Friday, 22 July 2016

Corbyn must end his tribalist approach to politics

It seems that Corbyn, the supposed hero of the left, is happy to whip his MPs to abstain from a vote to introduce proportional representation into general elections yet gives his MPs a free vote on Trident. That comes a couple of months after Labour MPs were told to be absent during a vote on the NHS Reinstatement Bill, a bill to reverse the privatisation of the NHS that his party has been at the forefront of and a couple of months after he personally campaigned to oust Green councillors rather than targetting Tory ones. And let's never forget the EU debacle where he failed (refused?) to campaign effectively including taking a holiday a three weeks out from the referendum.

I am furious about this...

Is it old fashioned tribal politics? The NHS bill and PR vote were led by Caroline Lucas.

Is it Labour policy blocking it? His own party backed PR in their 1997 and 2001 manifestos.

Is it a complete lack of leadership? Have a look at the statement from the Bristol West MP.

Even Billy Bragg is unhappy, this is from his FB Page:

Last night Caroline Lucas, the only Green MP, put forward a 10 minute bill to introduce a proportional voting system for the general election. Not only is this desperately needed because our present First Past The Post system delivered a Tory majority with the support of just 25% of the electorate, but it's also the best chance we have to get a proper left wing party into parliament.

I'm therefore disappointed to find that only 15 Labour MPs voted in support and totally baffled to hear that the leadership whipped MPs to abstain. The bill was lost by just 8 votes. How does that help the millions who voted Labour in Scotland at the last general election and yet got just one MP elected? Proportional representation should be at the top of Corbyn's reform agenda.

Corbyn needs to get rid of his tribalist approach to politics and join the 21st century and our European neighbours in accepting that plurality in politics is not just inevitable, it is a good this. Not only that, he must accept that it is best to work with others where we agree and not block or destroy for the sake of it.

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