Response to Owen Jones

Ok. Here goes…

I do not like the title. The title is an assertion that I, as the reader, must do something for you, without discussion. Why? What do I owe you? Or, are you trying to say that because I am a Corbyn supporter I must do this? I don’t think so. You are dividing me from the rest of the party unfairly.

You then present your opinion as an assertion that can’t be debated, then pre-emptively complain that the reader will not allow for opinions to be debated. You go on, as you yourself noted, to make a lot of complaints about how you have been treated by… who? Are you still accusing all of us at this point? It’s not clear. For the record, that’s an unfair accusation. Many of us have counted you with us, and have not criticised you. Or, wait, you must be talking about those “bad” Corbyn supporters. Now you are dividing us again.

I really do not like how you’re making me feel by this point. And so far you haven’t even written much of anything at all.

Once this is done, you are afraid for the future, but you don’t say this. Instead you accuse us of disagreeing with you immediately. Do I disagree with your fear? No, I feel it too. Despite the fact you still haven’t written anything of substance, I know that fear. I see your point of view. Do I think we should allow fear to dictate what we do? Absolutely not.

I don’t need your CV. I’m not an employer.

I’ll skip over the rest of your complaining about not having your suggestions followed to the letter, and whatever it is you’re asking for from me (sympathy?).

I have to say, it is these things that have resulted in criticism of you, not the points you make.

And yet because of the way you began, you attempt to put this vast onus of personal responsibility and liability on each individual. On me. As if we are not an organisation. As if we are not a party of people that campaign and work together. As if the energy that is flying around is something that can be harnessed and controlled by one person if only they would pull their socks up and concentrate – and that person is the reader.

No. That isn’t how it works.

These are things that have to be debated, but there is no room for that in how you present this. There is no mention at all that meetings are suspended, where we could discuss these things. Are you holding us all responsible for that too? You present this to those of us who do use social media, but then say that social media is not effective. So what would happen to our answers, even if such answers existed?

You end by enforcing the sense of isolation that you have created in the preceding article by explicitly stating that if the reader doesn’t come up with answers then they are complicit in whatever doom you are certain must follow (and we mustn’t discuss that opinion).

I imagine it’s not just me who would genuinely like to know what we’ve done to deserve being divided and isolated in such a way, denied collaboration with our comrades in Labour, told we must personally give answers to questions that the whole party is struggling with or be held up as objects of scorn for ‘complicity.’

A more productive use of our time (while we are confined to social media) would be to debate with members of Labour who aren’t supporting Corbyn and see if we can get a template for the PLP to follow. The terms of such discussion should be as follows:

We accuse them of being so power hungry they will deny people the change that is needed.

They accuse us of being so married to principles that we don’t even want to win.

If the left and right agreed not to fall back on those default positions, what kind of conversation would we be having now? What are the things that we all agree on, however small? How can we move forward – together – from there?