After much debate, discussion, and thought I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election last year.
I felt there were candidates more in touch with the views I held, and I thought they had a better chance with the electorate.
That didn’t stop me in the short term getting behind the leader and supporting Jeremy’s position on many of the issues our party cares about. The momentum behind his movement originally felt a breath of fresh air for the party after a bruising General Election result, even though I could not see him leading the party at the next election expected in 2020.
Over the weekend I explained my frustration with the Corbyn movement. Not because I didn’t agree with Jeremy’s principles, but because despite the many new members, it hasn’t translated into new activists. This had only created unhappiness in the ranks.
Since the weekend I’ve heard from many unhappy with those attempting to oust Corbyn who themselves are Labour Party members. The majority joined after the General Election to vote for Jeremy, but in terms of interacting with the party, have not been heard since.
Many didn’t deliver leaflets for the EU referendum, didn’t attend the events to rally behind the party position, didn’t deliver or door knock for the local elections. A fair few won’t have even attended a party meeting. Some won’t have even sided with his official position on the EU referendum.
It’s all very well now coming out of the woodwork to tell the rest of us how to win elections, but it leaves me hugely disappointed many will have no interest in doing any of the work.
I do feel the party is now at a point where, despite my understanding of the position so many Corbynistas take, it is becoming untenable for Jeremy to continue as things are.
As an activist the loss of the EU referendum was dispiriting. It left me feeling like I did on 8 May last year. Added with the fact that the leader is now unable to control his party the public will hold a poorer view of Corbyn. This hasn’t been a “Blairite coup” as some refer to it. These are people from all parts of the party. It includes some of the more supportive MPs, the economic advisers working with the leadership to develop radical new policies, the Members of European Parliament, and so on.
Some of those letters and speeches from leading individuals have not been ones of venom, but ones of remorse and great sadness that things have come to this.
I do not know what is planned for the coming days. At the weekend I felt Jeremy could survive, but now I feel in the past few days Jeremy should have quickly agreed to a leadership election. It is without a doubt the longer he allows it to go on as it is, the worse it looks for him, and the worse it will make him feel. Deep down I think he knows this. He looks like he is really taking a hit today.
It has all become a sideshow at a time when we should have been picking up the pieces after the EU referendum… or even celebrating a win.
It is possible he may win another leadership election given his existing mandate from the membership, but this seems to be because of his views, rather than his skills to lead. With so many of Jeremy’s supporters reluctant to hit the doorsteps, and a General Election potentially months away rather than years, I can see why the Parliamentary party is so afraid of what might unfold. I hope for the sake of those who need the Labour Party, that I can be proven wrong on that.
I am not sure when this sideshow will end. All I know is that they say a week is a long time in politics. This last week has felt an even longer one.