The Labour Party is dying. It is crumbling to dust before our eyes. These are serious times. The social infrastructure of our country is being cut to the bone. Local government is being destroyed. The NHS is being sucked dry, social care is being obliterated. The government is reordering our country in a way unseen in modern times. Electoral boundaries are being redrawn to give a perpetual advantage to the Conservatives and lock every one of these changes in for good. We increasingly look like we are approaching the eve of sending more British troops into war. Humanity is being assaulted daily by a ravaging army of expansionist psychopaths. We desperately need a strong, moral, rational, electable, giant of a Labour Party, but Labour is dying. It is vanishing before our eyes. And all we can do is watch? It is a tragedy. In fact, it’s a travesty.
The Labour Party has been a force for good, for progress, for profound human development in Britain for over 100 years. Housing our people, clothing our children, healing our sick, education, decent wages, opportunities, equal rights, freedom to transcend the poverty of beginnings. The Labour Party has fought for and delivered all. We have delivered some of the greatest political leaders this country has ever seen, titans of social democratic Left – Healey, Bevin, Morrison, Blair. The real Left. The one that knows that the only thing that matters is what you can achieve for people, and whose politics are rooted in the real lives of the people, not the abstract societal structures existing in the minds of people who have yet to grow up. In politics words are words, puffs of smoke, nothing without the means and the will to make change happen. And yet, this. Our beloved Labour Party being destroyed by a hard Left who – in the words of Alan Johnson – have spent their lives “printing leaflets and despising” the Labour Party.
An older member of the Labour Party, active for over 40 years, said to me yesterday that she felt the Labour Party was being “stolen from ordinary members and ordinary people.” “I wake up in the morning and I just feel like something very precious is being taken from us and there is nothing we can do to stop it.” This is not what the vast majority of those who paid £3 to support Corbyn wanted, I am certain of that. I’m doubt it’s even what Corbyn himself wanted. But the door has been opened to a sea of Hard Left fantasists and life-long political conspiracy theorists who – whatever the act, whatever the battle, the West is always to blame. They’re feasting like political vultures on the true party of the people. Jeremy Corbyn was given a mandate to lead, he was not given a mandate to destroy the Labour Party. His decisions, his judgement, his political appointments have brought the Labour Party into disrepute. It’s arguable that the appointment of Seumas Milne alone did that. We have rules requiring the NEC to act when the party is brought into disrepute and they must be used now. If he cannot be persuaded to go, the NEC must save the Labour Party by removing him from office, and the PLP must come together to support this action now.
Reflecting on the French Revolution, Edmund Burke said “Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership . . . not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” Despite being perhaps the philosophical founder of modern conservatism, Burke’s comments apply every bit to the Labour Party today. We have a duty to save the Labour Party. If we fail to act, we betray the women and men who founded the Labour Party over a century ago, we betray every electoral mandate given to the Labour Party by the people of this country (all incidentally – actually, critically – given to moderate Labour administrations). We betray all those who have given lifetimes of service to the Labour Party up and down the country, for the last 100 years and right up to today. And we betray all those who need a serious Labour Party now and in the future. To stand by and watch Labour die is intolerable, and unforgivable. It’s time for the PLP and the NEC to act.