We’re leaving the Labour Party not only because of what it has become, but because, like millions of others, we find that our values no longer find expression in today’s broken politics.
We believe that ours is a great country. Perhaps more importantly, so do the vast majority of the British people.
We believe that our first duty is to do what it takes to keep people safe.
We don’t think that every problem in the world is created by the West. In fact, we’re proud of our values, home and abroad. We want to work with other countries around the world to tackle our shared challenges, not turn our face against them.
We believe that a strong economy delivers the best public services, and that government is the custodian of money that others have worked hard to earn.
We back well-regulated business but in return we expect them to provide decent, secure and well-paying jobs.
We believe in the innate creativity of individuals. People are powerful, and they’re capable of taking responsibility in their own lives. They should. And Government should work to remove the barriers of poverty, prejudice and discrimination that hold all too many back.
We believe in strong democratic institutions: a free press, the rule of law, and a politics that doesn’t only bow to the loudest voices.
We’re sent to parliament to exercise our best judgement and provide leadership; we are representatives accountable to those who elect us. And, we believe that these are values that are shared by most of the British people, our friends, and our neighbours.
These are values that would once have been considered mainstream in our parties of Government. But not any more. Today they seek to set our communities against one another, poisoning our debate and dividing our country.
“These values would once have been considered mainstream in our parties of Government. But not any more.”
At the root of today’s broken politics, lie our broken political parties, guilty of a wilful failure of action and an abdication of responsibility. The complete absence of leadership at the moment our country needs it most.
Competing visions of the past, providing no hope for Britain’s future.
“Labour and the Conservatives – two competing visions of the past, no hope for Britain’s future”
To express these values in today’s Labour Party is no longer possible. It’s turned its back on the British public, their hopes and ambitions.
This is an excerpt from Gavin Shuker’s speech on becoming an independent, 18 February 2019.