Vote Labour… but…

I am writing to tender my resignation from the Labour Party and to inform you that I have cancelled my direct debit.

I will continue to vote Labour and support many of its policies and its much-needed shift Left. However, I am opposed to Labour’s approach to Brexit – and I have been patient. I have gradually but now completely lost faith in the leadership.

  1. The Brexit ballot was only advisory – even Farage accepts that.
  2. Leave misused official statistics to lie about £350/week for the NHS.
  3. Leave.eu broke electoral law.
  4. All convincing estimates point to Brexit being a disaster for the economy.
  5. There’s a high risk the Northern Ireland peace process will be harmed too.

Corbyn was too quick to call for triggering article 50. Since then Labour’s approach to Brexit has been confused, putting it mildly.

There is enough evidence now to consider the “will of the people” to be uninformed at best and deliberately manipulated through lies and cheating at worst. Brexit could and should be stopped.

I initially joined Labour in 2010. After a brief spell away, rejoined to vote for Corbyn in 2015. I voted again for Corbyn in 2016. For what it’s worth, I wrote a non-resignation letter nearly two years ago in support of Corbyn. I was hopeful for the party and supported Corbyn despite numerous criticisms.

It’s great to see the membership grow and surely Corbyn deserves praise for enabling this. I’m just not convinced that the Corbyn, McDonnell, and Abbott leadership are electable, and mainstream media bias – though partly responsible – is only a partial explanation.

The problems are too many to enumerate. Salient and illustrative examples include Corbyn refusing to condemn the IRA for its bombing campaign which killed civilians; sharing a platform with SWP members despite being asked and promising not to (given the “Comrade Delta” affair); appearing on a platform alongside a CPGB flag fluttering merrily in the wind; employing a former Sinn Féin staffer. The last straw for me was Corbyn publicly expressing sadness that Ken Livingstone resigned – after all the harm Livingstone has caused recently to Labour.

Given the targets Corbyn’s critics choose, these are clearly misguided decisions, and harm the chances of a democratic socialist government taking power from the Tories.

As I said I will vote Labour and encourage others to do so, to try to get the Tories out so there’s a chance the welfare state can be restored with sanctions and other conditionality stopped; to undo marketisation of the NHS; improve mental health care; and for a range of other important issues. I continue to be an active trade unionist in higher education. But I don’t feel I can be a member of Labour under the current leadership and with its current approach to Brexit.

 

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