Thursday, April 18, 2024

Blogpost: How the JC factor can re-juvenate Labour in Thurrock

Blogpost: Now that Jeremy Corbyn has won……..

By Scott Nelson

JEREMY Corbyn triumphs again! He has been re-elected with a 61.8% share of the vote, an increase on last year’s 59.5%. Had thousands of votes not been purged or gone missing, Corbyn might have achieved an even bigger mandate, but the new result is still a brilliant victory. Corbyn has won, beaten the Labour coup and increased his mandate. I’m over the moon and I am not alone.

Now is the time for Labour to unite and fight the Tories – and that includes everyone. Labour does not need another leadership election, Labour members have spoken and everyone needs to accept today’s democratic outcome.

The leadership election has distracted from the Tories and let them off the hook. The NHS crisis has worsened, the Tories are in chaos with no Brexit strategy and cuts are causing widespread poverty in areas like Salford. And there is there also the issue of social care cuts which are having an adverse effect on the disabled, pensioners and mental health patients.

I have been extremely outspoken since I left the Labour Party in unfortunate circumstances last Christmas, but that is because my heart is in the right place. I was proud to have campaigned for Labour here in Thurrock, an area where I grew up. I am frustrated at Labour’s performance in Thurrock and the party has lost huge support to UKIP. Labour still has large pockets of support in Thurrock but the party needs to reach out to areas that used to be solid Labour but have since lost out to UKIP because of complacency.

Aveley, where I live, has three UKIP Councillors and I can’t fault them. Yes, it’s no secret I voted UKIP in May but after the way the Labour Party had treated me I had no choice. But believe it or not there is still a lot of Labour support in Aveley. Labour needs to get out and talk to the residents of Aveley many of whom were pleased to see the party back campaigning in 2014 and 2015 after more than a decade away. I would have considered standing as Labour’s candidate in Aveley this year had the party not turfed me out – and I am confident that I would have won. I know a lot of people in Aveley and I have worked to get things fixed for residents in my own spare time.

I had new streetlights installed on three roads on my housing estate that were never upgraded when the rest of the estate was. I have had potholes filled, parks cleaned, grass cut and even successfully had a resident’s noisy car exhaust removed with the assistance of Essex Police after Thurrock Council refused to intervene despite receiving several complaints from residents. I care passionately about my community, about social justice and about Thurrock.

When I campaigned for Thurrock Labour I did so with enthusiasm and pride – and I want to do it again. I still have some wonderful friends at Thurrock Labour and throughout the party on the whole. Jeremy Corbyn needs energised and enthusiastic activists, people like me who still think the world of the Labour Party despite my outspoken manner.

Now is the time to put our differences aside, some people would love me to rejoin Labour including Thurrock Labour members, some of whom I have never met as they joined the party after I left but they regularly correspond with me online. Other people will oppose me rejoining the party and will kick up a stink, but I have a message for them:

We all want what’s best for Thurrock, we all want a fairer society and we all feel strongly about Labour winning the next election. I don’t expect you to like me, but for the sake of Thurrock let’s work together. If the MPs who were part of the Labour coup are now willing to put their differences aside and work with Corbyn and his supporters, then why can’t we? I’m tired of fighting with people who are on my side of the fence and I intend to build bridges and I ask you to meet me half way.

I accept that some people will never want to see my ugly face back in the Labour Party again, but my main priority is to rejoin so I can make a difference in Thurrock and beyond; I want Thurrock’s next MP to be Labour and I want the next council to be Labour-run. It is achievable and I am an influential individual, a lot of people know me in Thurrock and I am prepared to work even harder than I did in 2014/15 to reach out, listen and engage. There were times I would spend 20 minutes talking to someone on the doorstep but they felt better for it and appreciated that a Labour activist was taking their views and concerns seriously.

I’m not a bad person, I might look like a bulldog but my bark is worse than my bite. Labour can achieve a great deal in Thurrock and I want to be part of it. I will be contacting the new NEC in the coming weeks and request that my exclusion period is lifted and I will put my case forward. Like me or loathe me, my main priority is a Labour victory in 2020 so we can undo the damage that has been done by this ruthless Tory government since 2010.

My biggest regret during my time in the Labour Party is that Polly Billington was not elected last year because she would have been a fantastic MP and would have always put Thurrock first. And there is no way Polly would have gone back on her word with the Thames Crossing, she would have fought hard with the people of Thurrock to keep this crossing out of our borough – and she would have won. A lot of people in Thurrock have told me they regret not voting for Polly after putting their trust in Jackie Doyle-Price.

As for Labour’s future, Jeremy Corbyn is listening to millions of disenfranchised working class people across the country and that is why he has accepted Brexit. Corbyn has also called for Theresa May to invoke Article 50 and for Britain to leave the single market. He has a Brexit strategy but the same cannot be said for the Tories who are in complete disarray. Just what is the point in David Davis being May’s ‘Brexit Secretary’ when she keeps slapping him down?

One of the Leave Campaign’s pledges was an Australian-style points-based immigration system which I hugely support, yet May has said this will not happen. Let’s hope Corbyn has a sensible approach towards immigration and does not have an open door policy like Blair had. We need a points-based system full-stop but must also continue to show a sympathetic view with refugees and asylum seekers.

I voted Brexit in solidarity with Thurrock, a massive 73% of Thurrock voted Brexit and I am pleased Corbyn is respecting the democratic outcome.

Millions of working class people have been disenfranchised for decades, Neil Kinnock betrayed the working class to Margaret Thatcher when he turned his back on the miners, the trade unions and allowed her to decimate working class areas with her hateful policies. Likewise, Tony Blair lost Labour 4 million working class voters and only won three elections because he appealed to Tories, the middle class and had Rupert Murdoch on his side. Murdoch has backed every winning UK Prime Minister since 1979.

Why should working class people remain unrepresented at Westminster? What is so bad about Corbyn representing the masses? The only reason why Corbyn is under constant attack is because he is a threat to the Establishment and they do not want ordinary working class people having any power or control.

For far too long the working class has been ruled by the Establishment and the Westminster elite. That will all change under Jeremy Corbyn if he wins the next election in 2020 and I urge you, the good people of Thurrock, to put your trust in him and the Labour Party.


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