[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
They 'fixed the roof' while the sun shone but were not prepared for the hurricane of a global economic crisis which began in America.
Labour still had some credibility and was not entirely trashed in the 2010 General Election leaving the Tories to cosy up to the Liberal Democrats and form a coalition government, popularly called the Condems.
In May 2015, in what was predicted to be a tight election race, until the polls were closed, the Tories won enough seats to form a Conservative majority government.
The Tories may only have a majority of 12 but it is enough to push through damaging legislation and crippling austerity measures or cuts plain and simple. Chancellor George Osborne should be renamed Slasher Osborne.
Tuesday 48 Labour MPs rebelled in a House of Commons vote on the Work and Welfare Bill which will cut many of the poorest family's incomes in the UK.
Harriet Harman as acting leader of the Labour party instructed Labour MPs to abstain rather than vote against the bill.
This was a calculated measure but it has seriously backfired.
Harman may have wanted to show the electorate that Labour can be trusted on the economy or just that the party did not agree with Tory plans but would not vote for or against them but in the end the party looked shambolic.
Only one of the four Labour leadership candidates, Jeremy Corbyn, rebelled the party whip and voted against the bill. He joined 47 other Labour MPs one who had said he would swim through vomit to make sure he could vote to oppose the WWB.
The right wing mainstream media is rubbing its hands in glee Tuesday and reporting Labour pulling over to the far-left. These publications, middle-of-the-road voters, Tories and some Labour supporters see Jeremy Corbyn as the kiss of death to Labour.
But as people look forward to endless cuts and austerity they need hope and Corbyn may seem their best hope right now.
With the right support perhaps he could lead Labour to election victory in 2020 but don't hold your breath.
At time of writing Labour are in disarray and those leadership candidates who obeyed Harman are out on a limb; maybe that is what she wanted?
But either way this Labour supporter is still backing Andy Burnham albeit with some reservations.
Mr Burnham now has time to turn his leadership campaign around.
In the final analysis he is more electable as PM than Mr Corbyn who will be 71 when the 2020 General Election comes around.
The Labour leadership vote closing date will soon be here. Can Labour regroup and, under a new leader, form a real opposition party?
Those standing for party leader must get the balance right and appeal to core supporters, draw in new supporters, play by party rules but overall work toward ousting the Tories in 2020.
All in all a tough task.
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.” ― John Lydgate
If you are not careful, in trying to please all, you please no-one - Me
Labour is heading 'left, left, left': Tories' delight after dozens of MPs defy Harman on benefit cuts to draw party back to the 1980s - Mail Online
Draw up 40% cuts plans, George Osborne tells Whitehall departments - BBC News