Sunday 21 November 2021

Points Ahead

If these things are now retrospective, then what of Peter Mandelson and the Young Communist League, or John Reid and the grownup Communist Party, or Stephen Byers and Militant, or Alan Milburn and Days of Hope, or Alistair Darling and the International Marxist League, or Tony Blair himself and at least association with the IMG at Oxford, or indeed Keir Starmer and the pioneering Pabloism of Socialist Alternatives? There are plenty more where those came from.

A party founded by Jeremy Corbyn would have 100,000 members within a week, and might realistically have a quarter of a million within a month. But that is never going to happen. In view of Corbyn's failings in the past, that is not necessarily a cause of unalloyed regret. The point is that it is the case. And there could never be a mass party of the Left while Corbyn lived but was not at least in it, if not at the head of it.

The boundary changes give the Conservatives a notional majority of 96. Even John Rentoul has to admit that the best for which Starmer can hope is a hung Parliament, and that that is unlikely. So much for being 20 points ahead. There was only a General Election at all in 2019 because Corbyn had capitulated to Starmer's betrayal of Brexit. If not for that, then it would have been in 2022 and resulted in another hung Parliament, perhaps even with Labour as the largest party. In 2023 or 2024, when no one will remember Owen Paterson and few will remember HS2, then Boris Johnson is going to beat Starmer for the second time, and twice as hard as the first, with both his majority and the 2019 Red Wall majorities doubled.