Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Few Reflections on the Labour Leadership Race 2016

The prospect of street violence, even riots and extra-parliamentary agitation is rising. The way parts of the PLP are trying to stitch up the removal of Corbyn, through a 'secret ballot' by the NEC to vet candidates for any new leadership race, who was voted for with 60% of the members vote in 2015, is 'counter-productive'.

The least they could do is let Corbyn stand in a new election for leadership, as by not doing so the prospect is of Labour splitting or being permanently damaged. Labour could well destroy themselves over this. The Brexit Crisis proves the British political system of two and a half parties is now truly dysfunctional.

Neither Party is truly as one and they are divorced from their rank and file members. But the claims that even Labour members no longer support Corbyn, so it hardly matters whether the secret ballot removes him, is Orwellian doublethink. If they no longer do so, then there is no reason why Corbyn should not stand again.
In the welter of alleged threats of violence and death and recriminations-and allegations from Corbynites that these threats and the bricking of challenger Angela Eagle's office was a sinister false flag operation and part of a smear campaign-one thing is certain: the Labour Party could be finished as a serious opposition.

Brexit proved that the Labour Party, irrespective of Corbyn's leadership and ambiguity about the EU, could no longer reach or influence large numbers of its previous voters in northern post-industrial towns. Another Blairite such as Eagle being installed would be even worse for its future prospects than even Corbyn.

That's why Lucy Powell has called for a 'fresh face' as Eagle is largely an obsolete remnant of a failed Blarite project, an MP trading on identity politics and stale cliched and mediocre rhetoric alone as well as a clear hypocrite. She calls for a 'kinder' politics and yet was a leading voice for a Iraq War based on spin and deception.

But it is also hypocrisy of Powell to want to omit Corbyn from a leadership contest he won only a year ago by now switching the rules of the game after he was elected by not even wanting him to stand in a new post-referendum leadership race. It would only confirm Labour MPs are not interested in broadening their support base.

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