Dear Jeremy,

I’ve not been in the party very long. I’m one of the ‘new members’ people read about in the press, inspired to join up when the most recent leadership elections were announced following Ed’s resignation.

Unlike the new members in the press stories though, I’m not one of ‘them’, I’m one of ‘us’, by which I mean I didn’t join for £3 because I thought it a good punt while I continued with my membership of the Greens, or more worryingly the Socialist Workers party, Class War, Stop the War, or any of the myriad of useless, objectionable talking shops that litter the left in this country, all of them so in tune with ‘real people’, and the ‘99%’ that they’ve never actually been elected by literally anybody to do anything, and think it much easier to lurk around the fringes of other parties waiting vampirically for an appropriate moment to subsume it and trade off of it’s good name.

So much for being honest with the electorate eh ….

No, I’m one of us…., someone who saw as a 14 year old in 1985 what Kinnock said to the hard left about being “outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs” and thought, here’s someone I’d like to vote for.

I’ve voted Labour at every opportunity I’ve had ever since, in every election locally, nationally and for the European Parliament, whether we were led by Kinnock , Smith, Blair, Brown or Millband.

Until now……

Congratulations, for the first time in twenty six years I’m going to have to abstain, to not vote, to forgo my democratic duty.

You’ll be happy to learn however that this is not my fault and I’m not actually responsible, well not wholly anyway……, I learned today, possibly for the first time, through your sacking of Pat McFadden, that it’s wrong to believe that people are responsible for their own actions and that we should be looking slightly more deeply for some subtle underlying , ‘not immediately apparent to the man in the street’ type of reasons.

Having searched, I’m happy to report that I’ve found some….

1-Your supporters managed to spend the entire leadership election calling Liz Kendall a Tory for wanting to be fiscally believable, after which John subsequently stated he’d be fiscally believable, before U turning when he realised your supporters thought he looked a bit like Liz Kendall

2-Somewhat in relation to the above, we quoted Mao in the Commons ‘as a joke’ without apparently realising that the laugh would be at our expense.

3-We’ve determined a party policy of renewal of Trident, and then sacked our shadow minister of defence for saying that party policy was party policy.

Then on top of that, we gave Ken the job of carrying out a review so we’d get the answer we were looking for in the first place, then U turned and gave a co chair to someone who might bring balance, then U turned again and removed her.

4-We gave a free ‘concience’ vote on the question of Syria, and then rebuked our shadow foreign secretary for voting and speaking with his concience. Incidentally, he gave a speech which will go down as ‘the one’ from his generation… when can we expect such oratory from you ?

PS – Are Stop The War now writing policy for us ? (See 7)

5-Our spokesperson on Farming , is a vegan

6-Our new spokesperson on defence speaks at CND demonstrations. Incidentally …. Did anyone tell you yet that North Korea tested a big bomb this week ?

7- We went to the Stop The War Christmas party

8- Back on Ken for a moment, is he freelancing our position on NATO, or was the spokesperson we had to send to slap him down a cover because the story came out too soon ?

There’s more but it’s getting boring now.

The real reason I’m writing this, is that in terms of scruples It’s not fair for me to remain in the party while my local CLP has such good people in it, who put themselves out there each weekend in a staunchly blue seat, door stepping people, leafleting, or calling them on the phone about ‘missing millions’ , ‘50/50', ‘boundary changes’ etc etc when I’m not prepared to be out there with them, helping. It’s always been the case that any Labour government is more desirable than any Tory, but hand on my heart I can’t say that while you’re in charge.

This is all about a new, more honest straight talking politics right? I mean you’ve said as much yourself. So what do I do on the doorstep when I’m asked about you?, lie to them? or ‘mealy mouth’ it in the hope that we can continue to build the real Labour movement from underneath to replace the ground we’re throwing away from the top ?

Lastly …on the subject of new, more open and honest politics.

I’m off to the Bank now to cancel the direct debit, but I’ll be right back when you’re gone.

‘Outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs’


Like what you read? Give Martin Francis a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.