Labour won Stoke. Jamie Reed lost Copeland
Paul Mason

Parking my disagreement with your analysis of the election result, I do both agree with your perspective on how Labour should campaign on Brexit (a clear soft Brexit option that hammers the Tories on driving the UK over an economic cliff edge without access to the single market, but having something to say on freedom of movement) and on a broad left co-existence to maneuver inside the electoral system.

This constant narrative of denouncing Blairites for an election loss and the celebration of Corbyn and Momentum for election wins, even when the local candidates themselves contradict that, is rather grating. What we can agree on across the party is narrowing the poverty gap, providing opportunities for retraining and employment, tackling wage suppression, sharing wealth across the UK, building affordable housing, protecting public services (although there is a lot of disagreement on how and what we can do about that) etc.

I’m no longer in the UK but am now a Berlin member of the SPD. The electoral system here definitely allows factions of the same party and across party discussion to occur more civilly, it breeds that kind of culture that’s less antagonistic. I’ve organised with Die Linke members and have been intrigued by Berlin’s FDP branch talking a lot about digitising and simplifying government administration.

In Bristol West where I was active within Labour there were fairly good relations across the wings of the party during the Mayoral Campaign and local elections. However the fallout from the EU campaign with our local MP resigning from her Junior Ministerial position (understandably in my view) and the actions of the NEC in suspending members really damaged that working relationship. It takes a certain attitude for activists to rise above whatever MPs or the NEC are doing and to focus on what we want to achieve together, building working relationships on the basis of shared goals.

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