POLITICS: Party needs new policies

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn  during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Picture by PA Wire

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Picture by PA Wire

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I did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn and I do not think he is the right person to persuade people to vote Labour at the next general election, but I agree totally with his values and what he stands for.

They are what the grass roots of the Labour Party is about and why I joined nearly 50 years ago, and what I have worked for ever since.

As Hilary Benn said: “Jeremy is a good and decent man but he is not a good leader.”

For me, he does not have the passion and strength needed to win back disillusioned Labour voters.

But the problem with the Labour Party and why so many people who usually vote Labour voted to leave the European Union is not JC.

It is because Labour did not have, and still does not have, policies, particularly on immigration, that can readily be discussed with our changing communities. That is my fault as much as any other Labour Party member, for it is we who make the policy.

Since the referendum people have told me they voted to leave because members of their own families or neighbours are struggling to make ends meet and they thought Great Britain needed to look after its own people and not those from the EU. The austerity they feel is not caused by Europe, but by policies of the UK’s own Conservative government.

It is fact that the gap between the rich and the poor in the UK is widening again, and the dangers of losing our free education and health services is on the agenda.

I would like to ask those people who are rejoining the Labour Party why they did not stay with the party and work for what they believe in within it? None of us has a monopoly on ideas so will they now help to make right and fair policies, and knock on doors to talk and listen to people as loyal local Labour Party members still do? Do those who are newly joining intend to stay and work with the party and help to get the policies right, or is it just a protest vote?

The young people who have joined locally will be real assets and I welcome them.

It is the policies that Labour should be working to get right.

I will settle for a caretaker leader, but hope a parliamentary seat can soon be found for David Milliband, who should have been our leader at the last general election, without losing any of our existing hardworking Labour MPs.

Councillor Muriel Green

North Tyneside Labour Councillor