Naming the guilty parties—and a potential saviourby John McTernan / July 13, 2016 / Leave a comment
Thirty-seven people have killed the Labour Party. First, there were the 16 MPs who “lent” their votes to Jeremy Corbyn to get him on the leadership ballot paper even though they had no intention of voting for him. They have learned the hard way what even children know—that it is both stupid and wrong to facilitate behaviour that you think is harmful. They also forgot the iron law of politics: the best way to beat someone is to prevent them running. There is nothing wrong with preventing people from standing in an election—that is how political power is exercised. But maybe this is the problem. Labour has lost any sense of the need to win power.
The next 18 assassins are those members of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) who voted to put Jeremy Corbyn automatically on the ballot. They had the power to prevent him standing and they had a reason—the catastrophic collapse of confidence in him among Labour MPs. Instead they chose to guarantee him a place and thereby gift him almost certain re-election.
Of course, the NEC did not act alone and this is where the final three guilty men come in. The General Secretaries of Unite, Unison and the GMB were behind the union vote to endorse Corbyn. Dave Prentis of Unison and Tim Roache of the GMB were cowards plain and simple—they know Corbyn is unelectable and they know the cost of that to their members. The third, Unite’s Len McCluskey, has got exactly what he has always wanted: control over an ultra-left political party. It’s just that never in his wildest dreams did he think it would be as big as the Labour Party currently is.
Mention of McCluskey reminds me of the one man who is ultimately to blame for the death of the Labour Party: Ed Miliband. Miliband sold his soul to McCluskey and his party to Unite. Without a dirty deal with the unions, his brother David would have become Labour leader. Without Ed’s disastrous leadership election reforms there would be no £3 members to surge Corbyn to power.
“The 1983 election will look like a picnic…