To the shock of nobody barring possibly a now weeping John McTernan, Jeremy Corbyn has, again, been elected Labour Party leader creating a new unified party. A shufty through social media shows that already there’s people angry about Corbyn’s victory & I’d lay money on by Monday morning someone carrying on the nonsense within Labour we’ve seen for months.
Now, I’ll not vote Labour again. I’ve made my thoughts clear on that, nor do I think Corbyn’s the monster some paint him to be, nor do I think he’s a saviour. I find some of his 20th century Labour ideas outdated, especially when it comes to the current state of the UK, and he’s utterly clueless about Scotland where he’s simply picked up where Ed Milliband left off.Some of his ideas however are very good, and wouldn’t have seemed out of place in Tony Blair’s early social democracy phase before he became a murdering psychopath.
However the question is now is whether the Labour Party can unite to fight the Tories, including on Brexit, something Corbyn clearly wasn’t exactly strong in fighting against. The Welsh branch of the Labour Party last week voted with the Tories to support leaving the single market, a decision which is promising disaster, and Kezia Dugdale, the leader of their Scottish branch can’t even press a button. Then of course there’s the inevitable descent into farce coming as Blairite Labour MP’s sit in a strop on backbenches behind their leader, and yes, John McTernan will be wheeled out to probably call Corbyn a cunt and the Guardian will nary bat an eyelid being the proud defender of the British middle class liberal establishment they are.
Yet, the journalist Ian MacWhirter has made an interesting point.
I think there’s not a chance in hell of Labour winning an election in 2020. The damage to Corbyn among voters in the marginal seats in England has been done, plus in parts of the north of England, Labour have been caught in a state they were in Scotland of being complacent, entitled and callous in taking people for granted. Scotland is lost to Labour with another Scottish branch leadership election probably due between now and May.Wales looks split as the Welsh branch face losing election to Plaid Cymru and even UKIP.
But can Corbyn take advantage in England? MacWhirter’s point that the honeymoon period Theresa May’s having over Brexit not lasting is a good one and indeed, there’s signs of that cracking already. If Corbyn keeps the English branch of Labour united, if he can present his ideas better, if he can stop the disgraceful media attacks, if he’s willing to actually speak to parties of the left like the SNP, Plaid, Greens and the Northern Irish parties and if he can fight against the more insane ideas the Tories are having over Brexit then he may well not just run May tight, but even create a hung parliament. For me though, the EU referendum was a weak point for him and something he’s justifiably taking flak for. If he’s just going to let his party side with the Tories as they are in Wales, or support losing free movement, then he’s lost in 2020.
Then again with Brexit all bets are off. Making any predictions is a risky business, but one thing is for sure, John McTernan will carry on writing angry articles and there will almost certainly be another challenge to Corbyn if Labour do badly in next year’s local elections regardless of the size of Corbyn’s mandate because Labour are now two parties fighting for the name.
If we think this resolves anything with the right wing of Labour, think again.