Both my grandfathers were coal miners. So being part of the labour movement is almost part of my DNA. But I spent the early part of my life attending non-conformist chapels in South Wales, so for me “my party right or wrong” has never been the deal. Now, after 33 years of membership, I have left the Labour Party.
Over a period of time I have lost all confidence in the leadership of the Labour Party, both nationally and here in Reading. My reasons are many... But most of all, I didn’t join the Labour Party to increase taxes for amongst the poorest in our community - even now Cabinet Ministers are claiming they have “dealt with” the 10p tax rate problem, which is not true - while the government can dither then find countless billions to bale out the failed bankers at Northern Rock, and MP’s argue for a £100,000 a year salary and freely enjoy the benefits of the John Lewis catalogue.
In my view Gordon Brown is not capable of listening, learning or leading. If he was, he would have done so by now and we would not be in the mess we are in. Perhaps the more than 300 former Labour councillors across the country who lost their seats at the local elections are seen as expendable - it’s only when career MP’s see their livelihoods threatened things may change.
Clearly, the voters will never learn to love Gordon Brown and he should go now.
Cllr Jones's full statement on his blog is worth reading as I suspect his views are shared by many Labour activists up and down the country.
PS The reaction of former Reading East Labour MP Jane Griffiths is well worth having a scaz at.