Firstly congratulations on your victory. Regardless of all the scaremongering stories that we heard in the lead up to the result you are a deserved winner and you should be congratulated on your sensible approach during the campaign also.
Secondly I want to say that in the short time you have been in charge I’m already impressed with the way you have carried yourself and the decisions you have made. To speak at the rally in support of refugees wasn’t a stunt as you had already signed up to do it – but the speech you gave was one of the most passionate and common sense I’d heard from a politician for a long time.
Then you decided that a constituency event raising money & awareness on Mental Health was a bigger priority than appearing on the Andrew Marr show. To then appoint a Minister for Mental Health in your new Shadow Cabinet showed that you are serious about doing things not just saying them. As someone who lives with Bi-polar disorder and has faced some issues because of this I openly applaud such a bold and long-overdue move. Thank you for recognising the issue.
Not playing the games that the media try to lure you into is going to be tough, but you should stand your ground and be your own man – from all I’ve seen and read about you this won’t be difficult. What the media – especially the right-wing rags – will do is try to shout you down, but already you’ve made history by appointing more women than men in the Shadow Cabinet and have ignored the usual merry-go-round appearances on the radio & TV many others would have agreed to because they we’re told to my spin doctors and “experts”.
I look forward to see what you do in the coming months in terms of policy and how you take ideas from all sides of the party. Already you are surrounded by a spectrum of beliefs around the table so I don’t doubt your sincerity when you say you want to listen. At the same time I would encourage you to keep up the honesty and frankness that got you elected. We’re fed up of the manicured men in designer suits hovering in the background having written every word, reference and joke their puppet makes – you offer a refreshing alternative so please don’t fall into that trap.
Also be brave in terms of what you want to achieve. Trident, Europe, Railways, investment in Infrastructure and Refugees are hugely important and dividing issues but if you can be the voice of reason there is no reason why those, like me, who have moved away from being a Labour voter to alternatives will come back. In Scotland you offer a direct challenge to the SNP as we know you can actually be in a position of power to do things they can only make empty promises about. In Wales and the North of England we should see those red areas reappear in 2020, and for the man and woman on the street working hard to make ends meet you will find support. By not cozying up the bankers but listening to those who are the most important people in this country – the working and middle class; the engine of the nation.
I would only ask one thing though: please don’t take us backward in ambition. While I can understand the socialist, left-wing approaches you favour, you need to balance that with opportunities for normal people to better themselves. Too often the far left have wanted to mute and equalise when in truth give options and opportunities to all within a collective, supportive and progressive framework could bring the UK back to its best.
I genuinely wish you and your team well – and you never know, I may even sign up as a member if the man I’ve seen in these last few months builds on the great foundation of common sense and honesty and proposes a fairer and more equal society.
Yours in anticipation