Hi Jon. You don’t know me but I know who you are. You wouldn’t know me, am a mum, I live in the world. I spend an awful lot of time writing about austerity, studying inequality, not because I chose the word left but because inequality chose me. Inequality is complicated. Its multidimensional, it intersects around gender, race, class, and is reproduced through the systems that shape our economy, social policy systems, and politics. That’s why you don’t know. The elite left don’t like people like. We object when our trade unions refuse to represent the jobs we do, the vulnerable service users who need that voice, for Labour. We object when the elite left selling cartoons of a white working class they fantasise about and base their political identities on, sell nonsense on our behalf. We tend to live in a complex society and economy that is beyond the elite left’s comprehension. The elite left get nasty when they meet us and we say the hard left dont represent us. Momentum get nasty. Today you told someone that winning and democracy were different.
I wanted to explain something to you. Democracy is when 64 million people have the opportunity to vote if they want to and they vote for MPs. Those MPS give democcratic mandate to their party leader, and between them they can get policies through parliament that benefit people. In a democracy you are accountable. And if what you are selling meets the needs of those people, they can confer power onto you through free and fair elections. You have to earn that win. You have to earn those votes.
You have perfected astroturf. The synthetic creation of the appearance of a grassroots movement and have waged a ground war in a political party, with your activists bullying labour CLPs and swamping their meetings so you can make sure they vote for your candidate. Your candidate Jeremy Corbyn, only really speaks to a few people. only speaks at approved rallies and through video and says that our votes don;t matter. That the elected representatives we send to Parliament dont matter, because the astroturf you create, the misogynist abuse they unleash, is better than democracy. Becuase you and a handful of others say so.
You won’t read this, you don’t have to. You are not accounatble to me or anyone else. Your organisation is headed by people who went to elite schools, elite universities and the policies that a Labour government can bring in if they win elections make no difference to you. As long as the working class are happily disenfranchiseed and your activists can bully enough CLPs, you get to undermine democracy and presumably gain power you don’t want to be accountable for. You tell people this is people power. It isnt. When your acolytes abuse us on the internet, we cant hold you accountable. We just get swarms of you demanding to know why we havent provided evidence to you of this abuse. When comedians like Pete Sinclair invade our private conversations and invite other people to abuse us there is no accountability. Noone we can turn to. And when someone follows in the footsteps of the man who murdered Jo Cox and kills someone, shouting traitor because you have decided that MPs are either Stars of the Week or Traitors, there is no comeback. No accountability.
Your movement is not a movement. It is not a spontaneous groundwell of public opinion like the Brexit march, or the spontaneous street politics of Occupy. Its astroturf and its bullying and its not democracy it threatens it. Winning an election is how democracy works. Its people power. People deciding if you should have power. When you ape Militant to undermine and destabilise a political party, in the weeks of the most serious national crisis in the UK’s recent history, that is not democracy. THat is a small sect hording power and holding the country hostage and undermining democracy. When your activists and followers intimidate and abuse mainly female MPS and councillors, or women speaking on twitter, that is not democracy., In a democracy women are people too.
What you are selling is powertaken by the self appointed few, taken from people. Its not grassroots vs PLP. Its Momentum versus the electorate. You know this and you know we would never vote for you, which is why you are threatening to destabilise the Labour Party and telling us that democracy is you and your activists intimidating our elected representatives by calling them traitors or star or the week. And you will never read htis because you dont think you need to be accountable to anyone. That’snot really what democracy is and there is a reason you cant ever win an election the way you do things. Because people would never give you power. Which is why you are trying to take it.