Come back, for the good of your party—and the countryby John McTernan / April 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
The time has come for you to make your move. Your decision to leave the House of Commons left a vacuum that no-one on the Labour benches has been able to fill. The two Labour leadership elections which Jeremy Corbyn won were haunted by your absence. Enough is enough—your party needs you, as does your country.
I am not asking for you to stand in a seat with the aim of becoming a back bencher. That would be a waste of this historic opportunity. Finding a safe seat for you is the easy part of this—Tom Blenkinsop’s seat in the North-East, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, is an obvious choice. The key is—not for the first time—to take a lesson from the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Faced with a defeat under the leadership of the decent but dull leadership of Bill Hayden, the ALP “rolled” Hayden and replaced him with the charismatic Bob Hawke. The rest is history: modern Australia was transformed by the ALP. The point is that you must come back—as leader. Immediately.
Time is tight, but that aids you. The unions must save the Labour Party. All it takes is for Dave Prentis, General Secretary of public sector union UNISON, to declare that Jeremy Corbyn must stand down because local government and the NHS need a Labour government. And if Corbyn doesn’t resign then he should be resigned by the National Executive Committee. A leadership election with only one nominated candidate—you—need take a matter of minutes after the NEC declare a vacancy. Then it’s game on.
For it is not only the Labour Party that has missed you—it is the Commons, political life, the whole country. You will instantly fill that leadership gap, and become not just a strong oppos…