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Leaving Labour – Two Weeks on

by Barry

Its probably slightly longer than two weeks, but having resigned from Labour, I feel much better, I guess I simply didn’t realise how much it was getting me down. My resignation has been further reinforced in my mind by the number of statements coming out from Labour about their floundering stance(s) on Brexit, as well the vast number of people who have been in touch, some to try and get me to change my mind, some to tell me I have done the right thing, and some (or one in particular) to inform me that “you always were a Tory anyway, so glad to see the back of you, you warmongering ba*tard”.

I was intrigued to see the new grouping by Tom Watson, but this (I think) further compounds the factional Labour problem and will simply further persist the problem. What is the party about, currently its about a string internal fight that has been going on for 3 years. Some say its going back to what values it should have, and not “New Labour” ones. And they are probably right, and that further reinforces why its right I have left. I think Labour in Government achieved great things, and when we are being made to forget or ignore that, then I refuse (to which people say “but Iraq”, as if that negated everything else, it really doesn’t).

The amount of press interest was surprising, though I guess in hindsight it shouldn’t have, but particularly in Gloucester I was amused that the local Labour party insisted that there was no problem and no-one wanting to leave, which was in direct contrast to the number of people that got in touch to say that they were in a similar position and had either left, or were close to leaving.

Fundamentally, the question that hit home the most was from a prominent Labour member who told me I should be fighting it from within, but then asked, quietly, “Do you feel better for it?” To which my answer was, and is, yes. I feel like I don’t have to apologise anymore, to worry about the backlash and steeling myself for abuse. To say what I feel.

My only regret is that there still a number of great people in the Labour Party who feel they have to stay and fight their own party. That is not why they got into the Party, they joined, as I did, to make a difference. My message to them is simple, if you feel you are still in the right place, then great and good luck. But don’t be afraid to leave, think about what is being said and done in your name. The Labour Party does not define you and your values, its just an organisation, its the people who define the party, and what did you join to do? Fight other members?

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