It’s the end of the world as we know it

An open letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party moderates

I beseech you, don’t play party factions whilst Britain dissolves.

These are interesting times, as the Chinese say. Our former nation (goodbye, Scotland and NI) has voted itself out of the modern world. We are an object of derision globally. We are now thought to be ignorant xenophobes, at best. UKIP and the Rabid Right are running around like headless chickens looking for a plan, any plan. We’ve lost the respect and trust of everybody. Our creditworthiness is going through the floor as the markets crash. Fear and anxiety stalk the streets. It’s ugly out here; my wife, of African origin, but lifelong North London, says she feels unsafe and doesn’t want to go out.

We are rudderless and leaderless.

So, this is the moment you choose to stage a coup? Do you not think we’ve seen enough immature, irresponsible behaviour from the Brexiteers?

You level all kinds of criticism at our leader, Jeremy Corbyn. You say he is lukewarm about the EU which was reflected in his campaign style. It’s an accurate comment on how he sees Europe; we know this because he’s honest about it. It also chimes with how a lot of us feel.

For me, it was a HYN moment. Hold Your Nose. I voted RemaIN, because I agree with him. I have little or no idea what the rest of you think because you barely registered on my radar — and, trust me, I sat through every horrible minute of the slagging match… If Jeremy’s lukewarm, you lot are stone-cold. Anything derogatory you say about him doubles back on you.

If you were as fanatical about the EU, Party unity and national leadership as you are about conspiring in dark corners we might well not be in this predicament. I’m crediting you with enough integrity that you didn’t just sit back and enjoy watching the disaster unfold. Mind you, there’s not much evidence of committed activity on the part of many of you.

Some worked very hard; one died.

I don’t trust you. Ever since the beginning of the Coalition in 2010, you have failed to present any coherent vision of what principles you might have. As IDS inflicted one horror after another on the vulnerable and defenceless, you did nothing. You were supposed to be the Opposition but you never opposed. Every new insult that was heaped on us was met with. Silence. When we needed you, you walked by on the other side. Not, of the street, but of the other side of town.

Eventually, when you thought it was safe enough, that is, unlikely to be controversial with your target electorate (who they?), you ventured the occasional, timid disagreement. Way too late, way too little.

Gradgrind Gove put education through the mincer. Not a peep. Hunt rolled his panzers over the NHS. Zip, zero. Giddy George Osborne robbed us blind. Barely a quibble.

You were clearly astonished when the voters didn’t exactly trip over each other to vote for us in 2015. The big visual was some weird evocation of Moses' tablets which actually looked more like a tombstone for the whole movement. As it indeed it turned out. RIP Blairism, I thought, whatever that was. It was opportunism if it was an -ism of any kind.

Tactically, it was strong, but noncommittal presentation and adept manipulation of the media. Say nothing and dress well. It worked. Right up to the moment when the Toraids figured out how to do it even better. Or even more superficially.

Blairism is a corpse; it’s not sleeping — it’s dead. It’s not Lazarus; you can’t revive it. There are no beds, no doctors, no nurses, no equipment. Where were you when the NHS was stolen?

So, this is the moment you choose to stage a coup. Don’t. Really, don’t. The nation will never forgive you.

Not many politicians are like Jeremy. He has courage even when it’s politically inconvenient. He has integrity even when, in the short term, it’s politically damaging. That’s why we chose him. You may never reach his standard, but you could at least try.

We, the nation, need you to get behind our leadership and bloody LEAD. If it’s not too much bother.

Yours in solidarity

Jon Lisle-Summers

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