A letter a day to number 10. No 1,285
Monday 14 December 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Since Jeremy Corbyn’s election to become the leader of the Labour party through a genuinely participative democratic process and, indeed, in the run up to that election, I have been taken aback by the histrionics of you, the right wing media and members of the parliamentary Labour party itself. I hadn’t fully realised just how terrifying and threatening democracy is to so many politicians and corporate interests which your party in particular serve so slavishly.
The relentless campaign against Corbyn has been astonishing to witness. The ridiculous, yet strident, nonsense you told the Tory conference about Corbyn was breathtaking, “You only really need to know one thing: he thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a “tragedy”. No. A tragedy is nearly 3,000 people murdered one morning in New York. A tragedy is the mums and dads who never came home from work that day. A tragedy is people jumping from the towers after the planes hit. My friends – we cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love.”
Corbyn’s essential crime is that he has engaged with democracy and the people. He has even taken people’s concerns into parliament and at prime ministers question time has been mocked and jeered for doing so, by you not the least, without any hint of shame that in so doing you mock the people and our concerns. It was widely reported that you even went so far as to warn MPs against voting alongside “Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers” over Syria. It is abundantly clear that the decision to go to war was taken for political, not humanitarian, reasons about which Osborne was reported as saying to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that “Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead”. Osborne is so divorced from reality that he thinks killing people is something to celebrate and be proud of.
I guess what’s so terrifying about democracy is that it isn’t about politicians, it’s about the people and the reality of democracy isn’t just a token vote every five years, it’s the voices and actions of the people holding politicians to account and clearly that’s the last thing you want. You summed up your contempt for democracy in your statement, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” The crimes of dictators and oppressive regimes the world over have always been acting outside of the law and it is the task, and struggle, of the people to hold dictators and governments to account, not the other way round. Human rights aren’t Christmas baubles to be oohed and aahed at and admired from afar, they are the line that must not be crossed and your statement about acting above the law against us means that you have crossed that line and for which you are accountable to the people. Like it or not, and clearly you don’t, that is what democracy is.