Today I joined the Labour Party in disgust. Here is a copy of a letter I sent upon my membership to the party, to Jeremy Corbyn and to my MP Rachel Reeves. If you agree with my points please feel free to copy and use as a template:
It was just over ten days ago that Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was shot, stabbed and killed outside her constituency office as she went about her work.
It was a killing widely described as a hate crime. An act of terrorism. A tragic, frightening and horrific killing which struck at the heart of West Yorkshire, the halls of Westminster and the country as a whole. Her death drew calls for unity, cohesion and understanding; all behaviours which Jo Cox regarded as important. And for a short time it seemed the terrible crime might actually prompt these behaviours in parliament.
Then the EU referendum happened. The pound crashed, the PM resigned, the UK teetered on the edge of dissolution and reports of racist incidents rose dramatically. The message that Westminster was dramatically out of touch with the people it was serving had never been felt more keenly.
Today the pound hit a 31 year low. But we as a nation are far poorer than the losses made in our currency and economy over the past four days.
So, the response of the Labour Party following a fortnight which can only be described as a cataclysmic disaster? Political infighting, back-stabbing and an appalling lack of awareness being displayed by our elected members.
Jeremy Corbyn won his role in a landslide victory not even 12 months ago. He was voted in by an overwhelming majority by members of the Labour Party. The way elected Labour members have behaved since his leadership began is shameful. His politics might not suit everyone; but he was elected in a fair contest. So why does it feel that the past months have not been spent refocusing the efforts of the party to unify and move into a position where a challenge for power is possible, but instead have been wasted on efforts to undermine Corbyn and his leadership?
The cynical observer might suggest that whatever the result of the referendum, revolting MPs would have used the opportunity to oust Corbyn from his position as party leader.
Even if this is untrue, the manner in which many of the party’s politicians have conducted themselves since Friday is shameful.
Instead of going about the processes in the correct way – with a vote of no confidence and an election – those MPs involved in the coup against Corbyn seem to be using bullying tactics to push him to resignation. If the Labour Party was any other workplace, many members could find themselves being rightly accused of constructive dismissal.
This poisonous behaviour is bilious. In the wake of such a tragic fortnight – a fortnight which clearly shows fractious divisions in the UK and an abyss between Westminster and the electorate – Labour MPs should be taking care to tread carefully and with consideration. They should be working by the book. Working to unite the party. Working to pick up from the tatters of disaster and look to their voting public to engage the disillusioned and start to rebuild. When this kind of respect and order was urged by Jeremy Corbyn in his speech today, he was jeered and heckled by both Tory and Labour MPs. How absolutely shameful.
As a voter from the outside I felt ill watching the scenes in parliament today. The smug, jeering faces of politicians from both parties whose disregard for their electorate could not have been clearer than it was in that moment. How can these people, who cat-call and shout, who bully and behave like children in a playground, wonder why the general voting public is so disconnected from them?
No regard, no respect.
With threats like UKIP and Nigel Farage looming large on the horizon; with bigotry and racism becoming more mainstream by the day; Labour MPs must put aside their differences and unite.
I joined the Labour Party today in the hope of having some say in its future and the future of our country. I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn. If I had been a Labour Party member at the time of the leadership contest I do not know if I would have voted for him. But I do know that if the actions of the elected members of the party continue to be so divisive, there is no chance of seeing Labour come to power in the next general election and there is every chance of the UK becoming more disparate, damaged and discordant. We, as a nation and as Labour voters, deserve more than this.