[The following is a response to a letter promoted by known anti Corbyn activists in the Labour Party.]
Open letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn's Article 50 position
There is an open letter doing the rounds on social media. It is supported by some grassroots Labour activists, campaigners, supporters and voters.
It calls on Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, to change his current position on Article 50.
This is how it begins and at this point it could be from this group also:
"We are all Labour Party members. We are from all corners of the UK, and have a range of backgrounds and ages. Some of us have been members for decades, and some of us have only recently joined. Some of us are frequent activists, and some of us have little time to be actively involved but support wherever we can. In short, we are the grassroots that you have always been keen to represent."
We start to go our separate ways with the next paragraph. Though of course we agree when they say:
"The membership of the Labour Party is not, and has never been, pro-Brexit. The party has a long history of supporting membership of the European Union. We had an official policy of supporting and campaigning for Remain during the referendum campaign."
Sadly we disagree from here.
This is our open letter:
This week two MPs resigned their positions citing Article 50 and Jeremy Corbyn's stance. There was no need for them to act in such a manner and at this time. The Labour Party are fighting two by elections scheduled for February 23 and both constituencies support BRexit.
Imagine the impact Labour Party BRexit divisions will have on these elections.
It was heartening to see Harriet Harman on a Sunday politics show say that she agrees with the party leader's stance even though she voted to remain in the EU and represents a BRemain constituency. It was equally heartening to hear my MP Alan Johnson make a similar statement Thursday.
Neither are Corbyn supporters but they respect democracy.
We may or may not like BRexit but we cannot simply throw a tantrum and disrespect democracy when it suits.
The Labour4EU account is tweeting to various journalists in the mainstream media and their story has already been published in the Guardian.
It is supported by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw who tweeted Saturday:
"Thanks to Exeter's Emma Brennan for initiating & all @UKLabour members for supporting this great #Article50 letter."
It looks increasingly likely that the group's actions are more about causing Labour Party divisions than Article 50. The main player is not a Corbyn supporter.
However Article 50 is a given. The Tory Party remains deeply divided over Brexit but too many people in the Labour Party are allowing the Tories a free ride on this issue.
Mrs May and her Tory government and party should be taking the heat right now. Instead a small group of self serving Labour Party Remainers are happily pushing bad press Labour's way.
We must let the Labour Party leader lead and trust in his team.
Jeremy Corbyn January 28, 2017:
"Labour campaigned in last year's referendum to remain in the European Union — and nearly two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain.
As we all know, the result was a vote to leave.
We are not a party for the 48% or the 52%, but for everyone. We have an important role to play in bringing the country together and getting the best possible deal from Brexit.
Labour respects the will of the British people. But we do not respect the will of a Tory government that is threatening to relegate Britain to a bargain basement tax haven.
That's why we will vote to trigger Article 50 in the European Union Withdrawal Bill — but also will use every means at our disposal to make sure jobs, living standards, workers' rights and environmental protections are protected in the negotiations that follow.
So Labour has tabled a series of amendments to the Bill to ensure there is meaningful parliamentary scrutiny at every stage and a vote on the final deal.
We have also tabled an amendment to build in the broad principles we need to get the best outcome for our country — including tariff-free access to the single market and an anti-tax haven amendment to make sure the Prime Minister does not use Brexit as an excuse to duck out of tackling tax avoidance and evasion.
And we will support amendments to ensure the Tories don't yet again attack people's rights at work.
This is a difficult moment for our party. We campaigned to remain, but we have to accept the democratic result.
We will be reaching out to our friends and allies in the European socialist and progressive parties to help secure an agreement that strengthens cooperation and solidarity across Europe.
We must remember that what unites us is far stronger than what divides us: our commitment to defend our NHS, to campaign against the Tories' cuts to schools and social care — and our determination to build a country in which no one and no community is left behind.
We will vote for Article 50, but we will not be giving the Tories a blank cheque on their damaging agenda for Brexit — or any of their other failures.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party"
Those people behind the Open Letter against Brexit are anti Corbyn, have been from day one, and continue to be - particularly with reference to Ben Bradshaw and Jonathan Proctor
It is worth noting the people behind the open letter are encouraging email addresses are added perhaps for later use.
Please sign our open letter here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15We9eCI26_NlQRMKzbm7gvYU6w5TWJLedKveptKIMrY
Dear Tom Watson,
Well here we are again! Another day another letter!
This time it forms part of a formal complaint and therefore a copy will be sent to Iain McNicol as Labour's General Secretary, Jeremy Corbyn as party leader and the validation team.
After Jeremy was re-elected party leader in 2016, like many party members and supporters, I was hopeful we had turned a corner.
Labour's so-called broad church allows for a range of appropriate groups to actively support the party though it does exclude some.
Diversity is the name of the game but drawing a line is important.
In light of Labour First's latest divisive, insulting, antagonistic and disrespectful email newsletter we are again at a crossroads.
This group intends to utilise Tory tricks of divide and conquer in its quest to return the party to a brief period in its history, 1997 to around 2008. But it is now 2016 and the political landscape and challenges have moved with the times although Labour First boss Luke Akehurst still appears to be stuck in a time warp.
What is disconcerting is that you, Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, appeared as a guest speaker at Labour First's annual meeting Saturday November 26, 2016.
Did the meeting discuss Labour First's plans including an email to be sent out this week asking for funds and written in a divisive tone?
The email from Labour First is widely available online though we have opted not to share in full as Mr Akehurst has slapped a copyright symbol on with the words all rights reserved.
But the gist of the letter is this - it starts with an apology after addressing the recipient as if John McDonnell is now leader of the Labour Party. An apology of sorts follows; apologies for scaring you John McDonnell is not leader of the Labour Party; not yet unless you sign up and pay up. It goes on with allegations that the Hard Left, abusive terminology in my opinion as a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, want to push for a "McDonnell amendment" so that MPs without a high level of parliamentary support can be on the ballot.
The whole email is divisive and against Labour values.
It is an insult to the party, its democracy, its members and the electorate.
WE need a united Labour Party geared up to win the next election.
As long as Labour First are supported by mainstream Labour MPS such as yourself they will continue to divide the party and ultimately wreck its election chances.
So the question now is who is strong and honest enough to publicly remove Labour First and the man behind this nasty little group from the Labour Party?
The following forms part of this letter http://www.thejeremycorbyneffect.com/jeremy-corbyn-blog/formal-letter-complaint-re-luke-akehurst-and-labour-first
Op-ed: When Alan Duncan MP decided that all people who criticise PM David Cameron over his links to the panama papers are low-achievers who hate the rich he showed his true self; he appeared as a smug-faced snob looking down on the majority of people living in the UK.
He may have intended to draw some of the heat away from David Cameron but there is enough heat for the pair of them.
Saying those who call for accountability and transparency in government employ the politics of envy is way off the mark.
It is more about reducing the politics of poverty and accepting some enjoy a privileged start in life.
A pocket family history
Edith was born in 1888. In 1900 at the ripe old age of 12 she was removed from school so that she could become the family's substitute mother. When her mother died Edith's education ceased.
She cared for three siblings and her father. He was a father who always worked but was inclined to spend the paltry week's wages in the pub before he arrived home unless Edith could stop him. This meant going into the pub and pestering him to hand over some money. She faced ridicule from the other men drinking their sorrows away but if she did not the family would not eat.
In 1917 her brother's wife died and she and her sister, still unmarried, began to care for their young nephew, my father.
He was aged just three when his mum died and his Dad a Merchant Navy Third Officer had no option but to leave him with his aunts.
The aunts never married and lived into old age, one reaching the age of 88 the other 84. One worked until age 68 but the work was menial; she was a library cleaner.
Edith was tough as old boots though; she had to be.
When she had to have her teeth extracted there was no anaesthetic as she could not afford the pre NHS price.
These two aunts brought Dad up as best as they could but it was far from perfect.
Dad went on to serve more than seven years in the infantry in places like Burma and India during the Second World War.
His father was still working for the Merchant Navy but aged 51 he was lost at sea, presumed dead, when his vessel was sunk off Egypt by a German U boat in 1941.
My father left the military years behind in the late 1940s although not completely.
His childhood experiences added to his tough war years left him mentally scarred.
He always worked but at times mental health issues would overwhelm him and he would be hospitalised. He was a good worker though and he always returned to the same job.
When I was 14 he tried to commit suicide. That period of time is still too painful to recall.
Both I and my brother were pretty bright at school but both of us were unsettled by events on the home front.
I stayed on at my comprehensive school having sailed through my GCEs but when I was not long past 17 Dad became ill and died within months.
He was aged 55. Three years later Mum suffered a life changing brain haemorrhage and another three years on she died aged 58.
He was by Sir Alan Duncan Smith's standards a low achiever.
I guess so was my great aunt and many of my family.
The same will go for me.
It is funny looking back on a limited pocket-family history now aged 64.
The conclusion is that decent people do the best they can with the hand they are dealt in life.
It is not a level playing-field.
The death of a parent when young is difficult whether you have money or not.
But when there is no family wealth, property or support network to guide you through it is a make or break time.
Who knows what potential Edith had?
But as a god-fearing law-abiding citizen she did what she thought was right and proper.
At times of course she was left with no choice.
Low-achievers up and down the country will have similar tales to tell.
The likes of Sir Alan Duncan haven't a clue; that also goes for PM David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, the Royal Family and others.
But it does not necessarily apply to all people with money although by and large it does apply to the Tory party.
What they will never understand is that we lefties shout out for others even when we are not affected.
Sometimes that is because we have a history to tell other times simply because we care.
1888 - 2016 is a long time and much has changed but in some ways nothing has changed.
For now at least the elite have things stacked in their favour.
We no longer tug our forelocks though and hope for our reward in heaven.
Open letter to Sir Alan Duncan
Double standards and high flying Commons hypocrisy
Alan Duncan high achiever and his dodgy dealings:-
Alan Duncan claimed thousands for gardening
Alan Duncan links to Libya oil cell
William Hague's clumsy friend Alan Duncan