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An Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

27/07/2016 17:03 | Updated 28 July 2016
Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Dear Jeremy,

We all knew this day would come. We all knew it was just a matter of time. We all knew that it was inevitable. Alas the time has come to fall on your sword. To do the honourable thing; to do what is right. Your watch has ended. You must now show your loyalty to the party you claim to care so much about, and save it. Resign, Jeremy, resign - or the red blood of Labour will be on your hands.

That sounds a bit grim. I don't mean to scare you. You've at least tried to encourage a new era of politics, which is... nice - but Jeremy, in all seriousness, it is make or break for the Labour Party. While we thank you for your contribution - encouraging young people to join the party, voicing the concerns of Stan from Blackpool and reminding us how fashionable the geography-teacher look really is - it's time to move on. I joke, of course - and I do genuinely thank you for attempting to lead the party during particularly turbulent political times. You stand for everything that the Labour party believes in; but to remain as its leader could contribute to the party's downfall. Just like every tragic hero, now is the time for your moment of anagnorisis - please realise that we are currently unelectable under your leadership. The 'new era' of politics that you tried to promote, appears stuck in a bygone time and we must be rid of this paradox if we are to survive.

I fear I may have lost you already - please, Jeremy, if you're out there, continue reading.

Now, more than ever, The Labour party NEEDS you. We NEED you to realise that our future as a party hangs in the balance while you are its leader. To secure its future, you must put aside your own ego and desire to remain in power. In this time of political instability it is imperative that we form a credible opposition - a government in waiting. From my own experience, interacting with the electorate and discussing the state of the party, the public do not regard us as a 'government in waiting,' but rather, a shadow cabinet in disarray. With so many MPs resigning from your Shadow Cabinet, it is clear to see that with you at its helm, the Labour Party cannot be the credible opposition that this country deserves. As Brexit will soon usher in the establishment of the most uber right-wing government of my generation, please realise that in order for Labour to grow and reach out to disillusioned communities the party must move forward with a new leader. This social betterment cannot take place unless we are in power, and I fear the party is currently unelectable.

To have ideals and principles is wonderful - yes, wonderful, we all share them - but in order to act upon them, we must be in government. This is irrefutable. Although you appeal to a certain demographic within the Labour Party, this group cannot be considered a microcosm of the electorate. In order to ensure a society based on equality and justice we must broaden our appeal - seek to find support amongst our dwindling core vote, while simultaneously practicing what we preach, and extend the hand of friendship to voters from all social backgrounds. This means enticing the middle-class vote, courting the support of businesses, while maintaining our desire to bring about progressive social change - which can, I reiterate, only be implemented when we assume power. To put your ideals and principles in action, we must win - and this is not foreseeable under your leadership.

Jeremy, I feel let down. I feel let down by your half-hearted attempt to save Britain from exiting the EU. As a pro-EU campaigner myself, I felt a deep sense of disappointment and anger that my own leader was not more proactive in his attempt to inspire individuals to vote 'Remain.' I tried tirelessly to convince my ex-Labour faithful area to vote 'Remain,' but even they opted for the rhetoric of UKIP and the far-right. From unnecessary, and quite frankly counterproductive, phrases such as '7 out of 10,' to passionless TV appearances, you did little to encourage a unanimous pro-EU feeling amongst traditional Labour voters, let alone those whom I believe we should be reaching out to. I worked tirelessly to ensure a 'Remain' win; canvassing, holding street stalls, working cross party. I feel... hurt, that you did not campaign with the same vigour as my fellow volunteers who dedicated their weekends and week-nights to ensuring the best possible outcome for our country. The prospect of you voting 'Leave,' is a notion I find incredibly troubling - but perhaps not surprising, considering your record on rebelling against party policy. How can I ever have faith in you again? I feel... betrayed.

"Honest politics," you said.

"Don't trust politicians," they said.

I don't doubt that you are a 'good man,' - but please, I beg of you, show you are a 'good man,' and saveLabour. This can go one of two ways - either you go down in history as the man who killed the Labour Party, or you go down in history as the man who saved it, by letting go of personal pride, and allowing the party to take a path to government. If the latter scenario is your goal, I implore you to stand down as leader.

Once I press the 'publish' button, I am sure to be called a 'Blairite,' a 'traitor,' or a 'Red Tory.' I don't believe this is the 'caring' politics you spoke about some months ago. I stand with you in your aim to stimulate a political party based on kindness and fairness - and to be labelled anything other than a "Labour member," (such as 'vermin,' or 'scum,') is not only insulting, but simply un-Labour. To disagree with party elites, as you have throughout your career, does not make me a Blairite. It makes me a realist. The Labour Party has, and always will be, a broad-church, and as such its leader must be able to unify all political philosophies. Jeremy, I feel that you are unable to do so, and that the individuals who follow you so loyally will view us as traitors to democracy. We are not. We see that in order to implement the societal change that this country needs, we must gain the support of the electorate - not just the party members. After all, the MPs who have shown their dismay in your leadership, were all elected by the people and as we live in a representative democracy, we must take their views into account. Deep down, I'm sure you can appreciate the logic behind this view.

If you do not feel as passionately as I do about saving the Labour Party, perhaps you will consider joining the SWP, whose membership seem to adore you. If you do feel as passionately as myself, consider this; You can play a role in returning a Labour government. You have become an iconoclastic figure and as such have built a remarkable grass-roots network, who - alongside the wider electorate whom a new leader could potentially reach out to - would contribute to a huge increase in the Labour share of the vote. Think of the good we can do, together. You can help unite the party in order to win a potential snap General Election, or at the very least to win come 2020. You can play a role in this; but only if you step aside.

I took a leaf out of your book, Jeremy - this is 'straight talking politics.' So please, resign, do not pursue re-election, and let the Labour Party thrive. You can be part of this rebirth.

Regards,

Martha O'Neil

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