I don’t have much to say about the current fight for the future of the Labour Party. A point worth making again, however, is that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid is being propelled by a rising level of disenchantment across the political spectrum with an inbred, self serving political class of which Tony Blair is the archetype. The reason why New Labour fears Corbyn so much is that he will at least try to put an end to the lucrative business of selling the super rich financiers and CEOs the opportunity to dismantle the social welfare state. This anger towards the political class is driving much of the rise of the extreme right on a platform that bizarrely combines xenophobia and fascism with an anti-corruption and economic platform that could easily have been written by Paul Krugman.
That’s the strange thing about the way in which this leadership fight has been characterized in the media. Nobody’s talking about “old style Labour” or Marxism (or even an affinity for beer and sandwiches). What New Labour is describing in apoplectic terms is nothing more than a centre left political agenda which voters have overwhelmingly supported every time they have been given the opportunity. The ideas that Corbyn and his supporters are advancing are the very same ones that drove the Scottish National Party to an overwhelming victory in Scotland in the last election and, had they been consistently advocated for by Labour, would likely have resulted in a Labour government instead of a Conservative one.
The other point is that these New Labour people seem incapable of giving a straight answer about anything. There was a truly amazing interview on LBC with Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper—all the leading candidates. Each was asked a simple question, namely, would they ask Ed Miliband to be in their shadow cabinet. Only Corbyn answered the question. He said yes and explained why he would ask Miliband to be in his shadow cabinet and what role he would play. Everyone else responded with plummy, but empty word salad (the Westminster equivalent of authentic American frontier gibberish). None of the New Labour candidates was willing even to say who they personally would invite to be a part of their own shadow cabinet. This is beyond belief—it is almost prevaricating for the sake of prevaricating. That’s why Corbyn will win.