Many Thanks For All Your Campaigning

The General Election result was a heavy blow, both to the Party and to the struggle for social justice. There are many views as to the reasons but there is no avoiding the fact that the main difference between our policies in the 2017 election and in 2019 was, that in 2017 we ‘Respected the result of the EU Referendum’, and that for this election we ‘Promised another Referendum’. There will also be many views on the best way to carry the struggle forward. The process for electing a new Party Leader will be starting early in the New Year (on my birthday apparently). We have had a number of favourable comments on our local campaign complementing it on being both passionate and civilised. Lets make sure we keep it that way over the coming period. David and the Campaign Team want to give heartfelt thanks to all our members and supporters who worked so hard on the campaign over the last month. We would normally hold a thankyou social immediately after the election but have decided in the current circumstances that a social event is more likely to be successful if held after Christmas.

       All members and supporters, whether you were able to help with the campaign or not, are therefore invited to a lunch and informal gathering on Saturday 18th January 2020, 12.30 at the Mount Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, YO17 7AB.

There will be loads of time to discuss the election, campaigning lessons learned, the leadership, how to win a seat in the coming County Council elections, and the weather. We’d love to see as many as possible of you there. Your lunch is free; pay for drinks at the bar.


 Our Local Campaign & Results

Our local campaign was successful in that we achieved pretty much all we set out to do. Our targets  were limited because we did not have a candidate until 5th November, through no fault of ours. In the five weeks available we wrote and printed two leaflets, hand delivered 30,000 copies of one, ran ten street stalls, another three being cancelled due to the terrorist attack in London, produced numerous amateur and one high quality professional video and ran an energetic and well received social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter. David was a great candidate. His passion and character shone in the four hustings he attended, all that were on offer, and he raised his profile as much as possible through appearances at street stalls, radio interviews and social media. Serious canvassing would not have been possible in the time available but in any case we were directing all our potential canvassers to work in the Scarborough and York Outer target seats. In the context of such a bad result for Labour nationally we have to be slightly relieved that in Thirsk & Malton we held on to our second place, ahead of the Lib/Dems, by a reduced but still decent margin. We also did a bit better than the average for Labour in the Region and in Leave EU seats. Also see message from Hugo Fearnley attached.



Leadership Election

We do not yet know the timetable for the process of selecting a new Leader. It seems likely to start on 7th January and finish in March. We do know that as a Constituency we are entitled to nominate a candidate and that the final selection will be made by one member one vote, including registered supporters. We should clearly engage with the process if we can by making a nomination. The Constituency Executive Committee must decide what process we adopt for determining who we  nominate but it must be open and give all members a say. A Special General Meeting would meet the basic requirements but might not be the most inclusive way. Your views on the best/ most practical  process would  be valuable.  .

‘I aim not to use these Newsletters to promote my own views. However, this next bit is very definitely my personal view, so apologies for abusing my position. As I see it, Jeremy Corbyn is one of the most decent and honourable people in parliament. The villification that he has been subjected to has been unwarranted and of a scale and ferocity never seen before. That some of the most extreme abuse has come from Labour MPs says it all about some of the people who end up representing our Party in parliament. Jeremy has my undying respect for taking up the challenge of leading us back to a socialist manifesto. He has conducted himself with huge dignity throughout, refusing ever to stoop to the personal abuse that those who disagree with his policy positions seem to revel in. The reason he is idolised by so many engaged socialists is that he has consistently put the struggle for social justice before self- interest. The process of electing his successor must be conducted in a way which affords him the respect he richly deserves.’

Final Word on the General Election

It is only human to be deflated by the scale of the defeat but it would be inexcusable to be deflected from the causes of social justice, environmental sanity and world peace. We need solidarity and resolve to take on the Tories for the next five years. Even fracking could be back.

Best wishes, Mick Johnston Secretary Thirsk and Malton Constituency Labour Party


Post election letter from Hugo Fearnley.odt
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