LETTER FROM JEREMY CORBYN to Eastbourne comrades.
Following the General Election Several people from Eastbourne wrote on Open Letter of support to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Here is the Open Letter and the reply from Jeremy Corbyn.
Dear Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell,
We are writing to you to let you know that there are many thousands of us in Eastbourne who really believe in you and in the Labour Manifesto and everything it stands for. The real and widespread support for you is not reflected in the number of votes Labour received here.
Eastbourne Labour ran a strong and positive #VoteLabour Campaign emphasising our fantastic policies. Out campaigning we found there was so much support for these policies. Many in our town ended up voting for a party they did not believe in, in a desperate attempt to keep out the Conservatives. This was in spite of the fact that our excellent local Labour candidate Jake Lambert is so well respected by many in our town. He stood out as by far the better candidate. People from all parties told us this.
Many of us signing this also could not vote, as we are too young or not allowed to vote as EU citizens. We are hoping to get everyone to sign this letter, but even if not: please believe us that there are many, many Corbyn supporters in this town.
We thought the Campaign was wonderful as it filled us and so many others with real hope for social and climate justice action, which is so urgently needed right now. Labour’s defeat was due to decades of alienation of ordinary people from politics and the political class; with decades of neoliberal individualism that have affected our very hearts and souls so insidiously and perniciously; and, of course, with a Conservative campaign that was based on lies and misinformation, aided by social and mainstream media, including the BBC. We recognise the degree to which the UK media is used and controlled so ruthlessly and systematically by right wing and capital vested interest and see it as a true threat to democracy.
The National Campaign was also great in the huge amount of solidarity, support and genuine political engagement its message of hope generated. We feel this energy and momentum of hope and solidarity must not dissipate; instead we must turn it into a much more extensive and deeper social movement that helps people see through political and media lies, and realise that it is Labour policies and values that best help ourselves, our communities, and our shared planet. Above all, we must work to try and rediscover a different sense of self; one that is not rooted in individualism and competition, but in connectedness between humans and with the natural world; in community and in solidarity.
You, Jeremy and John, and those working with you,have done an incredible amount of work towards this already and have shown us that a kinder politics is possible. Thank You So Much for everything you have done so far. We are not losing hope now. As they say in Kiswahili:
Pamoja tutashinda – Together, we will win
REPLY FROM JEREMY AND JOHN
Dear Eastbourne comrades,
You have written us such a supportive and moving email, and I write on behalf of both of us to thank you for your ongoing support, as well as for your feedback. Much of what I am about to say here is reflected in the Eastbourne experience it would seem.
The General Election results around the country were sad and disappointing, despite so many of us working solidly toward achieving a transformative Labour government.
I am very proud of our campaign, fought with dignity, and as a campaign of hope and unity. We put forward a manifesto to right the wrongs, injustices and inequalities that exist in this country.
Our campaign changed the national conversation on issues like austerity and public ownership; inspiring millions of new voters and young people for the first time, and our movement is now hundreds of thousands strong, and countrywide.
Brexit polarised people at this election, the underlying problems facing this country have not gone anywhere. We have a crisis in our NHS and schools, a crisis of low pay and poverty, and a crisis of trust in public institutions – underpinned by a rigged economic model which funnels wealth and power to the very top.
It is the finest honour and privilege I have ever had to have led the Labour Party.
Please continue to make the argument for a government that works toward a just society that puts the flourishing of all before the greed of the few. The values and principles that unite us, and our burning desire to put them into practice, are unwavering.
Your continuing support at this time means a great deal to both of us.
Warmest wishes and solidarity,
Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP (and John McDonnell MP)