Labour’s leaders must remember that the membership wants a final say

Over 72% of Labour members want a 'final say'.

Whatever is said in the next few days we must not lose touch of reality: over 72% Labour party members want a final say on Brexit.

Members of the shadow cabinet and key aides should not forget that, despite their own private opinions.

By introducing a one member one vote policy Corbyn and his team gave power back to the membership. They should now not be afraid of the direction they have received from them.

Those that actively choose to go against conference policy, such as Barry Gardiner and Rebecca Long-Bailey, don’t represent the views of the Labour Party.

When the snap General Election was called two years ago, hundreds of candidates stood on a successful and popular Labour manifesto.

Many, like Barry Gardiner, were successful and returned to Westminster to represent their constituents and the Labour Party.

Both Labour party policy and the minds of Barry Gardiner’s constituents in Brent North have changed in response to the hard right Tory government’s actions.

At last September’s conference, Labour members voted overwhelmingly for a final say on Brexit.

Constituency-level MRP polling states that, excluding ‘don’t know’s, 63% of those in Brent North now back a People’s Vote. Times have changed, and key figures like Barry Gardiner must adapt with them.

As a young Labour member and activist I find the drift towards not respecting Labour Party policy, democratically agreed at conference, to be troubling.

As a party preparing for a general election and hopefully for a radical socialist government we must unite behind our members and look to defeat the Tories at every opportunity.

Young Labour activists like me will be expected to put their lives on hold and campaign for a Corbyn government with a moment’s notice.

But in return, we expect a leadership team that listens and values us, the membership.

A leadership team that puts us above their internal personalities and private opinions.

In order to win the next general election and enact the core values that Corbynism brings, we must stay strong and unite behind our membership led party.

Activists like me are tired of reading the runes of whether it is Keir Starmer or Rebecca Long-Bailey who speaks for the current direction, especially in these crucial next days.

Conference policy is sovereign and it says: “If the Government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public”.

Whatever botched Brexit deal the nasty party come up with – our membership is clear that it should be put back to the people for a final say.

With the Tories in tatters it now falls on the Labour leadership to provide strength and confidence through clarity, proving they could be the real party of government that this country desperately needs.

The current state of Britain is clear. We have been sentenced to a brutal policy of austerity – a political choice, not a necessity – for the past decade; a political meal that the British people didn’t order, but have certainly paid the price for.

As a result of austerity, homelessness has risen 134% and over one million people used food banks last year.

Any type of Brexit would make these problems worse and Labour MPs cannot sentence their constituents to this dire fate under any circumstances, despite their concerns about the European Union.

It is clear that the Right has clearly failed Britain and the Centrists are nowhere to be found. It now falls upon the united left to rescue Britain from national crisis.

We need to act fast and help the many across the United Kingdom who will suffer under any type of Tory Brexit, not the few “Lexiteers” who are obsessed with our relationship with Europe.

It’s important to remember that the instability we are witnessing at the moment is just a taste of things to come.

Brexit has not happened yet, in fact, it has barely even begun. Given what we have seen so far, this is simply unacceptable.

The chaos of the last three years is just a microcosm of what will happen in the next few decades.

Parliamentary deadlock. MPs out of touch with the day-to-day concerns of ordinary voters.

Real issues such as climate change, the global crisis of democracy, and an impending economic collapse, and the coming earthquake of automation will be ignored.

Instead, there will be more infighting as MPs scramble and shove to find the most palatable way to present an unwinnable situation no-one wanted in the first place. Only a united Labour party can solve these problems.

We cannot stand idly by and wait for the Prime Minister to call a General Election, nor does it seem we can force one ourselves.

The concept of a final say is supported by many factions of the Labour Movement including Momentum, Unite and Unison, as well as key Labour figures such as Clive Lewis.

If Labour enables any type of Brexit, they will not be forgiven at the ballot boxes for decades to come, regardless of what leading Lexiteers may think.

To go against the will of 72% of the membership who back a People’s Vote, and the wishes of its young future leaders could prove a disaster.

Cathleen Clarke is a member of Our Future, Our Choice and a member of Momentum

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4 Responses to “Labour’s leaders must remember that the membership wants a final say”

  1. nhsgp

    So Labour membership get a veto. NI get a veto. Scots get a veto. Welsh get a veto.

    English voters get a veto? Perhaps its bugger off English, and make sure you keep funding us.

    What about Tory members, do they get a veto?

    If you didn’t respect the people’s vote we’ve already had, you won’t respect any

  2. Patrick Newman

    I demand that the result of the 1975 Referendum is respected!

  3. Lawman

    There may be good reasons for a second referendum, given the mess HMG has made.

    However, it must be a last resort necessity after all other courses have failed. The clear impression (not necessarily true for all Ref2 advocates) is that advocates of Ref2 are motivated by a desire to Remain in the EU rather than for the desirability of Ref2 as such.

    Labour must not be seen as party to this. If we alienate Leave voters by being seen as part of a Machiavellian stitch up to overturn Ref1 – whether or not that is in substance true – we shall lose their votes and let down people who need the benefits of a Labour government.

    Let Mr Corbyn and colleagues continue their negotiation.

  4. Jim Lockie

    I am old. Labour and Union all my life, (although I let the party for a while after Iraq). I want a majority Labour government that can make the lives of British people better than it is now. Help reduce poverty, Be massively ambitious about housing, properly fund education. Ensure that the NHS and Social care is there and of a quality standard everywhere in the country (and not run by Virgin or USA Inc.). But boring Brexit is here now and will determine my political future. Almost all politicians accept, (even if they won’t admit it), that ANY form of Brexit will make the people of Britain poorer than if we stay in.The data from economists is startling and frightening. The poorest in Britain will be impacted most. Those Leave voters in small towns in the North with few prospects, low incomes will be worse off, even with Jeremy and Anna Soubry’s soft Brexit. The economy WILL be smaller, therefore the tasx take WILL be less. We will not be able to do all the things that we want to do-that we are promising. How can I knock on the door and say “Please vote Labour, we guarantee to make you poorer. Don’t worry, Jeremy has agreed with Theresa for a softer Brexit. We will still follow the EU rules, but we will not have to go to those Brussels meetings anymore, because we will not be getting a vote. We decided not to give you a say because we know better!” I don’t think so. If I can not trust JC and Seamus Milne to stick to party policy when under pressure, how can I ask the voters to trust them as PM?

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