So you think Angela Eagle will be a good leader? You are of course entitled to that view….however, the timing of your statement is deeply disappointing.
On May 5th the country goes to the polls.
Labour, as you well know, has to contend with a hostile press; a press that either skews our message, or ignores it; magnifies our mistakes and downplay our triumphs. This means we always have an Everest to climb to sell ourselves to the public.
When Labour MPs, such as yourself, sows seeds in the publics’ mind about their faith in our current leader, that climb becomes even steeper.
Even more disappointing is the fact these comments about Angela Eagle – alongside the veiled threat of a coup – came from the son of a man who presided over a seismic shift in the Labour Party. Two elections were lost under your father, but he was hailed as the man who set the Labour party on the right path.
What is so different now? Why was it right for your father to be given nine years to steer the party in a new direction, but Corbyn gets 7 months? Is it the fact the seismic shift is to the left not the right? Are the left not to be afforded a grace period when trying to transform the party? Especially when it’s proving to be such a battle, with extreme ‘centrists’ like yourself trying to sabotage the project on an almost daily basis.
What is your excuse for such blatant, arrogant, eye watering hypocrisy? Why do the right get nine long years to prove themselves, but the left get 7 months? And whatever you say, don’t say it’s because the left are unelectable? How can we possibly know that? And don’t say it’s because the left lost in 83. The left lost in 83 because the SDP had gone off in a strop, thereby splitting the left vote, and the Falklands War boosted Thatcher’s popularity. A special set of circumstances for a special time.
The same goes for Blair’s win in 97. Facing a deeply unpopular 18 year long Tory government, mired in sleaze and torn apart over Europe, an easy landslide was secured. That does not make Blair an election winning Demi-God; it simply makes him a very lucky leader in the right place at the right time.
The fact he squandered that majority by pandering to big business and George Bush, resulting in ever dwindling majorities, and lower and lower General election turnouts, makes him one of the most deeply disappointing Labour leaders in the history of our movement. Still he did well out of it, with an estimated fortune of approximately 60 million. If your hero manages somehow to wriggle off the ‘war criminal’ hook, he should have a very pleasant and luxurious old age. The same can’t be said for all the people who were killed in Iraq.
Blair left many who voted for him with a vile taste in their mouths. The taste of betrayal. Jeremy Corbyn is the antidote to that. This is a man with values, principles, someone who cares about equality. Someone who will stand up to vested interest. Someone who views war as the very last resort, not a chance to flex muscle on the world stage.
I can imagine what you are thinking now. Tutting and shaking your head, you mutter about idealistic dreamers with their heads in the clouds. Has it crossed your mind that without ‘idealistic dreamers’ like the Chartists, Suffragettes, and the early civil and gay rights campaigners, the world would be a poorer place? Or do you think they were wrong to campaign for change at a time when their views were unpopular? Maybe they should have consulted with a focus group first? Stuck their fingers in the wind and realising it was blowing the wrong way, left their halls, rally’s and meeting places and headed home for a nice cup of warm cocoa instead?
Well I for one am glad they had the courage to fight for what was right despite powerful opposition. They were on the right side of history. Just like Jeremy Corbyn, and everyone rallying behind him is now.
We know our fight is a hard one, but we won’t shy from it. Poor election results in May, which saboteurs like yourself are working toward and praying for, won’t deter us. Our project is going to be a long one.
Just like your father’s.
Michelle (Chelley) Ryan