Well whatever happens and how it is perceived depends very much on what side of the political fence you sit on.
One thing is for certain though…irrespective of your political persuasion is that bloodletting is about to commence.
This was not a good result for the Left. The unalloyed ecstasy will last for about 20 minutes, and then natural events will take their course. On the extreme Left, that natural course is for victory to produce, first, factional argument over who actually lays claim to power, rapidly followed by accusations of betrayal and ideological impurity, and ending with purges, coups and counter-coups. And that’s what happens when something small is at stake: the editorship of a Trotskyist publication, or the running of a protest organisation. Given that we are talking about the fate of the country’s main opposition party, the bloodletting should be awesome.
It will be awesome indeed as the purges in the Labour Party start. Already many front benchers have resigned, some just a few minutes after the announcement of the result.
The bottom line though is that the Labour Party is dying.
[I]n truth, it would not have mattered whether Corbyn had won or lost. His campaign has allowed the Left to install itself into the heart of the party’s mechanisms. And it was able to do this because Labour is dying as a national force. The Corbyn phenomenon did not represent a resurgence of interest in the Labour party: it represented a collapse of interest in it. Almost no one was involved in this or even taking it seriously – apart from the hard core Old Left (some from within, but mostly from outside the party), a handful of extremely well-organised, self-serving trade union leaders, and a cohort of very young enthusiasts who know almost nothing about grown-up life.
The great mass of real people (especially working class people) has fallen away, and it is their absence that has allowed these tiny activist minorities to take control of the abandoned entity formerly known as the Labour party. That is why the real story of this leadership election has not been the triumphal march of Corbynism – which simply rushed in to fill a vacuum – but the uninspiring mediocrity of all the other candidates. Here is the puzzle: why couldn’t a party which had so recently performed an electoral miracle of historic proportions come up with a more impressive stable of aspirants?
Read more »