Letter to Bucks Free Press about leadership debate
It’s not often the BFP comments on national politics in its editorial so thank you for an amusing article on the “Labour split”. It was good fun although I hope that few of us are swayed by the clothes of the candidate's supporters. Does Jeremy Corbyn’s “camp” really wear grubby jackets?
Wycombe Labour welcomes the debate within the Labour Party. It’s a debate about some of the most important issues in life – a debate about education, about the health service, about taxation, about wages, about jobs, about animal welfare, about Syria and immigration. It’s a debate about poverty and inequality, and about giving our young people hope for the future as well as providing security and care for the elderly and vulnerable.
Wycombe Labour is not split. We are united in fighting for excellent education for all our children and the abolition of selective secondary education. We are united in fighting for an NHS which is properly resourced and where health services are provided by the public sector. We are united in fighting for good quality public services, particularly social services for children; for safe, decent and affordable homes, and for decent conditions and fair wages for workers.
It is a hard fight in Wycombe where we are clearly in the minority but we will carry on.
We welcome the fact that membership of the Labour Party has increased by over 50,000 in the last few months. Most of the new members are young people.
We are delighted that our membership in Wycombe has gone up by a third; again most of our new members are young people. They will change the way we think and the way we do things. Our campaign on the EU referendum is for example being led by a 17 year old member using Skype conferencing (whatever that is). That is great.
We also hope the next Leader of the Labour Party – and the next Prime Minister- will not be chosen on the basis of the clothes he or she wears. Or for that matter on the basis of his or her gender, age, or facial hair. We have seen a lot of expensively suited Ministers on show lately and it does nothing to fill us with confidence that they will do what is best for the country. On the contrary, they are causing untold misery to millions of people.
To us, it is the candidates’ vision, values and policies that count, and the capacity to connect with everyone in this country and make that vision happen.
Linda Derrick (Dr)
Press Officer, Wycombe Labour
P.S. Now where did I put my grubby jacket?