Dear Ms. Reeves,
My name is Gill Mooney, you are my Member of Parliament, and on Friday 1st July I joined the Labour Party as a full member. I am one of the 60,000 new members.
I joined because of a need to try to overcome the feeling of impotence that overwhelmed me in the face of the referendum result. I joined because I need to do something, to be part of something, to be united with people who hold similar values to my own and stand with those who may not have the privilege I have in my freedom and agency to take actions such as these. I joined because of the need to unite in the face of an astonishing increase in hate crime that now affects so many across the United Kingdom, both those who were born here and those who were not. I joined because of the need to unite in an understanding that these events are the result of the work of successive governments, including your own, to divide the people of this country and give them cause to blame their own disadvantage, poverty and disenfranchisement on those around or below them who may be different, rather than looking up to the government that is truly responsible. I joined because Jeremy Corbyn is the only political figure in my lifetime that has spoken to me, that represents me and those like me, that is decent, that is honest, that I feel I can believe in.
The email you sent to your constituents, explaining your position on the current turmoil in your, our, party, troubled me greatly. I imagine that you have received several responses that deconstruct your arguments in a logical and systematic fashion (as well as a number of very personal assaults, and I stand with you against that abuse), so I will leave it to those with the inclination to do that. Rather, I would just like to say two things about your position on this matter. The first is that while offering heavy general critique of Mr Corbyn’s tenure as leader, there doesn’t appear to be anything solid around which these arguments are built, general claims to ‘weakness’ and ‘inability to lead’ are vague at best, and fail to inform anyone of what your real problems are. What is it that you are looking for instead? The ever sarcastic part of me would like to offer to bung you a fiver to get better biscuits for shadow cabinet meetings if Mr Corbyn is failing to provide sufficient chocolate Hob Nobs, but what I really want to know is what is the better alternative you would like to see? Who is the leader who can better unite the party, maintain the surge in young people’s interest and involvement with politics, and provide a genuine opposition to the damaging politics of the Right? Tell me who, tell Mr Corbyn who, and I will immediately eat my best hat with a side of sautéed potatoes and seasonal vegetables if you are right.
My second point here is really more of a lament, a kind of mourning for what could have been. Since Mr Corbyn took office as leader of the party there has been an ongoing and consistent attack, with the willing aid of the news media, on his person, on his politics and on his apparent lack of ability to lead the party. His credibility has been constantly called into question, and his own cabinet members have publicly criticised him and his actions. Leaked reports of plots to remove him as leader, now demostrated to have been calculated and part of a long term strategy to undermine his position, as well as the more recent actions of MPs in Westminster, have served to seriously damage the credibility of the Labour Party as a whole, the only party in my view that currently has any chance of undoing the abhorrent acts of the increasingly dangerous Conservative government. So, Ms. Reeves, I ask you to consider, as I have been doing, what if it hadn’t been like that? What if the Parliamentary Labour Party took on board wholeheartedly the mandate given to Mr Corbyn by the broader party membership? What if, rather than suggesting he is not fit for the job, you worked instead to find ways to work with him, to get to know his style, promote the positives of his leadership and be there to support him in areas of weakness? What if, rather than focusing on what you dislike about your leader, you developed a new way of working together as a party? What if the party had come together under and around Mr Corbyn to work together, as a team, a collective, to fight austerity, war, prejudice, to fight the Conservative Party at every turn, to unite the nation under Mr Corbyn’s banner of a new kind of politics? Imagine what we could have achieved, imagine what we could have changed, imagine where we might be now. Imagine, and then consider what it is you are looking for as a result of your involvement in this coup.
Thank you for your time,