This week I received an email from the Labour party, which is not unusual as I’m a member. Given the likely disaster looming for the country, and the party in the upcoming local elections I felt compelled to respond. The content of my letter to them is below: -
Brexit is no longer “the will of the people” but the party’s continuing strategic ambiguity means hard-won Labour support is draining away. The most inept, incompetent and cruel Tory government in living memory are, incredibly, level in polls with Labour. I fear that upcoming Local Government elections will show very badly for the party. When people feel abandoned by their party they will vote elsewhere, or not at all. Members will leave in large numbers and sadly that may include myself.
Catastrophic economic assessments have emerged this week showing all sectors of the economy and all regions will be grievously affected by any form of Brexit. Those areas containing Labour supporters will be among the worst hit. The hard working many who suffered under a succession of Tory attacks were told that Brexit would cure their ills and improve their lot, but now the Brexiter narrative has shifted towards “we always knew there’d be an economic downside but it’ll be worth it”. It has now been clearly shown by government’s own figures that the economic damage will be terrible and long-lasting. Brexiter response is to attack the reliability of their own figures.
Brexit was never about empowering “the people” except for already rich disaster capitalists and those who wish to seize power from government rather than return sovereignty to it. Regulations that protect consumers and workers will be slashed, NHS privatisation will accelerate and the UK will become a tax haven and a dumping ground for US exports. Do Labour wish to fight this future, or to tacitly support it?
A “Brexit that works for everyone” was always a meaningless phrase and is now looking increasingly lame. The time has come for Labour to take a stand for the people they truly represent, win what should now be a straightforward argument and oppose all forms of Brexit. Failing that we should fight to keep Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union. To their credit, some Labour MPs including Chuka Unmunna are leading such a push in this direction and I urge our party leadership to follow - or to lead.
In time to come people will look back on this disaster and remember who opposed Brexit and who didn’t. For the sake of the country and the party I hope we put ourselves on the right side of history.