The experiment is over Jeremy, step aside

unity is strengthHarmony is a long-time Labour activist who supported Jeremy Corbyn but now says it’s time for him to go.


Labour is a living, diverse movement, not a fixed, dogmatic cult. The experiment is over and it’s time for Jeremy to step aside.

It’s increasingly ludicrous (not to mention divisive) to dismiss what’s happening to the UK Labour party leadership as a Blairite careerist coup. Quite apart from the sheer number of shadow cabinet members to go – from across the political “spectrum” – and the resounding result of the no confidence motion, anyone listening to Angela Eagle’s emotional testimony on the World at One yesterday will be in no doubt as to how difficult and sincere her decision has been.

It’s tempting to reduce all opposition to self-interest, to disregard genuine concern as plot. Of course it’s possible some act out of self interest, but when will politics ever – just for a moment – give those who disagree with us the benefit of the doubt?

My very wise dad repeats that we shouldn’t impute motives. And I (try to) keep that in mind. So I won’t here.

I will say, however, that it’s always possible people act from principle not mendacity. And, whether you agree or not, we are all members of the same party. The same party. A wonderful diverse, jumble of comrades with a common endeavour.

The paucity of respect, tolerance and love in the party over the past few days is not representative of our values. As a member who joined aged fifteen, I hope you’ll forgive the hyperbole, but it’s breaking my heart. It happens so quickly and easily. The name-calling. The myopic reductive accusations. The vitriol. The trenches.

Be careful of each other. Only last week we had more in common than that which divides us. We still do. And if we can’t remember that as Labour Party members, who will?

And so, to the “coup”, the “plot”. No plotters (whoever they are) so far have sent me a whatsapp message, so I can admit: I act alone.

I will also admit: I decided to give Jeremy a chance. He wasn’t my first choice, but with such a clear mandate from the membership, I wanted to support his leadership.

If we must deal in reductive labels, then, cringe, I’m a left-wing pragmatist. But I had a couple of months of what can only be called disillusion. I felt an increasing distance between the political ruling elite and communities. I witnessed the persistent infantilisation of “real” people by well-meaning, but out of touch politicians. I was upset by the casual contempt with which the membership was held by some at the top (by no means most it must be said).

It all meant I, like so many, was captured by the thought that something different might shake up the party – maybe even wider society – and allow a new (I personally hoped, female) leader the space and ground to emerge strongly. I saw how Corbyn’s campaign mobilised members and wondered if that energy could translate into a force for good in our party.

And stop. I won’t go into why the last ten months have been so profoundly disappointing for me, nor what mistakes I think were made. Including by me. Because, regardless of all those arguments, failing to command a parliamentary party and continuing to lead is utterly impossible.

MPs are stewards of the membership. They were selected by members and then elected by the wider public (you know, all those confounding people we need to vote for us if we are to govern?). Of course they have a mandate to act.

So, Dear Jeremy,

Step aside. Or, If you really must, stand your ground, and allow the membership the chance to give you a sound, secure basis to lead us into what will certainly be a general election before the year is out.

I don’t want a UK leadership contest. It’s the last thing I want when we have a political vacuum the size of, well, Europe, and horribly uncertain times both domestically and internationally.

I don’t want a UK leadership contest.

But I do want a leader.

So please, Jeremy. Some straight talking honest politics: it’s time to see the bigger picture, remove the trenches in the Labour family and put up the best fight we have to stop a Tory government with no EU to soften the blows.

It’s bigger than one man. And bigger than long-nursed resentments and grudges. The party has to unite and inspire. The last days have shown you are not able to meet the task.

I feel horrible to be in this position: you’re clearly a great guy. I so wanted you to be a great leader.

Yours, a life long member and supporter of Labour governments.

Related Posts

17 thoughts on “The experiment is over Jeremy, step aside

  1. I came on here to denounce the suggestion that the leadership of Labour from the left was an “experiment.” But this criticism should be directed at whoever wrote the headline, rather than the article, which is for the most part measured and sensible.

    To be brief, I agree with most of the sentiments expressed here, but not the conclusion. Ultimately Jeremy was elected by the members, and it ought to be they who decide whether his time is up. Clearly the current situation is untenable, but in my opinion the solution is a leadership contest, Corbyn versus whichever MPs want to challenge him and have sufficient support.

    However, for this to work, we first need a firm commitment from all wings of the party – lefts of all hardnesses, right, centre, progressives, pragmatists, whoever – to respect that result and come together to make the best of whatever our collective decision is.

    A leadership contest in these uncertain times is far from ideal, but is now surely inevitable. So we might as well make sure it is decisive.

  2. No actually its time the Blairites fucked off and started their own Red Tory party and allowed the original Labour party to get back to its roots.
    Its the Blairites who have brought Labour to where they are today. How many elections have they lost at all levels since 2007?
    Corbyn on the other hand has never lost an election to anybody.

    So its seriously fucked up for any Blairite to accuse Corbyn of being unelectable.

  3. If Corbyn goes Labour are doomed.

    They’ll lose subs from both members and unions, nobody will listen though; Labour and particularly the PLP knows best!

  4. Was it no Kez Dugdale who said the Corbyn factor was helping to draw back ex Labour voters from the SNP?

  5. Jeremy Corbyn is the top man he is representing the labour party members and supporters in constituencies, the Blairite Parliamentary Labour Party are career élitists out of touch with those who they are supposed to represent and the internal battle inside the Labour Party UK must come to a head, Jeremy Corbyn with the backing of the membership and the trade unions will in my opinion win the war otherwise the Labour Party UK in England will suffer the same fate that the Scottish Labour Party had at the hands of the SNP, in other wards UKIP will wipe the Labour Party UK in England out.

  6. From the outside looking it (I left the Labour party a long time ago) it looks like we’re watching the parties death throes. The PLP working to a different agenda & traveling in a different direction from that of the membership is unsustainable & can only end in the party’s self destruction.

    Also whoever came up with the bright idea of having Labour MP’s queue up to stab the democratically elected leader of the party in the back, on the hour every hour in the full glare of the media should be deselected for bringing the party into disrepute.

  7. Thanks “Harmony” for a sane and heartfelt contribution. I’m sorry to read some of the lazy and abusive comments in response.

    The plain fact is that Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the party outside and inside Parliament. And if he can’t earn the confidence of the parliamentary party, then he can’t form a government. And that’s what this country needs – a Labour Government. MPs gave him the chance, many did their best to make his leadership work in ‘shadow’ posts – but now even some of those who nominated him have seen that he’s not up to the job. The claims that his office ‘sabotaged’ the Labour In campaign must have been the last straw.

    And remember this – MPs are not just individuals with individual perceptions. They’ve been listening to voters, talking to their local party members and activists to inform their views. It’s from that position that they have taken the action they have.

    I hope we can find a left of centre leader who will be able to convince the country that Labour is worthy of their trust once more. That’s a mammoth task. And it’s a shame Jeremy Corbyn is not up to it. But it’s plain that he’s not and he should go. And quickly

    1. MPS gave him a chance, are you serious?

      Even before he took office the knifes were out for him.

      If Jeremy goes Labour goes it’s that’s simple. When the unions pull support and the members pull their subs which magic money tree are they going to get their money from.

      Deluded; utterly, entirely and completely deluded.

    2. Listen to voters, you mean like Angel Eagle listening to her CLP?

      You are aware what they advised her, aren’t you??

  8. “Cult”
    Not the range of words you would want to hear when discussing a 21st century political Party in a Western, mature democracy.
    From this distance, filtered by a hostile media ( The BBC has been heavily partisan toward Labour), its not easy to understand the WHY of the anger at Corbyn from the PLP, who have not really supported him from the off.
    Alistair Campbell, Lord Blunkett, Lord Foulkes, Ed Miliband etc—-all down on their party leader, but he is not a one man band. What were the rest doing?
    It would seem to me that Labour must have a new Leader or a split.
    Corbyn is hanging on making a contest inevitable. Who will be the challenger? Eagles, Watson being mentioned?
    I don’t know enough of either to pass judgement, but neither seem to have that “special” aura that wins people over.
    Next election? Its going to be a big test.

  9. @Duncan.
    Why was my comment, and your reply, removed? You didn’t have any problem wirh it when you replied. Thete was no bad language involved, and it seemed similar to the othet comments supporting Corbyn.

    1. Sorry, not sure which comment. Possibly an admin error. Bit busy at the mo…

      1. Maybe it was because i mentioned that he stood up against Israel and the US in the middle east that there is an attempted right wing coup against him?

        1. I doubt it, I let people say manifestly stupid things in the comments all the time.

Comments are closed.