My resignation from the Labour Party – An Open Letter

23 Sep

Dear Richard Leonard,

You can accept this letter as my formal resignation from membership of the Labour Party. And you may not like to hear that you are the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Having been a Labour supporter for over 20 years, and member for over a decade, I have seen the party, particularly in Scotland, lose its identity, purpose, and relevance as it has moved toward becoming a party of sound byte policies, and pure opposition, devoid of any substance or reasoned opinion.

In the wake of the Brexit vote two years ago, I simultaneously sent formal communication to both Kezia Dugdale and Nicola Sturgeon. To Kezia I was imploring her not to play politics and not to immediately discount a future Scottish independence referendum without first taking stock and commissioning an evidence based economic report on the whole set of circumstances and likely costs and benefits to all potential outcomes. In other words, not to jump to a non evidence based position that could not be reasonably substantiated.

At the same time, in my email to Nicola Sturgeon I emphasised that I was not an SNP supporter, rather I was a Labour Party member, but that I was (I am) an expert on EU law and other aspects of international law, and that if required for any analysis in the aftermath of the Brexit result I would be willing to put party politics aside for the good of the country’s future.

The result of both of those emails? I received a timely and personally written response from Nicola Sturgeon, acknowledging my offer and outlining potential approaches that may have been taken. And from Kezia? No response at all and the actions that I suspected i.e. a kneejerk response to discounting a second independence referendum with no evidence base whatsoever.

I considered resigning from the party at that point, but convinced myself that things might improve. Sadly however, things have continued to go from bad to worse for the party I once loved, and your recent announcement of seeking to block another independence referendum by inserting it into the next manifesto is a step too far. Yet again, neither you nor the party (as far as I know) has conducted any real economic or social research that backs up the approach of automatically discounting such a referendum, and the only logical conclusion I can come to is that this is yet another cynical (and yet again horrendously misjudged) exercise in opposition for opposition’s sake.

Let me be clear. I did not vote for independence in 2014, but the circumstances HAVE changed. I’m afraid this is a point that cannot be rebutted, as there is no valid argument to the contrary. One of the main crucial arguments in 2014 was that remaining in the UK was the only way to definitely protect EU membership. And at the time that was absolutely correct. However that is no longer the case. Instead the only likely way for future EU membership for Scotland would be as an independent country, unless there is an almighty Westminster u-turn and somehow the UK does not depart the EU in 2019 as currently proposed. As such, and yet again, any hard decision to discount Scottish independence as of now without awaiting the eventual result of the Brexit process is indisputably premature. It is not something I will support (and nor should any reasonable individual who is not entrenched in rhetoric).

Sadly, these issues are so crucial that I cannot be party to, or complicit with their eventual outcome. Through your poorly judged approach to this issue, you have lost a formerly dedicated party member. My direct debit to the party will be cancelled with immediate effect.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Allan T. Moore

Lecturer in Law and Criminology, UWS

External Examiner in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University

External Examiner in International Law and International Human Rights Law, De Montfort University


Posted by on September 23, 2018 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “My resignation from the Labour Party – An Open Letter

  1. Doreen Milne

    September 29, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Excellent piece, Mr. Moore and it could not have been easy to write. I was an active member of the Labour party since I was 18 and still feel I’ve lost something that I felt really represented me as a working class person. I hope the feelings of loss and disappointment leave you soon and you can rest, assured in the knowledge you have moved as your conscience and intellect guided you. Take care. xx

  2. hettyforindy

    September 29, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Good to read this, thanks. Someone at Wings Over Scotland sent a link to this.
    Labour have lied and also sided with the Tories in Scotland to keep Scotland shackled to the so called UK. These British Nationalist parties kept Scotland poor and begging for decades, if not in fact centuries! At the same time, they stole the land, and siphoned away Scotland’s oil etc, to the tune of £Billions, ( see the McCrone report) as well as taking other resources and all revenues, sending crumbs back and saying, ‘be grateful sweaty Jocks!’
    I am from England but have lived in Scotland for 30 years, I am horrified at what every English government has done to Scotland, lied to get at their resources, taken so many young men for cannon fodder, taken their land, violently, and their revenues. How cunning, how colonial. Add to that the fact that the English UKgov have forced Scotland to house nuclear weapons and submarines. You could hardly make it up. Those inhabiting the halls of power at Westminster, the Britnats, see Scotland as their possession, to use and abuse, it’s an unequal ‘marriage’ to say the very least!
    In 2014, these British Nationalist parties lied through their teeth, they knew that losing Scotland would bankrupt England!
    As for it being saying that Scotland would have been unable to stay or rejoin the EU if people had voted YES, that is not true. It was made clear from the EU, ( who wouldn’t want that oil or those fishing grounds etc?) except for one Spanish guy who lied about a veto, at the behest of Cameron.
    Scotland is now being dragged out of the EU, her industries, food standards, human rights, even the very parliment with the SNP at the moment holding off the destruction of British Nationalist austerity, is at grave risk. It can be dismantled at anytime by the English government! If anyone thinks they would not fight us violently to keep taking Scotland’s resources they are deluded.
    Scotland is a rich country, that has been kept poor, kept begging, and literally told, ‘you are a subsidy junkie!’, all the while being treated as a colony, to be used and abused.
    The last colony of not so great Brutannia, she needs to escape or be destroyed completely.
    See Wings Over Scotland, Wee Ginger Dug, and other online factual news outlets, for an alternative to the 100% of media bias and propaganda, bankrolled by billionaires around the globe,
    with their Tory/Labour pals attempts to keep Scotland shackled, chained, like the lion.
    If Scotland really was a drain on England’s coffers, the Britnats would cast us adrift without a second thought, absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

  3. Graham Hobson

    September 29, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Allan, I’m sorry you have felt the need to resign from a party you have supported for such a long time. Whilst I’m not and never will be a Labour supporter, the choice will have been a difficult one for you. Our politics are different, I am a member of the SNP having joined after 2014 and after starting as a No supporter during the campaign. As part of my university studies I was taught to seek contrary evidence and during the independence referendum campaign that is what I did. This led me to become a Yes voter and what you have written above includes some of my reasoning. For 11 years the SNP have led a Scottish government that I believe genuinely works for everyone in Scotland. Were they not shackled to an outdated Westminster apparatus I believe they would do more. These days the Labour and tory parties are too hard to differentiate, neither develops their own innovative policies for the good of the country and they are too concerned with political infighting to the detriment of us all.
    The responses to your emails do not surprise me, Nicola Sturgeon will work with anyone who wants Scotland to succeed. I wish you well and hope you join the SNP!

  4. Scott Abel

    September 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Allan,
    It’s a real shame that you have chosen to leave the party rather than join the growing number of Scottish Labour Party members who feel the same way in regards to an other independence referendum, my view is that if we can consolidate support for a referendum and put forward a loud and clear voice within the party that independence is not only a valid path for Scotland it is also a valid path for Scottish labour then more members will join our ranks.
    Kind regards

    • Liz Dunn Shields

      November 6, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I wish you luck in this but you’ll need to castoff the chains from London first, if Scottish labour had only come to this decision years ago you may well have still been in power in Scotland, your leaders may have crossed the line too many times to be forgiven by the many ex labour voters, but at least with you on side we may have a better chance next indy referendum

  5. Craig John Macfarlane

    September 29, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Welcome to the yes movement Allan…

  6. John Clark

    September 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    It still troubles me to think that an ‘expert’ has been unable to understand, from the outset, that any London based UK political party can EVER consider Scottish independence as a serious option for their movement.
    The UK Labour Party, the Tories and the Lib-Dems simply cannot have anything to do with Scotland post-independence, in the same way that they already have nothing to do with the internal politics of France, Germany, or Mongolia!
    Canada (and so many other countries) used to be controlled from the parliament in London. Once Canada was properly independent from Westminster (which was relatively recently in 1982!), none of the MP’s in London had any say whatsoever in Canadian affairs.
    If Scotland acheives unitary sovereign statehood, ALL the Westminster parties will mean precisely the same to us as the Christian Democratic Party of Germany does at present.
    There are only two options for anyone who wants Scottish independence to be a possibility – SNP or the Scottish Green Party. NOTHING ELSE will ever deliver even a hint of autonomy from Westminster. They can’t, period.

  7. Margaret

    September 29, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Dear Mr Leonard, You are obviously a learned gentleman and have taken great pains before coming to this decision; I am truly sorry that you feel compelled to hand in your resignation from the Labour Party. Reading your letter I have every sympathy for your position, but would ask you to please reconsider.
    For is it not more important to continue to move forward and press your points home even more whilst offering your wealth of knowledge, than turn your back when you could have been the one to make the party aware of the potential threats ahead of them.
    The Labour party is a democratic party who listen, surely with your standing someone will now read your letter as I (a mere housewife) have done, and see the urgent need for you to be given a chance to meet face to face with the people steering the party; to respectfully challenge the views of this group of people by bringing to the table important information, knowledge and foresight gleaned from your professional standing.
    By continuing to press home the concerns you have of the present course the party is taking, you may learn a little more from the party why such a route was thought necessary. By offering an alternative academic viewpoint you could well succeed in convincing them into debating your ideas. Don’t give up please .. we need men of principle and learning and to turn away now is to give up when a better man would fight on to make his voice heard. … I urge you please to contact Jeremy Corbyn and explain your situation, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  8. Robert T

    September 29, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you for your excellent description of disappointment and regret , I along with my family were lifelong labour voters , truly believing that they were the party to represent the working class . My disgust and disappointment started in the thatcher era , her deliberate and targeted war and assault on the working classes was ignored and accepted by a compliant labour party .
    The election of Tony Blair and subsequently Gordon Brown indicated that rather than oppose the thatcherite dogma they were willing participants in embracing and furthering her policies.
    Labour having what they considered a guaranteed right to Scottish votes continued with their destruction of our country , their corruption , fraud , mismanagement and denigration carried on with impunity , and still to this day they do not and will not accept the responsibility of their duplicity .
    My hope is for the total annihilation of the current cabal of shysters and miscreants in labour in Scotland , independence for Scotland and a rebirth of a party fixated on SERVING the people of Scotland , and making Scotland a fairer more equal society where every life is valued

  9. Mike

    September 29, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Seriously? It took you this long to open your eyes to who and what Labour in Scotland are? And it took Brexit to do it? Not Trident? Not the support for welfare cuts? Not the warmongering? Not the cash for honours cash for questions cash for access? Not Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? Not the failure to deal with the institutionalised protected paedophiles? Not the means testing? Not the tuition fees? Not the deprivation of powers for the Scottish Parliament? Not the in bed with the Tories on nearly every issue? You claim to be an expert yet you cant see whats in front of your face.

  10. John Campbell

    September 30, 2018 at 12:19 am

    The pennies are beginning to drop . Welcome every one .

  11. D Doc

    September 30, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Dr A Moore?
    Now that you’ve left the dark side and joined the right side of history, can we call you, The Love Doctor?

  12. Momentum

    September 30, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Fuck off and join the tartan torries then class traitor. You along with your new sepretist friends will be killed off soon enough.

  13. Jim Morris

    September 30, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Dear Allan,
    If Scotland had been allowed to become a free independent democracy in 2014, there is absolutely no evidence that membership of the EU would have been other than straightforward. Our present impasse as Theresa May puts it, is a direct response to the EU Finance Bill due to become law on April 1st 2019 which will ban tax avoidance through offshore tax havens. It will also allow the respective taxmen in each country to go after 20 years of back taxes. Ergo, Brexit.

  14. Gerald Keogh

    September 30, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Well, Dr A. T. Moore, I hope that you don’t expect a reply to contradict anything that you have stated as fact. I don’t know how some present and past Scottish Labour Leaders got their job and somehow managed to keep it but I do believe that you made an honest experience with your post.

  15. Mrs duncan

    October 1, 2018 at 12:44 am

    100% we all have to please the Majority of the people who live and work in Scotland and love or loath them the SNP are the only ones who seem to be only interested in the best for the people..but the rest of the party’s are only wanting to score political points instead of working together…that is not what any of them are paid for they are paid out of the public purse to do what is right for the people of Scotland …so you are doing the right thing………and I would love to see them all working together for the good of the people but all they want to do is bring Nicola down………….


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