Have disagreements in private, my friend

David Blunkett
David Blunkett
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On Friday, September 30, my long-standing and valued friend Coun Peter Price once again took to the columns of the Star to take me to task.

In his letter he suggested that we should have our disagreements in private. I agree. This will therefore be my final contribution in The Star on the issue of Jeremy Corbyn, at least for the foreseeable future.

I wish to correct only two misunderstandings, as obviously your wider readership deserve to hear an alternative argument.

There is nothing new about Labour leaders being criticised by those within the party and trade union movement, who profoundly disagree with the direction of travel.

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and those around them, have spent the last 30 years disagreeing profoundly, publicly and privately with Labour leaders and have consistently voted against the Labour Government.

Their meetings, their rallies, their criticism, were in public.

The reason it had no resonance with the public is the same rationale as to why criticism of Tony Blair – including from the right – wing press who used to call him “Bambi” – had no effect.

If people patently know that what is being said is untrue, unfair and unreasonable, they will discount it.

The public are not fools, and we should not treat them as such.

But there is one other thought.

It is not Labour MPs disagreeing with Jeremy Corbyn that causes unpopularity, it is the instinctive understanding as to what constitutes a credible programme for Government and a set of individuals who inspire such confidence.

When Jeremy and his friends were constantly attacking the Labour Leadership, it was presented as being “principled”.

When prominent Labour members criticise Jeremy Corbyn, it is presented as “betrayal”.

If nothing else, perhaps my good friends who disagree with me, might at least see the irony of what they are saying and the accusations that they are making?

David Blunkett

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