1st January 2017
–By Tim C-
For many, 2016 will go down as the year of celebrity deaths. If you spend much time, or anytime at all on social media, it was relentless. Actors, musicians, writers and many others died.
Our grief was public and our tributes were tacky, beautiful and heartfelt – often we managed all three at the same time. At some stage between the death of George Michael and Carrie Fisher a friend commented “can you imagine if Twitter was a thing when Diana died?”
I tried to imagine and I shut down my imagination almost immediately. I had imagined love filled messages – all I saw was the spewing out of hatred.
But all of that is about something we cannot stop or control. Death comes to us all. Death is part of us.
I am not sorry about death. It happens.
But 2016 also saw Trump, Brexit and hate triumph.
A quick look at 2016 and much of our political system appears to be broken. I am sorry that because it is broken people are suffering. More than that I am sorry that it isn’t going to be fixed any time soon.
And that means more people will suffer. I can, and will never be able to forgive those who are causing this suffering.
I have tried to listen. I have tried to join in and be part of the new politics. But I can’t. It is based on a lie. No hope is offered. Just structures and a different committee format.
We are told it is about values. But it isn’t; it is about envy. It is about class war. But more importantly it is about a vanity project. And it is also about petty vengeance. Vengeance of second-rate politicians who peddle false dreams dressed up as hope.
They know they are unelectable, but that doesn’t matter to them. Destruction of the Labour Party is their aim. Pure and simple.
They hate the Labour Party being in government. They hate anything other than the purity of their project.
And what they are doing breaks my heart.
We are promised that 2017 will see the Corbyn-led Labour Party ‘FIGHT BACK’.
Early reports suggest that this will involve re-branding the leader as a populist, anti establishment figure. A left of centre Trump. The Party will become a coalition of protest groups rather than a political party seeking to govern.
My prediction is that this means more envy, more trashing of our past and more suffering.
It took me quite a while to feel this way. I was never fully signed up to Corbyn but he was/is our elected leader and at the moment that is how it will stay.
Not once in the the last year has he asked me how I thought he was doing as leader or what I thought the Labour Party was doing right or wrong. But he took time out to ask Momentum supporters those questions (or similar). He spends more time worrying about an external organisation than he does about the Party he is supposed to be leading. And that HURTS.
But away from all of that internal stuff, I am sorry. We should all be saying sorry to those who need a Labour Government – it is them that we are betraying. It is them we are letting down.
We should be offering them hope. Hope that things will get better. Hope of a better future.
But we are offering them years of Tory rule.
Because our current leadership is selfish.
Because we are no longer an electoral force capable of winning power.
Because we have a leader who doesn’t care enough to want to win.
For that I am so bloody sorry.
I remain a Labour Party member. My values haven’t changed.
I supported the PLP (the brave and resilient 172) and their attempts to restore purpose to our politics.
I am proud of what we achieved in government.
With local elections coming up we could lose hundreds of great local councillors because of the public perception of our leader.
Labour Councillors who everyday work to make a difference.
Labour Councillors who continue to deliver for local people.
I hope other so-called ‘moderates’ battle weary like me, will stay and help.
The Labour Party is bigger and better than Corbyn.
But more importantly people need Labour in power making lives better and we must never forget that.
So in 2017 we must not leave Labour. We must stay and fight. Fight for our values. Campaign alongside our Councillors and fight to help them retain their seats.
Walking away betrays those who need us most.
By Tim C