Yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn was unsurprisingly re-elected as leader of the Labour Party. With another impressive result, increasing his mandate to 62%. This leaves me personally in a tough position. You see, I am someone many in the party now might describe as a ‘red Tory’ or a ‘Blairite’. The Labour Party has always been a big tent party, being home to all those on the left of British Politics and although we have seen conflict in the past, the party has almost always held strong and united under the common aim of serving the most vulnerable in society.
Now Jeremy has a good heart, he has clear and strong values and although I don’t agree with him on everything, most notably foreign policy and some of his economic views, I feel, like myself he is fighting for the most in need. Where the problems lie are some of the figures behind him. This leadership contest has been the most bruising yet and has completely alienated me from the Party I have supported my entire life.
Momentum started as a grassroots organisation supporting Jeremy’s leadership after his victory first time around, and over the past year it has grown exponentially. Many lines coming out of the group have been extremely worrying. During the back end of the campaign this year where they published a list of MP’s they would like to see deselected and this wasn’t the first time. After the vote on airstrikes in Syria there were many suggestions from Momentum to deselect MP’s who did not hold Jeremy’s view on the intervention. This blatant disrespect towards our MP’s saddens me greatly. Many of these MPs are hard working men and women who have dedicated their lives to the labour movement. Take Liz Kendall, one of the so-called moderates who I’m sure Momentum would love to deselect. This week alongside Norman Lamb and Dan Poulter she renewed calls for a cross-party commission to tackle the horrific funding gap in our NHS. This is someone we should be happy to have to working with us, fighting to keep our National Health Service one of the best in the world, not being set aside as a traitor by our members.
And it’s not just threats of deselection over the past 12 months there have been several claims of abuse on our MP’s. Threats of rape, violence and Antisemitism appear to have become common place. The Labour Party feels like it has been taken over by a mafia gang with the levels of abuse we are seeing. The abuse against women and the Jewish community hits home the most, as we are the party that have always fought for an egalitarian society.
This is definitely not what Jeremy Corbyn would have wanted to bring to the party after being elected 12 months ago but it is definitely his responsibility to stamp out. And we have not seen that from Jeremy, yes he condemns the actions of these certain individuals but words aren’t enough. For The Labour party to be seen as a safe place for all thought on the left of British politics we need him to take action against these groups as ultimately they are acting in his name.
So where does that leave me? A self-described social democrat who wants to fight and campaign for a government with fair policies giving the poorest in our society the ability to prosper, protect our liberties and regulate business in order to help our workers and consumers. All while keeping our people safe and secure. That is a question I can’t currently answer. I want to stay with the party I have voted and supported my entire life, but it just doesn’t feel like home anymore.