27 June 2016
I am very disappointed to read that you have resigned as Shadow Minister for Arts and Culture.
This morning, I was considering whether to travel to London to stand with supporters of Jeremy Corbyn outside Parliament while the PLP discuss the leadership this evening. I tried to find some information about supportive events in Bristol, but could find nothing on the web. Perhaps your resignation is one reason why.
One of the reasons Jeremy was elected leader of the party is that he does not dissimulate. It is difficult for any thinking person to be wholeheartedly in favour of the EU. It is especially difficult for the leader of a party that has a long tradition of scepticism towards the EU and that contains a vocal group that argues cogently that leaving the EU is necessary to combat the neoliberal agenda.
The concern about Jeremy’s leadership that has been expressed by you and several of your colleagues focuses on his alleged failure to ignite the Europhiliac passions of the working class communities that voted for Brexit. I don’t know how anyone could have been expected to do this. I trust you don’t imagine that Labour could be led by a left-wing version of Nigel Farage. We know where the cult of personality has led Labour in recent decades.
As you say, we need a strong, unified and effective Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn has the support of thousands of party members. I don’t think this true of any of the leaders of the other parties and it is a great pity that the PLP are not fully behind him at this critical time. I shall travel to London this afternoon.
One thought on “Open letter to Thangam Debbonaire”
It is true that Jeremy Corbyn appears to have the support of party members. This is also true of Nicola Sturgeon and Tim Farron – but they are also supported by their elected representatives. Jeremy Corbyn is in many ways admirable and genuine – as was Michael Foot – but these qualities will not necessarily save him or make his party electable. As a Liberal Democrat, I am well used to having my party and leaders misrepresented and this is, in part, what the Corbyn phenomenon is all about.
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