Now before I start hearing the moans of ‘here we go again, another progress Tory endorsing another’ hear me out. As this is something I’m associated with (purely because of being a liberal Zionist) despite having no associations what so ever. (But that’s a blogpost for another day)
I am not a member of Progress, nor have I ever attended a Progress event. I am not a member of any other internal pressure ‘thinktank’ caucus in the Labour Party. I am a member of Hendon CLP, The Jewish Labour Movement, The Cooperative Party and the GMB trade union. Above anything else, I’m loyal to Labour, more loyal than some members standing in these NEC elections.
I’m not entirely sure where I fit within the Party in terms of policy, but I am certainly to the left of many Progress members and Progress policy documents.
Whilst being to the left of Luke and Progress, I do believe that they have a crucial role within our Labour Movement. Whether you want to admit it or not, Tony Blair and New Labour won three consecutive elections, a feat that the Labour Party have never achieved and are unlikely to achieve again for a long time. New Labour needs to be given the respect and gratitude it deserves.
The Labour Party has never been ‘one’ movement. It’s a party that has always had a broad base of support and a broad range of ideas, having these broad set of ideas strengthens our party, ignoring people such as Luke, who represent a large constituency within our broad Party does a disservice to it.
I want my NEC to be representative of our Party, not part of some political struggle, in which the aim is to overthrow the party in some ideological crusade against the those in the Party which are not ‘pure’ trots.
I want my Union and others to stop with the witchhunt/smear campaign against Luke and Progress. It is childish and frankly puts the average rank and file off caring or being involved in our movement, especially at such a crucial time as now – our Party need to be preparing for Government, not internal squabbling.
I voted for Luke precisely because he provides a strong, unique and important voice within our diverse Labour Movement, not necessarily because I believe in everything he may say, write or advocate. The witchhunt hasn’t dictated how I vote, don’t let it dictate yours either.
Note: I also voted for Ruth Smeeth for the NEC. For the NPF I voted for Joan Ryan, Alon Or-Bach and Nicky Gavron AM.