An honest letter to Labour members

by Rob Marchant

Dear Labour member,

You probably think this is like so many emails you get from the party nowadays. But it is not.

This is a letter to you from someone who loves the party and sees it in desperate trouble.

Apologies in advance: this is going to be tough. There is not really any way to be nice about it, so here goes.

To the party’s right: you need to up your game. Owen Smith – and Angela Eagle until a few weeks ago – have made a brave stand. But you cannot let yourselves be out-organised by the Corbynites. For example, if your rally is going to get only modest support, don’t do a rally at all, do something else. If you play who-pulls-a-bigger-crowd with Corbyn, you will lose. Lay out your candidate’s stall early and don’t let their opponent define them.

Please also do not let these clowns get away with subverting your local party structure. They are organising against you and you must organise back. You cannot be nice about this, too much is at stake.

Your opponents also have generous supplies of cash, thanks to the leaders of the larger trade unions having scant accountability to their members as to where they channel their subs. You will have to be truly inventive to counter that. But you can still win and there is still all to play for.

To the hard left: I do not care about you. With the notable exception of Dennis Skinner, you have no real love for this party and would see it burn. And frankly, you are not even that sure about democracy, either. Your ideas put into action will undoubtedly end in disaster and chaos; they always do. Our mission is now to ensure you do not take our party with you as collateral damage.

To remaining members of the soft left still supporting Corbyn: you are the key. This is in your hands and, with the best will in the world, you need to wake up. You probably supported Corbyn because you thought he was nice, decent and a breath of fresh air.

But you missed an important fact: he is, and always has been, hard left. Your views and his are really not the same (and, if you would take the time to check just a few facts easily available on the internet about his past associations, you might actually begin to wonder about his decency, too. But I digress).

So, you are supporting him now not because your views coincide, but because you feel he has been put upon by the media and the party’s right, and are leaping to his defence. In time-honoured Labour fashion, you are standing up for him as if he were a potentially disadvantaged minority, as you would rightly stand up for ethnic or LGBT minorities. And probably also because you never really liked those Blairite and Brownite types anyway, so supporting Corbyn against them feels like “sticking it to the man”.

But the truth is this: Corbyn is not disadvantaged, he is the front runner, and the opprobrium he has received in the mainstream press is really a hundred per cent his own fault. When even the neutral BBC and the left-leaning Guardian – employer of his current, hard-left press spokesman, remember – starts being labelled anti-Corbyn, it’s because you’re doing something wrong.

Your continuing support for him is not only sentimental in the face of strong evidence against doing so, but it is a self-indulgence which is now threatening the very future of your party. It is not the time for protesting and sticking it to the man. This leader cannot win an election and, worse, he is busy refashioning the party in such a way that no future leader will ever have the means to, either. And if you think mass deselections in the PLP is really going to help us win the next election, you are already lost to reason.

In short, the party is dividing into two factions: Labour and Corbyn-Labour. The latter of these is fast becoming not merely a cult of personality, but a political death cult and your cross on the ballot paper will decide whether it wins.

This is no longer a struggle for the soul of the Labour party we all care about. It is a struggle for its existence.

Please think about it.

Yours in candour,

A friend and comrade

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour party manager who blogs at The Centre Left

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26 Responses to “An honest letter to Labour members”

  1. Feodor says:

    Could one man be any more pompous?

  2. Anne says:

    I would be interested to hear what Francis O’Grady (TUC) has to say about the Labour Party – I heard her speak and write for the Remain campaign about workers rights – I was quite impressed by her.

  3. Sir Henry Percy says:

    The political thinking behind this kind of article has guaranteed a Corbyn victory.

    Shallow and insulting and you don’t appear to have anything serious to say. Take some of your own advice and up your game.

  4. Mark Livingston says:

    Don’t be Tory-lite. Be a socialist. Vote Corbyn!

  5. Richard MacKinnon says:

    Dear Labour member,
    Don’t you realise how stupid you are? Don’t you understand the damage you, Corbyn, the unions, the hundreds of thousands of new members are doing to the party. Stop following these dangerous crazy idiots. Listen to me not them. Im right, these clowns are retarded deviants. They want to destroy everything.
    Look, Im not trying to insult you here when I say you don’t have a fukin clue.
    Please think about it.
    Yours in candour,

    A friend and comrade

  6. paul barker says:

    Even Umunna or Jarvis would have found it hard to win against Corbyn, which is why the never tried. Smith never really had a chance, even before his “I agree with Jeremy” routine. Its time to abandon the contest & get on with Plan B. With every poll the chances of a Snap Election increase, you have to start The Split now, you cant afford to wait.

  7. john P Reid says:

    well if this article is what the labour party think of the white working class ,there’s no hope

  8. TCO says:

    The party’s over for Labour.

    It is two separate parties with nothing in common. Accept it, separate, and move on.

  9. John says:

    Ha Ha and its not even April 1st. Not a single fact to support anyone of your statements, just slogans and smears. Come on if you really want people to switch from Corbyn to Smith offer us something positive. A good start would be Smith saying he condemns those who are saying the party will split if Corbyn is elected. Also saying that he will accept the members decision and will work for a Labour Government, whenever the next election is called, would be a good sign of his ‘party unity candidate’ status.

  10. Peter Kenny says:

    Mr sweet reason is here again calling hundreds of thousands of people a ‘death cult’ and thinking that’s going to work.

    Project Fear in Scotland – 45% for independance and Labour reduced to one seat.

    Project Fear in the EU referendum – 52% for Brexit.

    Project Fear in the Leadership election – ?

  11. Tafia says:

    Undecideds are not going to vote for Smith for one very very good reason. They know he’s merely a stalking horse for people too cowardly to put their head above the parapit. Vote Smith and you ultimately end up with a coward such as Cooper or Umanna.

    Understand something. The New Labour project is over. It is not coming back.

  12. NickT says:

    “….calling hundreds of thousands of people a ‘death cult’ …”

    And for no reason other than that Corbyn and his Militant thugs want to destroy the Labour party and leave Britain without a functioning opposition. How terribly unfair to St Jeremy who supported IRA terrorism, who supports the homophobic murderers in Iran, who supported Iraqi terrorists when they attacked British soldiers. Corbyn and his Momentum rabble are unfit for any sort of public office and that’s why the public keeps – and will keep – rejecting them at the polls. Corbyn has been too lazy to develop any policies or work with his colleagues, too incompetent and too mediocre to do anything that doesn’t involve his personality cult of useful idiots praising the Dear Leader for losing council seats, deliberately screwing up Brexit and harming British workers by the loss of EU protection of their rights. This disgusting old fraud should be expelled from the party he has so consistently betrayed, along with Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Len McCluskeyl and the rest of that perverted, bigoted, swindling shower.

  13. buttley says:

    this article is an embarrassment, i expect better please.

  14. Mike Stallard says:

    We urgently need an opposition that works. We are currently separating from the EU and David Davis and the others have absolutely no idea how to go about it. We need to join EFTA and remain in the EEA until we have sorted out Article 50. This is urgent or all the terrible forecasts of the REMAIN project fear really will come true.

    Meanwhile Mr Corbyn in way back in the 1970s bleating about the nuclear deterrent and Mr – who? – standing against him is on about handing money out to everyone who puts their hand out. Irrelevant!

    If this is all Labour has to offer, then, frankly, I hope it goes that way of the Liberals a hundred years ago.

  15. Feodor says:


    I thought it was Corbyn’s supporters who were supposed to be the rabid extremists–did I miss a memo?

  16. Tafia says:

    NickT deliberately screwing up Brexit and harming British workers by the loss of EU protection of their rights.

    UK employment rights, paid holiday rights, maternity rights etc etc etc are way superior to the EU protected ones. So Nick T, do you want the EU rights?

  17. steve says:

    “he [Corbyn] is busy refashioning the party in such a way that no future leader will ever have the means to [win an election].”

    In other words, a Labour Party with internal democracy will fail because Labour Party members are numpties.

    This is why all important decisions should be left to the self-selecting elite who supported lunatic military interventions, the privatisation of the NHS, the de-regulation of the financial sector, austerity, the hands-off approach to the housing crisis, etc.

    Yes, what a very convincing Robsplaination.

  18. Peter Kenny says:

    Hi NickT – and how many will this rant, full of insults and smears, win over?

    For example – there is no Militant – they became the ‘Socialist Party’ and are not currently pursuing ‘Entryism’ into the LP. Catch up!

    The ‘thugs’ is a lie, an attempt to smear the left. You need to decide if Corbyn is Worzel Gummidge or Pol Pot because he surely can’t be both.

    (Clue – neither one of them)

    You are, of course, entitled to think we’re wrong but we actually don’t want to destroy the Labour Party – change it, of course but that’s just a normal democratic process.

    I didn’t want any British soldiers to go to Iraq or get killed, or kill anyone. Once they did people will obviously fight them, that’s what some people do when their country is occupied. They did fight and they beat us. Waste of lives, of futures, of money and all else. Do you think we should still be there?

    The Tories talked to the IRA, swearing they weren’t – how else do you make peace?

    Trouble is you aren’t even a democrat – talking about expulsions because of people’s legitimate politics.

    You’ve given up trying really, haven’t you?

    Best wishes.


  19. Peter Carabine says:

    Two points 1) in any other party the YouGov polling putting Labour at its lowest percentage for 35 years before the election campaign begins would cause pandemonium ; even with young voters Theresa May is well ahead never mind working class. The Corbynites do not care because that is not their purpose as Martin Robbins wrote about so brilliantly recently in New Statement. Well worth reading ” Jemery Corbyn & Paranoid style” on web.
    2. We owe it to the voters to provide a left of centre, progressive, proEuropean choice as 16 millions Remainders are screaming out for representation.

  20. Tafia says:

    Peter – 2. We owe it to the voters to provide a left of centre, progressive, proEuropean choice as 16 millions Remainders are screaming out for representation.

    Define progressive in real terms – not mickey mouse abstracts. You can’t. The Lib Dems claim they are ‘progressive. As do the SNP. As do Plaid Cymru. As does the Labour right. But they can’t all be progressive if they are singing different songs. Ask any two people to define it and you will get two different answers. It’s a stupid word which if you can’t quantify, you shouldn’t use. It just makes people go “yeah yeah. Whatever”.

    Left of centre pro-European choice? The EU referendum was decided in the C2DE social class where over 50% votd to leave.. In case it escapes your attention, that’s the natural area for the Labour Party. You failed to address their concerns and they aren’t going to support you u if you are pro-EU unless you address those concerns.

    What you are proposing is middle class centrism – Blairism for want of a better description. A highly discredited creed. Left my arse.

  21. paul says:

    what about 2million labours who wont vote for labour anymore bcos of corybyn?
    the labour party is a broad church so we cannot have only one definition of progressive politics… and mr corbyns strand is only one strand…hence this feeling he wants to destroy the party..what about 9million voters who voted labour last time? he has no charisma no leadership skills no media savvy hes a protestor! a party which was in power just 6 yrs ago now almost extinct…what is a natural labour voter for Gods sake in 2016 ? as if we are still in 1945 and we have this fixed mass of working class voters you think they dont have aspirations as well?? is changing everything….we need a leader who will be acceptable and trusted by swing voters as well..scotland is gone and we need middle england mrs may will win in 2020 without a doubt she has planted her feet firmly on labours lawn and the truth is she just looks and feels more competent if david cameron with his hard right agenda could win a majority then surely mrs may will win with an inreased majority…stick with corbyn your will all be weeping on election night in 2020!

  22. john P Reid says:

    peter, you assume that of the 16 million voters they’re were all left of centre, does this include William Hague Theresa may,john Major, MAlcolm Rifkind, Blair, peter lilley,

  23. john P Reid says:

    peter , the Socialist party are trying to join the labour party, haven’t you seen their actions in Walthamstow

  24. Disenfranchised says:

    @Tafia – There you go, telling it as it is.

  25. paul barker says:

    Read the comments on this thread, what we have here is 2 Parties in an uneasy cohabitation. The only alternatives are a clean break or endless Civil War till there is nothing left to fight over. The Leadership “Contest” is largely irrelevant.

  26. Mike Homfray says:

    I am delighted to hear that you have finally realised that your wing of the party is going to lose.
    Now, after Jeremy wins, are you going to stop complaining?

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