Britain is veering right, there is one hope Left

LP Columnist Barry Freeman
LP Columnist Barry Freeman
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By the time you read this – or tear it from the paper and lay it carefully, my face up, in the bottom of your budgie cage – the Labour Party will finally have appointed a new leader and a new era of British politics possibly have begun.

Only possibly, of course, because the Alternative Vote system Labour use could easily deny Jeremy Corbyn the victory statisticians have been handing him by a country mile for months on end.

Yes, hard as it is to imagine, the party could end up with a leader – one of the ‘other three’ who have smeared, strategised and generally heaped disgrace upon themselves and all the values they purport to represent in the race – who wins by being more members’ second or even third choice.

This is, remember, how Harriet Harman became Deputy Leader in 2007 and, more recently, how Ed pipped big bro Dave to the top job.

Obviously Corbyn’s lead, if the polls are any guide (and we all still remember the General Election, don’t we) is far larger than those of the frontrunners in these previous contests, and informed pundits still expect him to take the day.

Those keen to see Britain pull back from its ongoing charge ever further right, whether or not they consider themselves Corbynistas – and I absolutely do not – should hope this is the case. Because the New Labour candidates most likely to pip him to the post will arrive in the job hog-tied.

Kendall was effectively gone by the time this article was written on Thursday afternoon, and, pausing only for a press conference at which she wobbled her bottom lip and again insisted that her Tory-lite talents would never grace a Corbyn Cabinet, she stumped back to the obscurity from whence she sprang.

And then there were two, Yvette and Andy, both New Labour to their little boot-straps, each caked head to toe in every strategic surrender Labour has made for five years and more. Be it rolling over after the narrow 2010 defeat to mindlessly agree with the Tories and their press that public spending rather than casino capitalism caused the 2007-8 crash, or joining their bitter rivals to spread lies around their Scottish heartlands, right up to balking at the potent gesture of
voting against the ultra-neoliberal welfare bill, this pair are New Lab elite and hog-tied as a result.

Corbyn opposed all the above and more, not least Iraq. If change is to come it will only come from him.