort into the Euro referendum campaign as he is into his own leadership battle – he should have held a rally for us staying in the EU, IN Hull, Liverpool and Cardiff but he seemed to only be involved in the campaign because he was being forced to?

This week he had an opportunity to attack the Tories over the Cameron recommendations for new members of the House of Lords – this should have been something Corbyn relished as he has been a long time critic of the upper house, but instead we had the sad sight of a (far left) Labour leader, spending his time lobbying Number 10 to get his own nomination for the Lords accepted.

We also have the constant attacks on the media – msm, as Corbynistas prefer to call it- mainstream media – but yet again seeming to ignore the fact that Corbyn sidekick, Milne is on loan from the Guardian (msm) and that Diane Abbott was happy to spend the last 4 years sat on a sofa with Portillo on the BBC Politics Show (msm).

I expect another leadership challenge in 2017 and possibly 2018 and 2019 – what have MP’s to lose? Many will lose their seats if Corbyn stays as leader and some may not even get a chance to stand again once Momentum start to force de-selection of MPs who are not politically pure.

I will continue to fight to get rid of Corbyn – and please do not lecture me on loyalty – how can anyone be loyal to a leader who voted against the Labour Party over 500 times.

I just hope that my friends and others who support Corbyn wake up to the fact that he is not a leader and never will be and that whilst he stays in power, others from the 'Far Left' will use his position to make sure the Party moves further left – and further away from those who need us most.