Apologies & Epiphanies.

This is the most self reflective, honest and cathartic piece of writing I have done yet.

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

I feel the need to lay my heart bare and apologise to you. I’m sorry that I thrust you into a position of power that you never wanted and weren’t prepared for. I’m sorry that no matter how much it hurt, I didn’t just let them force you out during the coup. The coup that did nothing to make either you, or the PLP, look like anything but a complete train wreck.

You can’t win. I understand that now. I burst my bubble and I completely understand why you can’t win. It’s a tragedy. An actual tragedy. I’ve come to this decision after six months of doubt.

Last June we found out my Dad had pancreatic cancer. We lost him in August. He was a life time Labour voter, a working class baby boomer who was lucky enough to benefit from social mobility. He was smart, a maths whizz, a loving husband, a rationalist, a fan of police procedurals and detective novels. He was the most caring generous, least bigoted man I knew. He was a wonderful Dad and it is thanks to principals he taught me as I grew up that I was even excited by you as Labour leader.

One of the last arguments we had before he died was about you. He hated you. And oh did we debate! He told me that while I had good principles I needed to be more open minded. Not long after I was consumed by grief. And the world went topsy-turvy.

Brexit, Donald Trump… and most earth shattering; my guiding light is taken away. All in 2016. I think I had a break from reality and have come through to this point, having reassessed and questioned every aspect of my world view.

Losing my Dad felt like a nightmare, and for a while I wasn’t sure if I was going to wake up from it. And in the back of my head were my Dad’s words to me. “You need to be more open minded.”

So I opened my mind. Watching the media narrative behind Donald Trump I started to wonder, if everyone but fervent Trump supporters can’t see he is an idiot and cry media conspiracy every time he is criticised, am I as deluded as they are? Are they as right as I still think I am?

I burst my bubble and I really am in the minority that take you even a little bit seriously. Even the journalists who should agree with your policies based on the ideals they have been pushing on us for the last however many years write you off as “unable to win.” It’s a tragedy because it is self-defeatist to say we can’t win with our ideals, so we will settle for the way things are now.

And after much reflection I do think there has been a bit of a media conspiracy against you. I don’t believe what we are now headed for was ever the whole media’s intention though. Either they genuinely believed that you were unable to win and that taking you down would strengthen Labour. Or they had vested interests in seeing you fail.

Your platform wasn’t a bad one when you first came into the leadership. An end to austerity and cut down on corporate tax avoidance. I genuinely couldn’t believe that the ideas of spending more money on public services, and collecting more tax from the wealthiest people are unpopular policies. Especially after six years of austerity.

I think I get it now though, we’ve all bought into the lie that “there is no money left.” Its almost seven years since Labour were in power and in the past few days I have witnessed Tory MPs in the Commons use that line to shut down pressure to spend more money from Labour MPs.

The 08/09 financial crash scared us, and we believe that government debt was the cause, and that government debt would make things worse for us. “We’d have to grin and bear it, we’d all chip in, but hard times are ahead!” 

But it wasn’t government debt that caused the financial crash. It was reckless trading by the financial sector. They’re still doing it. If the economy crashes again it will be because of the finance sector. We’ll bail them out again, of course. They are too big to fail. To let them fail would harm all of us.

I really think you would have had a chance, if our media wasn’t so partisan, even the BBC and the Guardian derided you to no end. The only place you had unrivalled support was The Canary, and the less said about that new source the better.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes the opposition the opposition these days. I’m not sure about the answer, but I know what the opposition shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be in opposition with itself. Every MP and supposedly left-wing media source who attacked your character did nothing but reinforce people’s beliefs that your ideals are “loony.” It is a tragedy.

So lately I feel like I have woken up. My eyes are wide open now, Dad. You will never win a general election, Mr Corbyn. Never, ever. Our entire media sold that narrative and it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’ve been led into a Catch-22 situation by well-meaning idealists. No matter what course of action you take, people will hate you for it. A lamb led to a media slaughter by the cheers of his small band of supporters. I’m sorry I voted to put you in this position twice.

Currently I am very uncertain about the future. Are we facing a future of privatisation and poorer living standards for all but the wealthiest individuals? Part of me thinks it is inevitable. I was walking through the world dreaming, and then the dream turned into a nightmare. When I woke up I realised that I was in the middle of a culture war I never saw coming.

“Oh Captain, my Captain.”

I’m sorry, Mr Corbyn. I truly am.

Warmest Regards, and the Deepest Respect,

Social Justice Lover

(SJL)

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