A letter to my Labour council candidates on why I can’t vote for them

I have just sent this email to the Labour party candidates for the local elections that are happening today.

Dear Jackie Fraser, Doug Scott and Shaun Stammers,

I will be voting today in the council elections for Mitcheldean, Ruardean and Drybrook. In the past, I have voted for Labour councillors. But I am writing today with a heavy heart to tell you that, because of the NEC’s dreadful non-decision on a Brexit policy, I cannot vote Labour in this election (nor in the forthcoming European election).

It is simply unconscionable for the NEC to overrule the stated wishes of 80% of Labour members, MEPs, MPs and CLPs to pursue Jeremy Corbyn’s personal preference — especially when he won the party leadership on the specific promise of allowing members to guide policy.

What this amounts to is that your party has been taken over by a coup which, paradoxically, is now enabling the far-right policy of Brexit, even though polling has consistently shown that the majority no longer want to leave the European Union. I have voted Labour in every recent General Election, but will not be doing so again.

By the way, I might add that I would also not vote Labour if I were a Leaver, since its muddled and inconclusive policy amounts to nothing. True-believer Leavers will vote for UKIP or the Brexit Party, while we Remainers choose between the Lib Dems, Greens and (in the European election) Change UK. In short, Labour’s Brexit policy is not only a betrayal of its members but also a grotesquely incompetent electoral miscalclation.

In closing: I fully understand that none of this is your doing, and I regret that you at the local level are reaping the consequences of Corbyn’s undemocratic takeover. I wish you all well, but it’s important that Labour councillors, MPs, MEPs and others understand what has happened at the top of the party and the effect it is having on voters.

Dr. Mike Taylor

I can only hope that this and similar letters help Labour’s grass-roots ativists to understand that their party is being destroyed by Brexit just as surely as the Tories — with the difference that, for Labour, it’s a choice they’re making rather than a dead-end they can’t escape from.

Update (the same afternoon)

This just in from Shaun Stammers, one of the three candidate councillors I wrote to:

Dear Mike

I totally understand your frustration. As an ardent remainer I too am disheartened by the lack of vision from the NEC. On the door step it has been a terrible time with Leavers condemning us for stopping Brexit and Remainers not at all happy that the Party leadership is not campaigning for a second vote. Personally I think a second referendum is the only way and I will continue to lobby for such. Locally everything is up in the air and every vote will count but I respect the strength of your view.

With the best of regards

I really appreciate his quick response and I do understand his position. I imagine every Labour and Tory candidate is having much the same experience: getting it in the neck from both sides.

I hope he gets his party back (and that the nation gets it back!)


7 responses to “A letter to my Labour council candidates on why I can’t vote for them

  1. Brexit party: ‘Look! Labour’s a Remain party!’

    Lib Dems: ‘Look! Labour’s a Leave party!’

    Labour: ‘Look! Over there! Zionists!’

  2. I think the point really is that Leavers will see Labour is insufficiently Leavey, and Remainers will see it as insufficiently Remainy. In their blindly optimistic attempt to appeal to both groups, they have ensured they appeal to neither.

    Really, who would have voted for Labour yesterday, other than a pre-existing Labour loyalist? Leavers will have voted Tory or UKIP, Remainers will have voted Lib Dem or Green.

  3. Leavers will have voted Tory or UKIP

    Actually it looks like most of them either didn’t turn up or spoilt their ballots rather than vote for either of those parties.

    Next is the Euros, where the Brexit Party is on course to get 50% of the vote…

  4. True: ballot-spoiling and just not turning up were also options for Leavers. The point remains: why on Earth would they vote for Labour? And why would Remainers?

  5. The point remains: why on Earth would they vote for Labour? And why would Remainers?

    Well… not that many of them did.

  6. (I suppose technically they were local elections, so if you weren’t that fussed one way or the other about leaving the EU (hard as it might be to imagine, there are people for whom the issue doesn’t consume every waking thought!), and you thought the Labour candidate would be better at getting the bins collected and keeping the council tax down, you might vote for them.)

  7. It’s hard not to be apathetic. It’s a mess. No one is getting what they want. I decided to have a beer and not bother. Still there’s a good job in security just come up.

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