Does the election of left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as the new leader of the Labour Party herald a bright and glittering new dawn for the movement?
Or is it a catastrophe that will trigger a gory civil war within the party, rendering it unelectable for years to come?
There is already wild talk of ousting Corbyn from the job at the earliest opportunity. More easily said than done – and anyway, a ludicrous threat. Tom Watson, who is Corbyn’s deputy in what has already been styled the new Tom and Jerry Show, has said there is zero chance of mounting a coup against Corbyn. He is right. Many Labour MPs may hate the sight – and sound – of Mr Corbyn, but they are going to have to learn to live with him.
He was elected fair and square with a huge majority, and now has an undeniable mandate to lead the party in whatever way he chooses.
Admittedly his rivals for the post, Andy Burnham (now, shadow Home Secretary), Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall were a pretty feeble trio. He simply swatted them like flies. It says something about Labour that they could not come up with something better than these three.
But Corbyn, who began the campaign as a 200-1 outsider, flattened them all. His election will not only change the face of the parliamentary Labour Party, but it will change the face of Parliament itself.
Old and familiar faces on Labour’s front bench have now been consigned – either by choice or otherwise – to the back benches, and a whole new array of faces are in the Opposition’s top team.
The new Parliamentary Labour Party will be unrecognisable from that led by Corbyn’s predecessors. That is why harmony within the party seems an impossible ambition. However, probably even more serious than a Labour Party shambles, are the harsh words of some trade union leaders. They are already threatening a series of coordinated strikes to create civil unrest in a bid to topple the Government and, as has been reported, cripple Britain.
How can any leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition tolerate language and threats like that? We shall see.
Meanwhile, I do not recall any such menacing language being used during the leadership campaign.
Funny, that. Perhaps I missed something.