Dear Parliamentary Labour party

Please, STOP IT NOW. This is not the time for blame – unless of course that blame is directed in a focused way at the Tory party for putting us all in this mess (which, after all, only arose because David Cameron was unable to keep his own team in order), and the Brexit campaigners for wilfully leading the electorate as a whole up the garden path with no clear strategy for opening (let alone closing) the gate. And I can’t think of a worse time to appear to be demonstrating to the party membership as a whole that only the views of the Westminster elite matter.

I didn’t vote for Corbyn. Nor am I very likely to vote for him an another leadership election (not that I disagree with many of his principles or policies). But the news today really should not be leading on Labour party stories, it should be on exposing the gaps in the Brexit response and the potential through those gaps for making the best of things right now. I would really like to know, for example, what the Labour party’s position is on the potential for the SNP to block Article 50 and whether they would support this.

To state the obvious, support for EU membership is not a straightforward party-political question. The more you appear to be taking responsibility for the resulting vote by allowing the frenzy to be directed simply at Corbyn, the more you fail to recognise that, and the more ammunition you are giving the Tory Remainers for future use.

The media like nothing better than an internal party squabble, so why on earth are you handing it to them on a plate? Yes, there may be an election before very long. And yes, leadership is an issue that won’t go away in a hurry. But come up with some positive principles and responses  first that the disenfanchised Labour voters of our cities and the north can own, and get out there and talk to them. That will, in the longer term, need to be a strong narrative on how or even if neo-liberal policies have anything to offer any longer in pursuit of reducing inequalities. A change of leader alone will provide you – and us – with no certainty or policy position on any of this. Arguing amongst yourselves about leadership might be getting some of you somewhere, but it’s doing nothing whatsoever for the rest of us in the party.  Please, STOP IT NOW.

 

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