July 25 - So tonight we held our Newark Labour leadership nomination meeting.
It was a comradely, good natured affair and Corbyn won the CLP nomination 42 votes to Owen Smith’s 11.
We had many members speak for their preferred candidate. And I could see the merit in both Owen and Jeremy.
But I spoke and voted for Corbyn.
Now I was proud to be part of Andy Burnham’s campaign team last year. And you could argue that my politics have more in common with Smith.
But I spoke for Jeremy because in my opinion nine months is far too short a period for him to be judged as a leader.
We didn’t expect it of Ed or Gordon. We shouldn’t for Corbyn.
And I have to respect someone who has single handedly doubled the party membership.
From speaking to friends who’ve joined or rejoined in the last year, the big attractions are his values and beliefs.
As one mate said to me: “I’d run through walls for Corbyn. I’ve never felt that way about any political figure before.”
For many, the turning point was seeing the Shadow Cabinet initially consider supporting tax credit cuts before eventually abstaining.
Jeremy rightly opposed it. And from that moment, his campaign took off.
As Benn said, you’re either a weather vane or a signpost.
In these turbulent times, people want to see us set a political direction that’s truer to their own moral compass.
However, as I said in my speech, I don’t want Jeremy to continue as he is.
I want to see a much sharper operation in Corbyn’s office and an increased level of professionalism in being a Leader inside and outside the Commons.
It will mean managing some people out and bringing more experienced people in. Those who can build a consensus not a barrier.
It would also involve Jeremy and his team accepting some of the constructive criticisms made by certain MPs.
Likewise, the PLP must accept the result.
I genuinely believe the majority of MPs who voted no confidence in Jeremy did so in haste after the brutal shock of Brexit.
The fear of an impending snap election in October with Boris as PM drove most of them to do it.
But I sense the mood is slowly changing.
Sarah Champion returning to the front bench will hopefully be the first of many shadow ministers.
Because forcing another leadership election next year will only end up with the same result and an even more fractious relationship between the leader and the PLP.
I reckon most members would agree we can’t allow that to happen.
I’m neither a Corbynista or a ‘moderate.’
And hopefully after this leadership election, we’ll all be Labour again.
No cliques or factions.
Both sides will have to listen and work together.
There will have to be some form of Truth and Reconcilliaton.
Trust will need to be earned. Concerns must be acknowledged and acted upon.
If Labour can do that, it’ll become the effective opposition and Government-in-waiting this country desperately needs.
If not, Labour we’ll be out of power for at least decade.
Find out more about David Prescott here https://davidprescott.wordpress.com/about/
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