Tuesday, 12 July 2016

An Open Letter to Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party

Dear Member of Parliament,

I am a British citizen that is an active campaigner on social media regarding matters of injustice, in particular I have campaigned against the blockade and coalition airstrikes on Yemen over the past year, the persecution of the stateless Rohingya in Myanmar, the bombardment and blockade of Gaza, as well as the oppression, imprisonment and torture of many innocent people including medics in Bahrain.

I'm not a member of the Labour Party but what politicians refer to as a 'floating voter'. I voted for Labour before the Iraq war but said I would never vote for them again after Tony Blair's decision to go to war. Next I voted for the Lib Dems, who let us down badly over tuition fees, and then I voted for the Green Party, even though I knew my vote was going nowhere - they seemed the only honest group left around. I can't ever see myself voting for the Conservative Party, as it stands, but some of their politicians, such as Sarah Wollaston, I have great respect for - and actually, now I come to ask myself the question, if it was Conservative lead by Sarah Wollaston or Labour lead by Angela Eagle, I would probably actually vote Conservative. I'm not motivated by a political ideology, hence do not see myself as 'left' or 'right', but I am motivated by honesty and the call for social justice.

When Labour launched its last round of leadership elections I raised an eyebrow over the nomination of Jeremy Corbyn. I was aware that he was a good man of principals, having always been consistent in his campaigning against matters of injustice, and always taking a stand for peace, even when peace was unpopular. But honestly, I didn't think he stood any chance against the mass media who drive public opinion as they choose. For the simple fact that Corbyn had on numerous occasions raised his voice against the injustice towards the Palestinian people meant that Israel would be opposing his nomination. Never mind that he also voiced concern regarding the continued supply of arms to Saudi Arabia in the light of war crimes in Yemen and their terrible human rights record; never mind his opposition to spending billions on Trident and continued profiteering from wars across the Middle East. Jeremy Corbyn didn't stand a hope in Hell of his nomination going anywhere, I knew that, and sure enough as soon as his campaign began so did the start of what was to be surely the most hate filled, malicious and prolonged media campaign against any politician in this country.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see support for him increase, and slowly, slowly the public began to rally behind this honest man of principals, freeing their minds from the media spin, as they began to call for a different kind of politics. How much we all need an honest man to restore our faith in democracy once more. Jeremy Corbyn, a breath of fresh air in a filthy polluted political world of spin, corruption, broken promises and outright lies. And so I dared to hope, that this man stood a chance, and when he achieved the unachievable and was elected leader of the Labour Party, I realised that reconciliation was possible. The anger I felt towards the Labour Party for leading us into an unnecessary war subsided. Despite my resolution to never vote for Labour again, I realised that if Jeremy Corbyn was leader I definitely would.

It's not just British citizens looking for an honest leader, it's people worldwide. Do not underestimate that the decisions taken by the British in these coming years will have repercussions worldwide. The dictators and oppressors of this world, the corrupt, those who accumulate wealth at the expense of other people's suffering, know this only too well, and I have no doubt that some of them will be backing the campaign to take Jeremy Corbyn and his movement for social justice down before it takes root worldwide. But please think of the 21.3 million refugees in this world, in addition to the 65.3 million people displaced and the 10 million stateless people, as well as the additional 34,000 people forcibly displaced every day. The only politician that brings lasting hope to decreasing the number of refugees arriving in Europe is Corbyn since he seems the only leading politician right now with a true vision for peace, not more war. A stand for Jeremy Corbyn is a far greater issue than a matter of saving the Labour Party, this is a call for global change, and it is here in the UK where we have the freedoms to initiate this change.

How very sad for all the people who have dared to hope in a better future based on a different way of doing politics that Corbyn's political colleagues have focused on their own narrow vision of what they believe is best for their party, having been weakened by the drip drip of lies in the media, rather than listening to the heartbeat of a suffocating world. It is no exaggeration to say that the very principal of democracy is at stake here and the world is indeed watching; millions of people in countries that dream of a democracy are now questioning whether democracy even exists in the United Kingdom, since the votes and will of hundreds of thousands of people seem so easily dismissed by their elected representatives.

I'm writing this letter to ask you to do the right thing, to work through your own personal feelings of animosity, doubt or differences, to see through the spin, to resist political pressures from your colleagues and to stand behind Jeremy Corbyn, the elected leader of the Labour Party. In doing so you would give floating voters like myself the chance to vote for a real alternative in the next general election; but far greater than that, your support for Jeremy Corbyn would renew the people's trust in democracy as well as hope for a more peaceful future and social justice worldwide.

Thank-you for taking the time to read and consider my plea.
Yours sincerely,
Jamila Hanan

ps. if anyone wants to publish this anywhere, feel free

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