Thursday 16 May 2024

The Angel, Islington?

If everyone loves Tony Blair, who is younger than Jeremy Corbyn, then Blair should seek the Labour nomination at Islington North. It is interesting that the names in the frame are the 64-year-old Paul Mason, and Christian Wolmar, who at 74 is the same age as Corbyn, and whose lack of a Labour peerage would finally be rectified once he had well and truly taken one for the team. Even Praful Nargund is wealthy outside politics. No one with a career to build is remotely interested in what would on paper be the loss of a majority of 26,188.

And having needed only to be the First Past the Post, an Independent Corbyn would be more influential than ever in the coming hung Parliament. When I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.