Jeff Slee

Labour Greens? No!

Jeff Slee

[Our article in February’s Briefing, entitled Labour Greens?, got the thumbs down from a number of our readers. We print one response below.]

I was dismayed that you included an article from Davy Jones (Labour Greens?) in February’s Briefing. I have read Briefing for more years than I care to remember, and occasionally contributed articles, and this is the first time I have thought that an article should not have been printed.

Davy stood in last May’s General Election for the Greens in Brighton Kemptown, a Tory marginal, against a really good Labour candidate. The few hundred votes he got were more than the Tory’s winning margin. So in effect he prevented a Labour gain.

If he had used his article to apologise and own up that this was a mistake, then maybe it would have been acceptable. But no. His words made his contribution even worse. He said: “I am acutely aware of the need for us to avoid dividing ourselves against the most reactionary government in my lifetime”. Which prompts the question, so why did you divide the anti-Tory vote?

Having got over my indignation at this, the rest of his article didn’t redeem him. His call for Labour Party members to come together in campaigning work with Greens and others over issues we agree on is positive but unremarkable. But he then goes on to use (waste?) half his article building castles in the air, fantasies, about joint policy platforms, affiliations (the SNP affiliate to Labour? Really?).

And to say, as he does in his penultimate paragraph, “until Jeremy Corbyn is able to ensure the Labour Party nationally adopts consistently anti-austerity and pro-environmental policies, as well as a thorough democratisation of the Labour Party itself” shows that he does not understand the Labour Party or the real struggle that Briefing readers and many others are now involved in to transform and rejuvenate the Labour Party, something which needs a mass movement and not the actions of one leader. Which is surprising for someone of Davy’s many years of political activity.

All in all, a waste of a page - when there is so much going on to report. Next time he sends in an article, please file it in the bin.

RMT National Executive Committee (personal capacity) and Orpington CLP