It’s not a two horse race between Jeremy Corbyn and Yvette Cooper as some now suppose. What we have are three anti-Corbyn candidates who can barely contain their hatred of each other, their bag carriers taking this to quite extreme levels. Each candidate undermines the others in terms that don’t make any sense, bitter poison that is repulsive to all those with an open mind.
Andy Burnham clearly hoped to appeal for second preferences from both extremes. More likely now is that all camps will boycott him until he climbs off the fence: with or against the open warfare against Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. Whatever Andy Burnham does as an individual, he will fragment his troops, moving between camps.
Jeremy Corbyn can expect relatively few MPs who have not already declared for him, and pretty much no one from Harriet Harman’s Shadow Cabinet. But that’s alright. He will secure almost all activists when it comes to desertions from Burnham’s camp. Is this a recipe for split? The dynamic is palpable. However, it is clearly not in the interests of Jeremy Corbyn to deliberately provoke such a split. And I am not doing that. Nevertheless, it seems pretty much inevitable.
Harriet Harman is preparing a purge. John Mann will get what this Kincora-friendly MP has been demanding all along: a Labour Party fit for surrendering its backbone at the alter of David Cameron’s 24% police state.
A massive witchhunt is on the cards, one that would drive purge the likes of Owen Jones alongside Zoe Williams, Diane Abbott etc, etc, etc. Everyone who isn’t a fan of David Cameron’s Welfare Bill, illegal wars, giving more powers to Special Branch state rapists and MI5 pedophiles at Kincora… Their time is running out if Harriet Harman gets her way.
Harriet Harman is determined to rerun the Labour leadership contest. But only after she’s stolen the votes of all those who paid £3 specifically because – for the first time in decades – there actually someone on the ballot paper worth voting for: Jeremy Corbyn? Well, obviously. But any anti-democratic coup – if it happens – will lead to the mother of all grassroots rebellions right across the labour movement, all across society.
At the end of the day, trade unions will be sick of any such coup by the unelected interim ‘leader’ Harriet Harman. One way or another, there is going to be a parting of the ways. Only the exact timing is in doubt. The PLP is going to split. And it’s likely Jeremy Corbyn will secure less than half of those on those benches. Probably a lot less than that.
But opinion polls, mass meetings, demonstrations, marches and strikes will expose the shallowness of the roots of the BBC, of SKY News, of Channel4 News. David Cameron’s 24% dictatorship is weak. Laughably weak.
However, if the left is going to be in a position to exploit this weakness before the British Establishment gets their act together, the left needs to relearn the art of compromise. Compromise is the only way we know how we press home our advantage. That doesn’t mean shedding principles. But it does mean shedding our moth-eaten sectarian straightjacket. It means agreeing to work with each other. It means patiently explaining when we think others are wrong. It means being willing to accept majority decisions even when we think they’re wrong.
No less important, an essential part of this democratic bargain is accepting the rights of the other side. Minorities need to be tolerated with their ‘outside-the-box’ thinking. That is the only way everyone earns the right to become the majority.
All of this unity of the left is possible whatever happens in Labour’s leadership election. Either Jeremy wins and then opens the gates of his rejuvenated party to all the left, depriving everyone of any excuse to split the vote… Alternatively, Harriet Harman works with MI5 and Special Branch sex and violence criminals to purge Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. If that’s what happens, then we have a whole new ball game. In such circumstances the trade unions would need to negotiate with all the fragments of our left-wing movement to create a new party. Anyone disagree with any of that?