Let's all work together

Councillor Peter Price informs your readers (Star, September 5) that he has been a member of the Labour Party for more than 50 years. He then goes on to write a lengthy letter setting out his views in favour of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, and his observations on the Brexit vote in the recent referendum.

Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 6:44 am
Updated Friday, 9th September 2016, 10:14 am
Coun Peter Price

I am not a member of the Party, but I have voted Labour for 60 years.

As a grassroots supporter, I would ask Peter to take his head out of the political sand and listen to the concerns of the approximately 9 million UK Labour voters, and not extol the quoted “600,000 members, making it the biggest political party in Europe”.

Ed Miliband made a big mistake by allowing £3 membership of the Party. I suggest a lot of the new members are not true supporters and joined solely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the forthcoming leadership election. To the Conservative Party he is worth his weight in gold as our party leader. While he remains in office, and the party members and elected MPs continue their internecine warfare, the party is unelectable to govern the country.

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To state that Brexit was the result of Conservative internal mismanagement is ludicrous. David Cameron promised a referendum, something which previous parties had pledged and reneged on. I agree that he expected to win the vote, he did not, and resigned. His failure to gauge the weight of public opinion in this matter is the only “Conservative internal mismanagement” that I can agree with.

The Conservatives did not bring Brexit upon themselves, the Labour Party hierarchy and membership must also take responsibility for the electorate voting to leave the EU.

Many grassroots Labour voters, myself included, advised Ed Miliband and the hierarchy that they must address the issues of uncontrolled migration and loss of national sovereignty in the referendum. If they had pledged to do this I suggest that many more people would have voted to remain. They chose not to and buried their heads in the sand, being very reluctant to publicly discuss the issues.

The grassroots supporters of all major parties addressed these politically taboo issues, examined their conscience, and voted accordingly. The result being 17 plus million in favour of leaving and a majority of almost 1.5 million.

I agree with you when you say that the biggest challenge for the Labour party in the next few years will be to motivate the new members, turn them into a political movement and a winning election machine.

Sadly, I fear that the full current membership do not share your fine ideals. When the party does eventually become united with a leader, membership and elected MPs working for a common cause, their main aim should be to get their message out to the grassroots electorate who elect the party into power, not just the membership.

We share a common cause, Peter, in wishing our party to become united under a leader having the full support of all sides. On a personal note I hope that the party will follow the wishes of the democratic majority vote, in ensuring a speedy and well-negotiated Brexit.

We are a great trading nation and have faced many challenges together.17 million people see a better future outside the EU (not Europe). Let us all work together for that cause.

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5