We are writing as active and committed members of the Labour Party because we feel our voice is being ignored by our own party.
We enthusiastically voted for Jeremy Corbyn precisely because he promised to listen to his members and put them at the heart of everything he did. We believed that and went on to create the biggest membership for any political party in Europe. This provided the enthusiasm for the unexpected and dramatic gains in the general election of 2017.
We expected party processes would become more transparent, accessible and democratic. However, the reverse has been the case. Over the last six months ordinary members up and down the country have submitted hundreds of grassroots motions in favour of a People’s Vote only to find most have not been discussed by Labour’s elected authorities due to Kafkaesque rules and procedure.
Many of us recently tried another approach – to call for a special conference on our Brexit policy. Despite many motions to this effect over the last month and a petition of 3,500 members, as we write Labour has not addressed this issue.
Jeremy Corbyn owes his position to his membership. Now is the time to listen to us.
Cllrs Kathy Bance MBE, John Paschoud, Susan Wise and 21 others
Labour is my natural home but am I so disillusioned by a party which has shown itself to be entirely unequipped to deal with the most critical event of the decade.
The mood music from the Labour leadership has been weary irritation at being forced to engage in the Brexit debate rather than the comfortably familiar topics of the left.
Jeremy Corbyn sees Brexit through only one lens – whether or not it will help gain an early election and get Labour into power. He wants a UK that is regulated internally for the benefit of the many but is opposed to regulation from the EU that seeks to do the same at an international level. He advocates democracy but seeks to subvert the democratic will of Labour Party members and voters.
There is no mistaking, the Conservatives created Brexit and in doing so have deeply divided our society. They are guilty through deliberate action and history will judge them as such. Labour is guilty by inaction and calculated ambiguity.
I wish to remain a Labour supporter, but the party must change leader to one who can engage with challenges beyond social inequality and workers’ rights. These, while hugely important, are not the only things that matter in creating a prosperous, fair, safe and sustainable society.
Philip Churchman, Norwich
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