Congratulations…and Please…: a Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Jeremy

I can’t congratulate you enough on becoming the new leader of the Labour Party. I’m genuinely excited and hopeful for UK politics in a way I never have been before, as I’m sure you are being told by many, many people.
I’m not really sure why I’m writing to you, but something about what has happened in the last few weeks, and yesterday in particular, just made me want to tell you how much what you’ve achieved so far means to me. And to many people I know.
I come from a family of Labour Party members and trade unionists, though we’d all lapsed during the Blair years and beyond. I’d never previously been a member, although I’ve been a trade union member for quite a few years now. I joined the Labour Party a few weeks ago as a supporter so I could vote for you (I’m sorry to say I didn’t as my ballot paper never arrived, despite me chasing it). At that time I promised I’d join as a full member if you were successful; I did that yesterday as soon as I heard the news, and I gather at least 15,500 have done the same. I want to do my part in making sure this works.
Your unwavering commitment to a set of principles which inform your decisions and actions, and which have seen you on the right side of history time and time again, are too rare in British politics. However, what you’ve done, above all else, is offer this country an opportunity to change the narrative, to show that there is a better way to be, a better way to discuss and think about things, and a better way for politicians (and the media) to behave with one another. You set a challenge for the Conservatives in so many ways and on so many levels. You have them so scared they’ve resorted to mind-boggling propaganda about how the Labour Party now represent a serious risk to national security. It’s almost farcical.
The positive tone, the reality, the humanity and compassion you have brought back to British politics leave me breathless with anticipation for what we might achieve for, and with, the people of this country again. What really strikes me is your unwillingness to engage with the negative discourse, but instead to find that positive stance, focusing on the issues and how best to address them. You leave personality, shaming, and put-downs well alone, and deal directly with the issues that concern the public. It is such a long time since someone has done that, and it makes me so grateful.
I think your track record speaks for itself as you’ve managed to maintain your principles and integrity during a really dirty time for politics, so I don’t doubt that you’ve a very real chance of getting us where we need to be in 2020 and beyond. The leadership position, however, is a very different animal, and I guess what I really wanted to say is, be careful. And continue to be brave. Please don’t be swayed. Please don’t allow the spin doctors or the media manipulators or the policy makers of any colour, to move you off course. I can only begin to imagine what the pressures will be when it comes to the crunch, but please always remember that what got you here is what this country really wants and needs…don’t let go.
And finally, I want to wish you all the best in this role – our time has come.
Kind regards
Becci Seaborne
PS – you’ve made a fantastic start already; straight off to the Refugees Welcome rally yesterday, and the mental health open day today – keep that up too please.

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