I rejoined the Labour Party in 2012 because I thought Ed Miliband as leader was trying to move the party left. Not an easy task and I certainly didn’t agree with everything he said or did. But after the New Labour years I at least felt however slowly the Party was moving in the right direction. It turned out I wasn’t alone amongst the membership who felt like that.
This led to the Corbyn surge and election as leader in 2015. I along with many others at last felt some hope for the future. We’d had the same old politics here since the 80’s and it needed to change. It needed to change because after 35 years of Neoliberal economic policies by both main parties Britain was as unequal as ever. It needed to change because with a Climate Emergency getting closer we needed to do far far more as a Country. There’s many other reasons but I’ll leave it at just those two biggies for now.
A Corbyn led Government would have moved the consensus of the previous 40 years and been truly transformative which is exactly what we need. After our 2019 Election defeat I still believed Labour was the vehicle for this change. With the election of Starmer in April 2020 even though I didn’t support him. https://changewemustobservationsfromtheleft.home.blog/2020/02/02/starmer-really/ I still believed that.
However since Starmer got elected I’ve become more and more disillusioned with him as leader and the Party as a whole. When members started to leave at the beginning of his leadership I thought it was a tactical mistake. In hindsight I think they could see clearer than me what would happen. Starmer sold his ‘vision’ to the membership and it was a complete lie. His actions since shows he had no intention of preserving anything of Corbyn’s legacy. His treatment of Jeremy has been a complete disgrace which in itself to me is unforgivable. The burying of the ‘Forde Report’ says a lot. One day we might find out the whole truth of the sabotage that happened during the 2017 Election but I’m not holding my breath something else that is unforgivable to me.
Starmer’s soft opposition to the Tories has been pathetic. We were promised forensic grown up politics. What we’ve had is hopeless insipid juvenile failure. I think the right wing of the party know how bad he is but are prepared to put up with it while they bide their time at the moment. A fully clothed Blairite is undoubtedly waiting in the wings.
For the last few months I’ve been weighing up whether to stay or leave the Party. While on holiday in the Lake District last week I had some time to think and finally decided to leave. Now I’ve made the decision I feel a weight has been lifted. Getting home and seeing the great Ken Loach has been expelled has only convinced me more I’ve made the right decision. I cannot justify to myself anymore staying in and financially contributing to a party that doesn’t even pretend to having any sort of Socialist vision anymore. What took Kinnock a few years to do in the 80’s has took Starmer just over a year.
I believe with our defeats in 17 & 19 the country lost our massive chance to change the direction we need. Now we are back to the bad old days and normal service has been resumed in the party. Now unfortunately I believe even if Labour win the next election ( and I honestly believe there’s no chance with Starmer as leader. His betrayal of our Brexit position won’t he forgotten in the Red Wall seats) nothing fundamentally will change and as I said earlier that is what we need if we are going to survive this Climate Emergency. The time for tinkering around the edges has long gone the Overton window on party politics for me has gone. That’s why I think the limited money I can contribute to something would be put to better put going to an environmentally organisation.
I’ve always believed in the idea of a broad church in the party but Starmer has made it very clear he doesn’t. The proscription of the 4 left organisations last month I think is a disgraceful witch hunt and although I’m not a supporter of any of them I support their right to be in the party. That is one of the other things that has tipped me to leave. Most of all I haven’t got the time or energy to fight anymore. Harold Wilson once said the Labour Party is a Moral Crusade or it’s nothing. Starmer has made it nothing in super quick time.
The Labour Party supposed to be a Democratic Socialist Party it even says that on the back of the membership cards. I left before when I thought Blair had made that a mockery now sadly I’m leaving again because I think Starmer has done the same.