Defend Jeremy Corbyn against the Blairite witchhunt

I would appeal to everyone who claims to be part of the genuinely democratic left to sign this petition defending Jeremy Corbyn against the Parliamentary Labour Party, and most of his Shadow Cabinet. This is probably the best petition I’ve ever signed. Clearly written by someone who knows how to write. Wonderful stuff. Every socialist inside and outside the Labour Party needs to sign. Labour MPs who refuse to sign, and members who refuse to sign are exposing themselves to public ridicule.

Here is the text of this petition:

  • Disunity needs to be stamped out. In Westminster and in our constituencies. To me, its time we spoke out about what is happening in the Labour party. Before we succumb to the fate that other parties are dealing with.
  • 1. Your disunity is corroding the Labour movement but we will not let it succumb to your selfish indulgence
  • Its an open “secret” that the party has become fractious with relationships between elected representatives and party supporters if not party members prone to breaking down. Every day there is a local example of what we want to see the back of, like in Portsmouth.
  • We are realists. When a stance or leadership changes this always triggers extreme in-group out-group mentality, where there is a push and a shove between the old and new. Tactical voting to undermine Jeremy, refusing to say you support him when asked on television and outward criticism are being played out daily. But this has gone on too far.
  • However, the public criticism of Jeremy Corbyn goes beyond this. Some politicians who do not share his stance feel compelled to publicly discredit him. In doing so, they alienate those many many labour supporters who elected him.
  • He is undermined within his party daily, berated and mocked and yet no one is held to account. This has developed into a witch hunt. This is both unprofessional, and sabotages the Labour party in England, Scotland and in Wales.
  • We insist that MPs strongly reconsider attempts at sabotaging this party any further by sharing their personal views about Jeremy Corbyn or his policies. If you hate the party so much, let it go. Don’t break it.
  • We should always stand united together in solidarity. MPs and councillors represent their constituents, and serve the party first in a way consistent with the public interest. Is that really going to happen when all people hear from you is your latest rant about Jeremy Corbyn or his supporters.
  • Regardless of what you think, you were selected for your potential. To lead and catalyse change – not mutter in the corridors or on twitter. You disappoint everyone with a lack of discipline in presenting a united front even if behind closed doors there are rows.
  • All political parties disagree and that’s healthy, our best cabinets and shadow cabinets had rows, but these used to come to light decades after the events in memoirs not minutes and hours later. We work bloody hard and you let us down.
  • MP’s set the example for our councillors. Councillors set the example for our activists. And so the rot begins until the grassroots spoke up.
  • 2. Listen to the grassroots and look at yourselves and reflect. We find it highly offensive that for every MP, councillor or Assembly Member who declares they do not support Jeremy Corbyn are also saying those who voted for him do not matter, hold no value within the party and evidently do not know what is best for them. To those people, we say, “how dare you?”
  • To me, this Labour party is like the NHS. It is our institution which we wish to protect.
  • Disunity leads to conduct that is subjective to the person but everyone recognises it when they see it and we see it. It is the likely or actual cumulative effect to threaten, undermine, constrain, humiliate or harm another person or their property, reputation, self-esteem, self-confidence or ability to perform. Guess which MP’s and councillors this describes.
  • We wish to remind MPs of the Code of Conduct in the House of Commons. The following principles that in failing to uphold undermines every other MP in Parliament.
  • “III. Duties of Members
  • 5. Members have a duty to uphold the law, including the *general law against discrimination*. Disunity discriminates.
  • 6. Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their constituents. Constituent feel ignored.
  • 7. Members should act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them. *They should always behave with probity and integrity, including in their use of public resources.*
  • Members of the Labour Party who have been accused of online disunity face consequences. The police are called in the worst circumstances. No such consequences exist for MPs who do this to Jeremy Corbyn.
  • We remind you that you’re not exempt from the law just because you’re lionised in tabloids for indulging their prejudices against Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP.
  • People want change whether the MP’s and councillors are ready to catch up or not. We supported this change by electing a leader who represents the way the Labour should go. The alternative visions were not good enough. So respect that, come up with your own or back down and learn to behave in a way expected of Public Office.
  • We want to win the 2020 election, but we want to win with Jeremy Corbyn and we want to win with an empowered grassroots that has a voice in the party, active in our communities and persuasive online.
  • Yours Faithfully
  • Labour members, affiliates and voters.

And here is the comment I left as I signed the petition:

  • I’ve just seen this. It is the best online petitions I’ve ever signed. Rarely do I have to sign up to something so well-written, so long that I can’t quibble with in any detail. I hope every member of the Labour Party signs it. Those who don’t clearly have contempt for the member and Labour voters. Jeremy Corbyn’s support reaches FAR beyond Labour members. And they should all sign this also. And they should join Labour and agree to have a democratic broad church of the left, that tolerates minorities, if only because we are all in the minority from time to time. Some of us might even turn out to be the lonely voice in the wilderness who wins everyone else over.
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