jezzaWell, that was an edge-of-the-seat moment, wasn’t it – a penalty shoot-out for the future of Her Majesty’s Opposition that nobody could predict the result of. Sorry, pardon the sarcasm. Unlike the fevered speculation that always ignites whenever there’s a vacancy for the job of Doctor Who, James Bond or the England team manager, the question over the Labour leadership was a non-starter from the moment Angela Eagle launched her ill-fated bid after the frontbench exodus in the aftermath of Brexit. As expected, Jezza the Messiah has consolidated his grip on the party, wiping the floor with the hapless Owen Smith, and he can now continue with the task of leading the British people out of the wilderness.

The week leading up to today’s leadership election result has seen some of the less principled Labour MPs who walked away from the Shadow Cabinet in a mass hissy fit meekly reverse their previous opposition to Corbyn, declaring they would happily rejoin Team Jeremy now that the coup has utterly fizzled out and their chances of forming an alternative opposition have collapsed completely. If Jezza has anything about him at all, he won’t be making any approaches to them. Indeed, the PLP majority who have made their feelings clear about Corbyn’s leadership are now confronted by a perplexing dilemma.

When the Gang of Four exited the Labour Party in 1981 and formed the SDP, many felt they should have stayed put and wrestled control from the far left and its Militant affiliates; some never forgave them for what they perceived as a dereliction of duties. Whilst there aren’t any current Labour MPs with the kind of clout the likes of Roy Jenkins or David Owen possessed at the time, there remains a sizeable body of Labour Parliamentarians facing the fact that the membership are backing Corbyn and not them. So where do they go? Let’s face it, not being able to call on the services of Tristram Hunt, Chukka Umunna or Liz Kendall is hardly going to give Corbyn any sleepless nights; but Emily Thornberry? Diane Abbott? With those names on your side, 2020 can hardly be pencilled in as the date Labour finally set up shop at the Promised Land.

Jezza’s winning speech after the inevitable was announced saw him insist the kind of intimidation and online abuse that has characterised his devoted following was not his way and not the Labour way; but it is the Momentum way. And while Corbyn himself is someone who comes across as a largely likeable individual, the sinister double-barrelled Trots and borderline anarchists who have turned him into a Gandhi for Generation Snowflake are immensely worrying. If – and this is a big if – this country should ever elect Corbyn as PM, it’s difficult to foresee anything other than a virtual Vichy Government, with Jezza as an oblivious frontman for ulterior motives of a nature that would make the deep divisions that were exposed in the EU Referendum seem like a minor kerfuffle in a primary school classroom that can be curtailed by the intervention of a supply teacher.

The ‘number crunching’ sections of ‘Private Eye’ are occasional eye-openers that make a point succinctly; a recent one pointed out that an estimated 2,500 turned out for yet another of those seemingly endless Corbyn rallies, this time in Sheffield, whereas 1,279 was the number who voted Labour at a Council Election in the same city a month later, one that the Lib Dems won on a 31.8 swing – yes, that’s right; the bloody Lib Dems! Translating cult appeal to a national phenomenon is an impossible mission that I don’t believe Labour under Corbyn has yet to grasp; and the fact that traditional Labour heartlands are populated by disgruntled voters that are not only at odds with the Blairite vision of Britain but also Jezza’s equally out-of-touch idyll suggests a state of blissful denial on the part of Team Jeremy that will only result in another General Election disaster four years from now. And we haven’t even broached the tricky subject of Scotland, where even the bleedin’ Tories – never mind the SNP – have capitalised on the abysmal Labour performance.

The third-way mess that the class of Professional Politician has left not just this country but both Western Europe and the US in over the last couple of decades has understandably provoked a vociferous reaction in passionate grass-roots movements; and I see no discernible difference between the far-right protests of the Tea Party in the States or the Corbynistas here. But neither has offered anything other than a series of grievances with the ruling elite, ultimately defined by what they are opposed to rather than what they stand for, grievances that are regularly manifested as infantile vitriolic hatred towards the competition that rarely rises above playground name-calling. Unlikely figureheads, whether Jezza or Trump, have been pushed forward as unlikely saviours while the background boys with the nefarious agenda plot their takeover strategies with little or no care for what this will do to the actual electorate.

The infiltration of Labour by the Momentum virus, with threats of MP de-selection if the MPs in question oppose the Corbyn master-plan, hardly points to a democratic future for Labour. This also echoes Militant nightmares of the 80s, and Corbyn’s insistence that intimidation is not part of his makeup doesn’t carry much weight when the evidence of his supporters’ intentions is so blatant. His anticipated triumph in a challenge that was undertaken in the absence of any charismatic or convincing opponent is symptomatic of the sorry state of a once-great party that doesn’t bode well for mainstream politics or the supposed alternative to a Conservative Party that hasn’t been in such a privileged position for thirty years.

© The Editor


  1. The key issue following the unsurprising re-coronation of Jeremy Corbyn is one which should trouble any democrats amongst us, and that is the fragmentation of Opposition. Even someone who angles towards broadly conservative views should regard this with trepidation because, devoid of any co-ordinated and functional opposition, the governing party can then pretty much do whatever it wants.

    The Labour Party under Corbyn will never be united, however thickly they may try to slap on the Solvite to paper over the cracks: these are not cracks, they are chasms. And if the Momentum fifth-column succeed in their plan to de-select many popular and hard-working Labour MPs, their compliant substitute candidates will not inherit all their votes or, more crucially, their seats, because after the EU referendum, many of those traditionally unthinking Labour voters have discovered that they are actually allowed to vote for someone else and it can make a difference, hence increasing the fragmentation.

    Add to that the creative boundary changes (in principle, a good thing) and we are looking at the next Parliament being dominated by the Conservative bloc, the so-called opposition being made up of a rag-tag muddle of Labour (split or unsplit), Lib-Dems, SNP, Plaid, Greens, maybe a few UKIP and others, none of whom will ever forge enough strength to challenge whatever the majority party wants to do. And that’s not healthy for achieving the sort of moderate, sensible, balanced governments we are accustomed to having in this country, whatever their party label.

    I’m sure the Corbynistas and their mischievous Momentum gang will be celebrating this apparent success but when the real definition of political success is in achieving office to implement your policies, that ‘success’ will soon sound echoingly hollow to all but their brain-dead disciples and ‘useful idiots’. What’s worse is the impact it will have on holding a dominant government to account in the place where it matters, and that’s not on the streets with duplicated placards or in the local Students’ Union bar.

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  2. pps. not to mention the electoral fraud so obviously managed by right wing party establishment that kept about 180,000 from voting in ‘their’ election – labour heirarchy making it up as they go along in the name of democracy – give it a rest


    1. The whole ‘you can vote/you can’t vote’ scam was perhaps the most pathetic act of desperation on the part of the anti-Corbyn rump throughout the whole campaign. I think it said everything about their pitiful talent pool that they had to stoop so low.


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