Harriet Harman MP
Acting Leader of The Labour Party
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
I am one of the many people who have been “purged” from the members and supporters of the UK Labour Party and denied a vote in the leadership election.
On 19th August 2015 I received an email that said:
“We have reason to believe that you do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party or you are a supporter of an organisation opposed to the Labour Party”.
Neither statement is true. I don’t know what those stated reasons might be but if you have people scanning my political memberships and/or social media channels, it is abundantly clear that I am a traditional Labour voter and a committed socialist.
In 1997 I was delighted by the landslide victory of Labour, and what seemed to be a promise of a new Labour that was less in thrall to the unions and would represent those of us who considered ourselves to be socialists, but certainly not “hard left”.
Unfortunately, this new Labour party turned out to be New Labour who went on to continue and implement deeply unpopular and unwise policies and actions such as the Private Finance Initiative, student loans and the Iraq war amongst many others. New Labour transformed the Labour Party into something barely distinguishable from its traditional nemesis, the Conservative Party. I did not vote again until 2015.
I started voting again because cynicism and apathy have demonstrably failed, so I decided to try optimism and activism instead. I joined the Green Party in order to be part of the “green surge” but I voted Labour to contribute towards maintaining a majority in the safe seat where I live in Sheffield Heeley. I also joined the Stop The War Coalition at the same time.
Local Labour Party activists came canvassing during this year’s general election campaign and I told them I would be voting Labour but had joined the Green Party because New Labour was no longer a socialist party.
As a Green Party member, I did not expect to be able to sign up as a supporter of the Labour Party, but the online form that I filled in said nothing about members of other parties being excluded from the election. So I paid £3 and joined as a supporter for the sole purpose of voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election, the only candidate that represents traditional Labour values.
Like many others, I am appalled by the way the Labour Party establishment and the other leadership candidates have conducted themselves during this campaign. You are witnessing a huge popular movement that you should be listening to rather than attempting to silence. The New Labour experiment is over and it has been shown to be, not only a huge failure, but also deeply unpopular amongst traditional Labour voters.
I would like to urgently insist that you reinstate my right to vote in the leadership election and review all the applications of other members and supporters who have been excluded.
I have sent copies of this letter to Louise Haigh MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP.