A LETTER TO THE LABOUR PARTY May 22, 2015Posted by feedthemoon in Uncategorized.
It has become noticeable in recent years that there is an increasing disconnect between the Labour Party and the very people it should be representing.
Tony Blair’s so-called Third Way may have won over many disaffected Tory voters in the 1990’s, but ‘New’ Labour also lost much of their core-support along the way, including me. I believe during this period Labour in effect sold its soul, by embracing a social-democratic brand of neo-liberalism. This was the point when I became lost to the Labour Party.
I have not forgotten how New Labour during its tenure introduced authoritarian civil-liberty curbing legislation at break-neck speed. Blair’s so-called humanitarian-interventionism bought chaos to the Middle East and resentment at home. Back in 2003, despite being a life-long Labour supporter I found myself marching against them in London, my city of birth. I know there were many tens, maybe hundreds of thousands like me who became lost to Labour that day.
So what now? – What direction should Labour take?
Well, we’ve recently had the likes of John Reid coming forward to declare Labour must take a necessary shift to the centre (which is of course, is code for a return to the right). To be honest, an ex-home secretary who walked into a lucrative job with Group 4 Security, having given them the contracts when in office – well, I’m afraid I have no time for him or his opinions.
Labour don’t need a lurch back to the right, they need to return to the left. Here’s why:
I remember reading Tony Benn describing English Socialism as a very particular beast: a philosophy centred on decency and fairness, a tradition borne out of Methodism and Trade Unionism: placing great emphasis on self-betterment, compassion and co-operation. This is something people can relate to, and I think this should be the essence of who Labour is and what it stands for.
In the recent campaign I was baffled by Miliband’s hesitancy to trumpet Labour’s glorious past achievements: Where was the celebration of the great transforming Atlee government; the pride in Nye Bevan’s NHS? –The Glorious Spirit of ’45! (?)
I mean, does anyone seriously believe that the NHS would even exist if it weren’t for that reforming Labour Party?
Having ditched the Labour Party under Blair, and having recently voted (without noticeable enthusiasm) for Labour under Miliband, I now truly want to return to a party I believe in. One dedicated to true social justice; one prepared to combat erroneous legislation such as TPP (which would in effect give corporations the human rights we are now abandoning); A Labour Party that listens to the people; that works with progressive parties like The Greens and SNP (Miliband’s arrogant dismissal of Sturgeon’s offer was frankly shocking to me). I would like to help, but most of all I would like to believe.
I am a writer of plays, and a teacher of writing. I have worked in a community setting for nearly 30 years now. I’m idealistic, I’m a dreamer: Politically speaking what I want is something to dream about, something to march behind. What we need is a collective dream that we can all buy into. Let’s all march behind a flag we believe in, not one that placates right-wing corporate interests.
I want to do more for a progressive Labour Party dedicated to social justice. I want to make the world a better, fairer, more compassionate place.
I’m telling you this because trust me; I’m precisely the kind of person you want on board, fighting on your behalf.
Thanks for listening, I feel better now (!)