An open letter to Ed Milliband MP lukewarm YES campaigner

Ed Milliband MP
House of Commons
6 April 11

Please, please get fully involved in the Yes campaign.

Dear Ed,

Let me introduce myself. I am a similar aged guy to yourself who lives in Chester and runs a small business (an independent prep school). I am currently a member of the Liberals and have been a member of the Labour party. In addition to the school I am currently spending all the spare time I can muster trying to help the Yes campaign.

I know we both agree that AV is an improvement to FPTP but a clear difference between you and me is that I am fighting hard for my beliefs and you seem to be held back. Another difference is that you have a lot of influence and I have very little.

Yes there are local elections to campaign for but local elections come and go. This year Labour will do very well given the current political tides.  But the AV referendum is a truly historic opportunity to allow Britain to express itself as the centre-left country I believe it is.

Tony Blair understood well the need to the fight for the centre and this is where the centre ground lies. The Tories are leaving the field wide open for you to grab it by their negative NO campaign. If you are seen to fight hard for the Labour YES campaign you will gain the respect of a lot of people in the centre irrespective of the result. The danger is that if you continue your lukewarm backing you will get some of the blame if the referendum is defeated and no credit if it is carried.

No doubt there are strong internal party pressures for you to hold back, and the temptation is to kick the Liberals short term for their alleged misdoings but I urge you to put those aside and see the bigger picture here for the good of the country. If you do so you will have my respect and admiration and I am sure the same of a lot of others.

So come on Ed, let’s see and hear you regularly on TV and radio campaigning for YES let’s read lots of YES articles from you in the papers. Lead your party forward!

Tim Longman


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