I will not be beaten by the bullies
I announced yesterday [Friday] that I was quitting Twitter after the tirade of abuse I received from so-called Labour 'comrades' who took it upon themselves to abuse me after I voted UKIP as a protest vote against Labour in Thursday's elections.
I will again give a full explanation why I voted UKIP, a party I have campaigned against and have been very critical of.
Firstly, I have been treated absolutely disgustingly by Labour, a party I have loved and supported since I first became eligible to vote in 1996.
Labour terminated my membership in August 2015 (I was not 'expelled' for anti-Semitism despite what the gutter press has reported) after I spoke out against the way Thurrock Labour selected its candidate in the West Thurrock by-election following the departure of Terry Brookes.
Labour selected Cliff Holloway whose daughter Victoria is a current Councillor on the same ward. I was not happy at the way Mr Holloway was selected and after speaking out about it, Labour assumed I had quit the party and subsequently cancelled my membership.
After making enquiries in November 2015 to find out why Labour had not debited by membership fee since the August, I was advised of the aforementioned and told to rejoin but would keep the same membership number.
I duly did this only to receive a letter on 19 December informing me that my membership application had been declined because I do not endorse Labour's values based on my activity on social media.
I appealed but the decision was upheld in January, but I have a letter informing me that I can reapply to rejoin Labour next year.
I was intending to submit another membership request in early 2018 ahead of the local elections, as there are no elections due in Thurrock in 2017 and I therefore feel there is no reason to rejoin until at least 2018.
When I campaigned for Thurrock Labour in 2014 and 2015, I did so with pride and determination.
I really enjoyed the experience of engaging with Thurrock residents and addressing their concerns. I also helped increase Labour's profile in Thurrock.
Two of the biggest issues that came up on the doorsteps were immigration and the EU, and Thurrock residents felt that Labour was not listening which is why so many voted UKIP.
During the recent local elections in Thurrock, Labour suffered a heavy defeat from UKIP; the party lost 4 seats and this is because residents still feel Labour is not listening.
The same can be said in my ward of Aveley where Labour failed to canvass for votes and it has made a lot of people angry and bitter.
Labour received nearly 1,000 votes in Aveley last year, but this year received well over half of that because the party failed to engage with voters and work on the increased votes received in 2015 compared to the previous year.
Last year I had Aveley festooned with Labour posters and garden stakes and locals were pleased to see the party making a comeback in what was once a Labour safe seat. However, Labour's recent reluctance to campaign for votes in Aveley led to UKIP winning the seat from an independent.
People in Aveley feel that Labour does not care because of the party's failure and reluctance to canvass for votes, and I too was disgusted and appalled.
My father voted Labour but now regrets his decision because of the way Labour has treated Aveley residents, and several of my neighbours also feel the same.
A candidate has a duty to engage with their prospective voters and the people they intend to represent, yet Labour not only failed to canvass but failed to deliver any leaflets in Aveley detailing who the candidate was and what she would do for the community.
This is sheer ignorance on Labour's part and voters feel betrayed.
Labour MPs have said the party will tour the country and talk to people to find out why they voted for a rival party or failed to vote. I hope these MPs visit Thurrock and in particular my ward of Aveley.
Labour has lost touch with voters in Thurrock and it is hard to believe that Thurrock used to be a Labour safe seat.
Casting a protest vote for UKIP was not an easy decision but I had no option.
Why should I support a party that has failed to support me and cannot even be bothered to canvass for votes? This is another example of Labour taking voters for granted.
I have lost over 100 followers because of my decision but that is their prerogative, but I do not deserve the abuse I have received on social media particularly from a certain Thurrock Labour member.
I am going to write to Jeremy Corbyn about the aforementioned, but he needs to accept that Labour is the problem, not the voters.
If you betray your voters then they will betray you and it will take a lot of hard work for Labour to win back votes in Thurrock, Scotland, Wales and other parts of the country where it suffered heavy losses.
My campaigning for social justice and against Tory austerity will continue, and I will also continue showing my support for Jeremy Corbyn and keeping close ties with my friends on social media.
Finally, I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has stood by me and given me support. I will not be beaten by the bullies and that includes the group of scum who are still trying to smear me with false claims of anti-Semitism.
Whether people like it or not, I am here to stay and I will bounce back.
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