Thursday, 14 July 2016

Letters to the Islington Tribune on Jeremy's leadership and the "chicken coup"

LETTERS: Corbyn – nobody is better placed to win back the Labour heartlands

Published: 1 July, 2016
• THE referendum result has already been used by the right wing in the Labour Party as an opportunity to challenge the Jeremy Corbyn leadership. We are with Mr Corbyn. The huge democratic mandate on which he stood for and won the leadership of the Labour Party stands. 
Whatever the shortcomings of Labour’s campaign on the referendum, Mr Corbyn was right not to join the Tories’ big business message on Europe and was right not to appeal to traditional Labour voters on the basis of prejudice against migrants. 
Nobody is better placed than Mr Corbyn to win back the Labour heartlands and to put forward politics of solidarity socialism and anti-racism.
After the referendum result, it is vital that Labour MPs return to their constituencies to begin to heal the dangerous fault lines that have split poorer working-class communities and not be hidden away in the corridors of Westminster plotting against an elected leader with an overwhelming mandate
Our members overwhelmingly supported Jeremy for Labour leader. Jeremy has always supported our members, both as leader, local MP and long-standing member of the branch. Islington Unison will stand by him now, like the vast majority of Labour Party members. We are with Corbyn. 
Islington Unison Labour Link officer

LETTERS: It’s time to repay that debt of gratitude owed to Corbyn

Published: 8 July, 2016
• IN the published list of councillors endorsing Jeremy Corbyn the names of Labour councillors from my ward – Junction – are missing, while the names of more than 300 councillors from all over the UK are there for all to see.
I emailed all three Junction ward councillors asking if they were going to add their names. At the time of writing only Councillor Janet Burgess has replied. Her position is that although she feels “It would be wrong for me to do anything else other than support Jeremy” and  “I personally owe a debt of gratitude to Jeremy, as so many in our borough do”, she is not prepared to endorse him publicly.
Corbyn deserves her “gratitude”. Cllr Burgess’s support relies on a Labour vote kept healthy in a large part by Corbyn’s hard work in Islington. I saw this at first hand when  Corbyn gave practical support to a local challenge made to the council over the transfer of some public greenspace for private use. Cllr Burgess was reluctant to get involved until the community had won that battle and the greenspace was protected by a committee. To be fair she then gave it regular support.
Her excuse for not going public in supporting Corbyn at this pivotal moment is to keep out of “political infighting”. Part of the job of an elected Labour politician at any level is to speak out in the interests of the Labour Party. Implying that doing so would be “divisive” at a time when division is already there, in full view, does not stand up as an excuse.
Those who would undermine Corbyn are not afraid to shout from rooftops. There’s no better time to repay the “debt of gratitude” which Cllr Burgess admits she owes Jeremy Corbyn. In a democracy we need those we elect to find the courage to stand up and be counted when the going gets tough.
Tytherton Road, N19

LETTERS: Weather the storm and stay strong Jeremy

Published: 8 July, 2016
• BEING a political anorak I noticed the long knives of the Blairites were out for Jeremy Corbyn within minutes of his election as party leader last September. And they have not stopped stabbing.
The corridor coup plotters have used as an excuse the poor Remain campaign. As mass, orchestrated resignations have followed, the plot to be rid of Jeremy thickens.
On Jeremy’s side questions have to be asked: when people you trust stab you and call on you to go, should you?
While the Parliamentary Labour Party cannot support the popular elected leader, the rank and file want him. Jeremy has to get tough with his enemies within, and even those who call themselves friends.
If he weathers the current storm the Blairites and their leader will sink under the weight of the Chilcot Inquiry report. So Jeremy, stay strong, offer leadership, keep calm and let the plotters carry on?

LETTERS: Plotters used referendum as excuse for Corbyn coup

Published: 1 July, 2016
• ISLINGTON Trades Union Council stands in solidarity with our elected MP and leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn. He has been faced with some treacherous deeds by Labour MPs. The plotters would have used the referendum as an excuse to set up a coup even had the result turned out differently. They were just waiting for an opportunity to attack a popular leader, voted by almost 60 per cent of  Labour Party membership.
It was noticeable in the early morning, when the Leave campaign had won, that the Blairite tendency were busy at work. It has been emphasised that Mr Corbyn, being a former Euro sceptic, had not won the Labour heartlands to the Remain cause. How ironic is it that New Labour – of which Peter Mandelson was the chief architect and Margaret Hodge one of Blair’s chief advocates – neglected Labour’s core vote and abandoned its heartlands during the Blair years.
Mr Corbyn has massive support from the trade union movement and grassroots Labour members, as he has been consistent through many years on a wide range of campaigns based on social justice, workers’ rights, anti-austerity, world peace and internationalism.
That is why he is widely popular with vast numbers of people, in particular young people, who want an alternative to the “Westminster bubble”. Corbyn firmly believes in a grassroots-up type of politics rather than a top-down model. A different type of politics giving politics back to the people.
The Parliamentary Labour Party is showing, not just contempt for Mr Corbyn, but for the Labour membership itself that overwhelmingly voted for him. This is taking place at a time when they should be attacking the Tories, who are split down the middle on Europe, and opposing Tory legislation such as the Housing Act.
When legal problems regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s name being on a future ballot are overcome, it will be once again a growing Labour party membership that will return him to his rightful place as leader of the Labour Party.
Secretary, Islington Trades Union Council

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