Dear Labour MPs and Members

Dear Labour MPs

I’m sorry that our party is in such a mess. I’m also sorry that it seems so hard to find a way forward – and I’m afraid that right now, you’re not really helping.

The thing is, Labour needs its members – so it really isn’t a viable option for you, as a parliamentary party, to either ignore what members want or to suggest that many members are somehow not really in tune with the party – suggesting that they’re all entryists, Trotskyists, or similar. There are, of course, some who are like that – but most really aren’t, and unless you understand that and pay a bit more respect to the members, the party is really in trouble.

That’s the thing – you really need to understand why so many members voted for Corbyn last year, and why, particularly, they didn’t vote for the three candidates arrayed against him. Until you understand that, and in particular that Labour members aren’t just stupid for doing so, but tap into that energy, that feeling of hope that Corbyn gave to people, then there’s little chance of your regaining the trust of the members. You need to understand why things like the abstention over welfare – even if it can be technically justified – alienated so many people, and why a principled stand is sometimes crucial even if it doesn’t make perfect parliamentary logic.

I hope that you can find a way. We really need to bring the party back together – which means members and MPs need to find a way to come back together.

With hope

Paul Bernal


Dear Labour Members

I’m sorry that our party is in such a mess. I’m also sorry that it seems so hard to find a way forward – and I’m afraid that right now, you’re not really helping.

The thing is, Labour needs its MPs – so it really isn’t a viable option for you, as a party membership, to either ignore what MPs want or to suggest that many MPs are somehow not really in tune with the party – suggesting that they’re all Blarites, Red Tories, or similar. There are, of course, some who are like that – but most really aren’t, and unless you understand that and pay a bit more respect to the MPs, the party is really in trouble.

That’s the thing – you really need to understand why so many MPs supported the vote of no confidence in Corbyn, and why, despite the clear support of the members, they still can’t really work with him. Until you understand that, and in particular that Labour MPs aren’t just stupid for doing this, but recognise why what MPs in parliament do that matters, and that MPs do work hard and are committed to the Labour Party, there’s little chance of Labour being an effective party or winning an election. You need to understand why what happens in parliament matters – even if it isn’t always clear.

I hope that you can find a way. We really need to bring the party back together – which means members and MPs need to find a way to come back together.

With hope

Paul Bernal


 

4 thoughts on “Dear Labour MPs and Members

  1. “I never quite understood what the term ‘neocon’ really meant. To my bemusement, people would say: It means the imposition of democracy and freedom, which I thought odd as a characterisation of ‘conservative’.” Tony Blair
    Do these MP’s imagine that telling lies about one of a handful of honest politicians in Westminster will give them credibility? Do they realise how ridiculous they appear to us who watch them on TV? Do none of them, obviously like Blair, realise that “The imposition of democracy and freedom” is an oxymoron? Who the hell is going to vote for these clowns, we already have a conservative party?
    cadxx

  2. At this point I don’t think the PLP and the Labour grassroots have enough common ground between them to move forward. I can’t foresee any situation in which Labour at her general election (too authoritarian) but it’s clear that if the PLP win they’ll cut the left out forever leaving much their base disenfranchised. However if Corbyn wins its likely there will be mass deselections leaving the centre and soft left labour members in the same place. (either way there will be calls for loyalty against the tories).

    And i doubt either side will make for a coherent moral vision…

  3. The mistake far too many people make is coming to a decision based on an abstract assessment of the situation, rather than looking at what’s happening at the moment and how their actions would contribute to it. If I were a Labour MP I would almost certainly prefer another leader – someone who would build on what Corbyn’s done so far while also uniting the party and throwing the media a bone from time to time – but that’s not what’s on offer, and it’s irresponsible to act as if it were.

    Borrowing from a comment I left recently at Mainly Macro:

    Nothing I’ve heard from Smith gives me any confidence in his stance on [EU] free movement, or on public services, or on austerity; he seems more hostile than welcoming to Labour’s new membership, and we know for a fact that he doesn’t observe Corbyn’s self-denying ordinance with regard to personal attacks.

    When the dust has settled some serious changes are going to be needed to the way the Labour Party works – possibly even including an *agreed* change of leadership this side of 2020. But for now we need to defend Corbyn’s achievements, which means defending Corbyn. A Smith victory would almost certainly roll back most of what Corbyn’s built, dumping Labour right back in the directionless swamp we were in after the 2015 GE.

  4. It might be oh so important that Corbyn is backed by so many members, if he survives then we could see such an active and engaged party on a wave of popular support. Let us hope he can deliver the goods.

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