Last week was potentially the start of a major realignment of our party politics. Time will tell, but we may be seeing a tectonic shift. A healthy democracy needs viable alternatives that can govern effectively and a politics where everyone in society feels there is a credible and respectable voice for them.
Last week saw the Labour party start to split. MPs and Councillors started leaving in droves as the realisation set in that the party has permanently changed - from a broad church of the centre and centre-left, to a hideous far-left outfit awash with abuse and intimidation and most shamefully of all, widely regarded as institutionally anti-Semitic.
While I disagree with these MPs on polices such as Brexit, they are respectable politicians who could no longer live with their consciences and who want to form a new centre-left party, that takes everything good that Labour used to stand for, but which leaves behind the extremism and abuse.
From a democratic viewpoint I wish them well. I hope all the decent politicians in Labour follow them and set up a viable alternative for the British people, or join other existing parties including the Conservatives. Last week the penny finally dropped that Labour has permanently changed and become a lost cause for moderate views.
Less well-publicised is that Labour Councillors across the country have been leaving. Last week In Brighton, a Labour Councillor of 25 years joined the Conservatives and another who was previously the Council Leader left Labour to become independent. I quote his reasons for leaving which were “anti-Semitism and the toxic culture of aggression and bullying within the party and the broader Corbyn-supporting base.”
In Crawley, we Conservatives are a broad church from the centre to the centre right who often find common cause with issues the more respectable Labour party of old used to. For example, I recently publicly praised the GMB Union for negotiating better employment rights for Hermes Delivery Drivers. For moderate Labour Councillors and supporters in Crawley who don’t want to join the Independent Group, you would be very welcome to join us.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
27th February 2019