Caroline Lucas’ open letter to Labour Remainers: “Corbyn is not offering the future you deserve”

The Green MP makes a direct appeal to Labour supporters ahead of the European elections.

This is the election which wasn’t supposed to happen. It’s also one where a lot of voters are looking for a home.  If you don’t want to leave the EU, and are repelled by the populist rants of Nigel Farage, who do you vote for?

We know many of you hate the Tories’ austerity, but you also value freedom of movement and want to remain in EU. If that’s you, Labour isn’t really offering you a home. 

Young voters came out strongly for Labour in 2017, but we know you also are also overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU.  While Labour may reflect your progressive values, Jeremy Corbyn’s ambiguous stance on Europe is letting you down.  Who can say what Labour’s policy really is? 

Progressive pro-EU voters want certainty and leadership, which is why so many of you are turning to the Green Party in search of a new political home.  Our support is surging: since our success at the local elections, at times we have been welcoming a new member every three minutes. 

It’s not just Europe which is bringing them.  We know many of you, particularly young people, are deeply worried about our survival in the face of the climate crisis and the frightening warnings about disappearing species and mass extinctions.  We are the party which demanded urgent action on the climate right from the start.  We’ve been leading the way in the European Parliament on environmental protections since 1999.  I know, I was one of those MEPs.

If you’ve voted Labour in the past, I understand why you wouldn’t want to support the centrists at ChangeUK who are making almost no impact, or the Lib Dems who supported the Tories’ austerity programme for five years.

That’s why I’m asking you to give your support to the Greens.  We have shown we can win, and deliver when we do.  Our councillors are making a real difference in their communities across Britain.  Our support is growing steadily as we show we’re a rising force in British politics.

No-one wants to abandon a party which they supported in the hope of a better future.  But Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are not offering the future you deserve if you want to stay in Europe.  We are.  The Green Party is offering you a home.  Please give us your support.

Caroline Lucas is the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Got a response? Leave a comment or get in touch: [email protected]

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

14 Responses to “Caroline Lucas’ open letter to Labour Remainers: “Corbyn is not offering the future you deserve””

  1. Tom Sacold

    No thanks. We should be putting real industrial jobs and real socialist policies forward for the British people. Not the nut-cutlet politics of the trendy middle-class snobs.

  2. Patrick Newman

    A dishonest article. It is not in the gift of the Greens or even Labour to revoke Article 50. A peoples’ vote is also not in Labour’s gift – there are not the numbers in Parliament so live in hope that the impasse is so fundamental a Peoples’ vote is the only way out for M.P.’s across parties. To pretend there is a simple formula to end Brexit is leading people up the garden path. It would be more productive to campaign to have the referendum annulled on the grounds of the unresolved evidence of corruption and illegality in the Leave campaign. A Peoples’ Vote may make things worse!

  3. Sam Keogh

    The Labour party, like the Tory party, is collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions (Where have I heard that before?). Labour is soon going to be history, because their politics is essentially a symptom of capitalism – in order to represent the workers against the bosses, there have to be workers and bosses.

    In the future, as it always has been really, had Labour been smart enough to realise it, the dichotomy will be the land-owners versus the dispossessed, and the coming problem for the dispossessed is that their Labour is of no use to the landowners. They are merely people who are surplus to requirements, and this will become more and more true as AI and robots can replace them in the “Labour” market.

    A whole new perspective is needed, and it’ll never come from the Labour party, whose roots and culture come from a socialist narrative.

    The Green party is the future, which is why I joined it the other week. The Labour party is the past, and has been stultified into irrelevance by becoming part of the posh boy’s club for some decades now.

    It’s hilarious how Labour people blither on about how bad the Lib-Dems were for propping up the Tories, considered in the light of the fact that Blair’s Labour government propped up one of the nastiest and most cynical US governments by joining in with their vile and unnecessary war.

    Labour are now and have been for some time the Tories’ greatest enablers – keeping fptp like the fools they are, believing that it gives them a sniff of unmerited unique power – and happy to run the risk that the Tories can be gifted the same – total power from less than 40% of the vote, in a system that never allows people to vote for what they really want anyway.

    The Labour Party is going to die. If you’re a progressive you only have this to decide – whether to join the Green party now or later.

    Might as well make it now.

  4. Patrick Newman

    Mr Keogh, I wish I had a pound for every time I have read something like your post I sense you are trying to convince yourself. I am all for a Green-Labour alliance but the former will be the junior player. There is too much strength in the grassroots of Labour to allow it to wither.

  5. Julian Dean

    Labour has it’s biggest ever grassroots movement – Momentum – bigger and more successful than Bennism in 1980s. It is overwhelmingly for remain. Yet it can’t shift the very leadership it propelled to power. Meanwhile the outcome on 23rd is likely to be seen as another nail in the coffin for the two party system. And Scotland isn’t coming back. Rather than trying to but Humpty Dumpty back together again isn’t it time to move on? Voting Green on Thursday is part of that. Then we desperately need voting reform for proportional representation. Labour’s warring factions can go their separate ways and we can look forward to progressive coalitions which will allow, indeed force, us to work together. The Green Party are up for this! This is the new politics we need.

  6. Eric Walker

    Dear Patrick and anyone else, if you want to see who is behind the Brexit campaign, spend a few minutes on badboysofbrexit.com Itis an eyeopener. Compiled by Molly Scott Cato it lists 24 people who are the people who poured money in to support Nigel Farage. Click on their faces to reveal who they are and their philosophy. They don’t give their money away expecting no return.

  7. Christopher Keene

    Politics is broken. Vote Green for the EU election, but long term we should replace politics with sortition, with randomly selected citizens advised by independent experts governing us

  8. Christopher Keene

    The way to get sortition is to join Extinction Rebellion (XR) in mass non-violent civil disobedience. Our action last month got the government to declare a climate emergency. Now we need more people to join us to force the Tories to hand over climate decision making to citizens assemblies selected randomly by sortition. The next XR action is in September, so please join us, and get all your friends to join to. Remember, we are fighting for our lives, or, if we are already old, for the lives of our children and grandchildren

  9. Sam Keogh

    Hellooo, Neeaumannnn.
    Always wanted to say that.
    The only thing holding Labour together is FPTP. – The corrupt, immoral, thieving voting system invented by the Tories to help them keep power for generations after their relevance diminished. And Labour shored it up and helped them.
    Labour and the Tories (joint motto – “you complete me – why would we ever need anyone else?”) will be ex-parties and almost entirely irrelevant the moment people can be confident that they can have their vote meaningfully count toward what they actually believe in.
    Labour will soon be history, and deservedly so. Blair’s war ended whatever credibility they had as a party concerned for the wellbeing of ordinary people. The Labour party has been a bunch of graceless, proceduralist, kiss-up and kick-down authoritarians since the 60’s.

    The Greens are the future of progressive thinking, just as the industrial revolution, labour unions and smog are the past.

    You can stick your “junior partnership”. We play to win, and we will too, because we’re right, and we’re better.

  10. Stephanie Pride

    I voted Labour in the last GE because it was the only possible way to get the incumbent Tory ‘no deal’ Brexiteer/pro-fracking/pro-let’s build more roads and do favours for our friends in business OUT. I voted that way because we have a lousy unrepresentative voting system and voting Green would have been a wasted vote.
    I voted SNP when I lived in Scotland because we had a lousy Labour Party under Ed Miliband who made pledges about the minimum wage which have already been surpassed by the Tories. And because I supported Scottish independence. I also voted Green for the Scottish Parliament because I had a choice to do so and I wanted to see more Green MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
    I also had no hesitation in voting Green for the European elections (I had a postal vote), not because I want to stay in the EU but because I support green policies on climate change and the environment. And because I also support XR, I was ticked off by Corbyn claiming the Labour Party were ‘leading the way’ in this respect, when they are merely playing catch-up. (And were among the majority of MSPs who laughed at the Scottish Greens for their climate emergency motion – the day before UK Labour adopted a similar policy!)
    We have a thoroughly broken democracy and I no longer really care whether we’re in or out of the EU because there’s no Brexit (or EU) on a dead planet. For this reason, I see voting as just a small part of being an active citizen and there are many more effective ways of bringing about change. But I welcome the green surge and wish the Greens well in these elections.

  11. Alastair Binnie-Lubbock

    We need radical action now and a green revolution to provide real climate justice in this country and the world. There’s no dismissing the Green’s as too small, look what UKIP achieved without every securing a Member of Parliament.

  12. Margaret

    Only Labour can unite the country. You cannot ignore the views of half of the country who want to leave, nor can you ignore the half that want to stay. If you come down on either side you are ignoring the wishes of millions. Who are any of us to think we know best? The only way is to compromise and have a soft Brexit, with both sides giving up a little of what they want, and thereby showing respect to those they disagree with. Don’t be arrogant and assume your way is best. Compromise to unite the country. Even in my own family we have those voting remain and leave. It is the same across the UK. Please be smart, respect your neighbours and Vote Labour to heal the divide.

  13. EB

    “ But Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are not offering the future you deserve if you want to stay in Europe. We are.”
    How?
    You don’t have the power to do this & a vote for the Greens in the European Parliament can’t possibly create it.
    As a labour supporter who has previously voted Green in local elections I wonder “do you not realise making promises you can’t possibly keep is actually off-putting?” Farage promised “sovereignty” etc. but there was no chance of him delivering: why are you copying him? Do you think we are stupid?

  14. Lucy Valentine

    Dear Caroline Lucas:
    I respect you. I have voted Green in the past. I will doubtless vote Green at some point in the future. But I really do not like it when you lie to me, and I do not like it when you do no research at all. When you write that: “Jeremy Corbyn’s ambiguous stance on Europe is letting you down. Who can say what Labour’s policy really is? ” you are either lying or doing no research. As far as I can see, Jeremy Corbyn is following the Labour Party’s official policy on Brexit, which was decided at Conference in September 2018. If you have not already, I strongly suggest you look it up – it’s freely available information that will really help you understand.
    But to save you some time, Labour’s policy is to respect the referendum, but mitigate the damage leaving could do. This is why they voted against a “no deal” exit. This is why they voted against Theresa May’s deal. This is why Labour voted for a confirmatory referendum, twice. And this is why Labour entered negotiations (which have now failed) to try and effect a softer deal.
    Of course, you are not obliged to like or share Labour’s position. You have chosen to oppose any Brexit and that is absolutely your prerogative. We could discuss the wisdom of a trying to cancel brexit when so many of the public backed it (and still seem to back), but honestly I’m tired of doing that. We could discuss whether it’s appropriate in a notional democracy to stop people getting what they want, even if it is bad for them, but I’m tired of doing that too. We could also discuss whether a second referendum is actually a good idea, when it’s quite likely to return another leave result, but the list of things I’m tired of is remarkably long these days. I don’t want to have those conversations any more.
    What I want, is for you to STOP LYING ABOUT LABOUR. Because: I know you must have read the conference motion. I know you must have. There’s no way you could be so ill-informed as to have not read it, given that it’s been more than eight months.
    Please: I do not want to vote for liars. Please stop lying.
    Thanks for reading.
    Lucy Valentine.

Leave a Reply