Sunday, 24 July 2016

Leading Questions

Until last year, there was always a Leader of the Labour Party, and a Leader of the Left.

The Leader of the Labour Party had been elected, after a fashion. The Leader of the Left, by no mean only the Labour Left, had emerged as simply the obvious holder of the office in that generation.

For many decades, the Leader of the Left was, of course, Tony Benn. Jeremy Corbyn is the only person ever to occupy both positions.

Or, at any rate, he is the first to date, and, albeit as a result of his candidacy for Leader of the Labour Party, he has been the Leader of the Left for slightly longer.

He would undoubtedly retain the latter, which is for life, even if he were to lose the former.

It is now inconceivable that anyone could become the Leader of the Labour Party without at least the blessing of the Leader of the Left.

It is now difficult to see how anyone other than the Leader of the Left could ever be the Leader of the Labour Party, unless the Leader of the Left really did not want to be the Labour Leader as well.

But the office of Leader of the Left extends well beyond the Labour Party, although it is notable that every holder of that office has been a member of that party.

That office is elected, as such, by no one at all. It is held until the moment of death.

Interesting times, brothers and sisters. Very, very, very interesting times.


  1. Peter Hitchens on the coming realignment as Labour and Tory MPs who got on so well during the Remain campaign, openly speak of joining together.

    ""And since Labour MPs have far more in common with Mrs May than with Mr Corbyn, there is only one direction they can take.

    They will have to snuggle up beside her absurdly misnamed Conservative Party.

    And so at last the British public will see clearly revealed the truth they have long avoided – that the two main parties are joined in an alliance against them.

    And they may grasp that their only response is to form an alliance against the two big parties. Impossible? Look how quickly this happened in Scotland.""

    1. He has been proposing this as the solution to whatever happened to be going on in any given week for the last 20 years. A realignment is now under way, but it is not that.

      There is no more an electoral space to the right of Theresa May than there is an electoral space to the left of Jeremy Corbyn. Such people do exist, but not in such numbers as to matter electorally.

      Nor will Labour MPs join the Conservative Party. They just won't.

  2. There is no more an electoral space to the right of Theresa May than there is an electoral space to the left of Jeremy Corbyn.

    Oh yes there is! The referendum result has confirmed that beyond any doubt. 56% of Tory voters voted against their own party and for a campaign led entirely by the Tory Right.

    That argument has been disproved by events.

    There is enormous support for a rightwing party-that party was partly incubated in the Leave campaign itself.

    While the Left was represented by both Cameron and Corbyn, Labour and Tory, who both campaigned for the losing side (along with the Greens, Yanis Varoufakis and the TUC).

    That is the Left.

    And the Leave campaign is the future party of the Right.

    1. The less said about the Leave campaign, the better. Never has a victory been more Pyrrhic, including those at Heraclea and Asculum.

      What matters now is that, "The referendum result sent a clear message from parts of Britain that have been left behind by globalisation." They key figure is the man who said that. He is most certainly not to the right of Theresa May.

      Just as there are people to the left of Jeremy Corbyn and of the ghost of Tony Benn, so there are people to the right of Theresa May and of the political ghosts of David Cameron and Tony Blair. But not, in either case, so as to make any electoral difference.

      Of course we are in the throes of a realignment. That realignment is the complete transformation, not least through the exponential enlargement, of the Labour Party.

  3. Nor will Labour MPs join the Conservative Party. They just won't.

    Yes they will. They've been in informal discussions for some time.
    It's their natural home, since it's just as leftwing as they are.

    And the electoral space for a party of the Right has been shown to exist by the millions of UKIP voters, by the majority of Tory voters who voted Leave, and by a successful Leave campaign entirely dominated by the Right.

    The support is out there. Now it's proved to exist.

    As the Financial Times noted, we saw incubated in the Leave and Remain campaigns the leftwing and rightwing parties of the future.

    Far more representative of public opinion than the two parliamentary parties who both campaigned for Remain and were both rejected by their own voters.

    1. Who remain their voters.

      A few Labour MPs, and perhaps one or two Tories (although almost certainly not), might try a new party, but it would sink without trace.

      No, of course, they wouldn't join the Tory Party! Why on earth would they do that? Merely because of philosophical or policy agreement? That level of naivety is positively touching.

  4. Theresa May is just as leftwing as Labour-all women shortlists, political correctness, the Equality Act you name it.

    Ask Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights who loves her. "Aggressive on equality" is how he described her.

    We have a party of the Left in the joint Labour-Tory-TUC Remain campaign.

    The Tories rather liked campaigning on the same side as Labour and the TUC.

    It came naturally to them.

    Now we need a rightwing party to speak for the 17.5 million patriots who rejected both of them.