An Apology to the Labour Party

Dear Labour Party,

This is a difficult letter to write, but write it I must. It is important that I put down in words my misdeeds in the hope that others can learn from my mistakes.

I admit I strayed. Even now I am not sure exactly what it was. The debates helped for sure – he just looked so young, so fresh… a different politician for a different age. The lack of campaign from yourselves was a factor as well – why didn’t you remind me of the good times a little more? The schools, the hospitals, equality laws, sure-start, the national minimum wage?  All I heard was a squabble about £6billion and all I saw were a lot of white, pasty middle-aged men.

Still this letter is not meant to be about you, but rather about me and my shortcomings. I admit I was seduced by Nick… I liked his casual style and I still think he has a point about creating a more liberal Britain. But I listened to John Prescott at the weekend and I realised just how misguided I have been. Creating a liberal Britain is important, of course it is, but the real prize is a socially just one. There is no point in a liberal state unless we also build a fair state alongside it. And we should be clear – there is no fairness in refusing to rebuild falling-down schools, depriving our children of learning in the best possible environments;  there is no fairness in the closing of sure-start centres in some of the poorest communities; and there is no fairness in the shutting off of funding to schemes that boost employment and training of our young.

Fairness is innate within the Labour Party, it isn’t about sound-bite or a response to focus groups – the fight for fairness is what created the party and it still runs deep in the blood of the membership today. In fact, when it comes to fairness there is only one party in town. I have learnt that now and will never again have my head turned by others.

That is not to say we are without problems. Hopefully we can all learn to work and play together  again after the divisive policies of ID Cards, Student Fees and, of course, Iraq. But looking forward also means creating a vision. Borrowing from Mr Prescott again, how do we define traditional Labour values in a modern setting? How do we regain the trust of the public? How do we excite and inspire in this age of austerity and gloom? The party needs to renew itself – not just in policy (though this is key) – but from it’s local parties upwards. We have to change the way we campaign, fighting passionately on local issues, but also linking them to a national agenda. We have to reach out to first time voters and engage with them on the issues they care about. Most of all however we need to make our local parties more inclusive again, for too long party meetings have been the exclusive domain of the political geek. By simplifying our structures and making meetings more focussed on genuine debate, local issues and the exchange of ideas we have an opportunity to create a wider, more representative membership than ever before.

So, if you’ll have me, I want to come back into the fold – but this time I am not going to stay quiet. I am going to fight hard for what I believe in – for making the party more open, improving the level of debate, giving  new members a voice and, most of all, ensuring that fairness remains at the heart of who we are.

Yours,

Boris

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12 comments

  1. Welcome back, we need more like you to stop this unholy alliances’ devastating assault on the less well off and public services

  2. Very welcome interjection.

    Here is a quote from our turncoat leader ( soonest to become EX please,

    Nick Clegg’s speech to the Lib Dem spring conference 2008….

    “This talk of alliances comes up a lot. Everyone wants to be in our gang.

    So I want to make something very clear today.

    Will I ever join a Conservative government?

    No!”

  3. One million dead in Iraq, removal of the 10p tax band, greater gap between rich and poor… very fair. Listen to Two Jags Prescott pontificating as he takes his reward in the Lords if you must, but remember how statist, illiberal, corrupt and ruinous Labour are, and how their most compelling response so far was a note saying ‘there’s no money left!’

  4. I must admit that at first I thought you were taking the piss. You are making a huge mistake if you beleive you can have any influence within Labour. Once youve cast your 3/10ths of a vote for the leader thats it. 90% of the votes are controlled by the TU beurocracy or MPs. You will be leaflet-fodder.

  5. If that’s your level of political nous then you’ll be no great loss.

    I too saw the Prescott interview and I was disgusted that he was allowed to get away with so much. No questions as to how the rebuilding programme was going to be paid for (will it be in Labour’s alternative budget?), just `tell em that we’ll build the new schools`.

    Labour are going into a cul-de-sac of their own making – simply going on about spending plans as if the other lot are hard-hearted meanies won’t wash anymore.

    People are fed up of Labour bankrupting the nation twice – they want to know that what’s being spent is affordable.

    Remember, these were uncosted plans – again you have to ask – where was the money coming from? Perhaps you’d like to ask your new friend A Darling?

  6. Labour have had no guiding principles for many a year & even when they had them never followed them (clause 4 etc). It sounds like Labour are best home for you if you judge your future and political stance on one or two ‘talks’ or ‘debates’!!!
    Good luck.

  7. “and, of course, Iraq”! And you might have added: rendition, support for evil dictators like Karimov, being in cahoots with gun runners and mercenaries, the erosion of civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad, failing to adequately provide for troops to do their job, a failure to act against Israeli aggression and racism.

    Is life really so cheap?

    And you might then have gone on to say: being over-enamoured of the city to see its weakness, the increased gap between rich and poor, the instinctive withdrawal of the 10% tax rate to match a Tory bribe for the rich, the increase in child poverty, the lack of democratic reforms.

    you said “Fairness is innate within the Labour Party, it isn’t about sound-bite or a response to focus groups”! Really! It was all about sound bites and right-wing media patronage; all of it!

    Talk the talk in opposition but proof is what Labour did in government – that’s 13 years of shame and missed opportunities.

  8. As a card carrying Lib Dem I am disappointed with our leader and his turncoat performance, roll on conference when we can give him a bloody nose. However I heard Prescott at the weekend going on about building on traditional Labour values building a just society. Is this the same J Prescott that voted for an illegal war, that was a member of a government that over saw one of the biggest reduction in civil liberties in modern times and is a member of the party that landed us all with this huge deficet.
    Its all well and good being reminded of the good times. The schools, the hospitals, sure-start, the national minimum wage but we need money for these which we don’t have at present.

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