NEC and Necessity

The Labour NEC results yesterday are a clear indication – as if one was needed – that Corbyn is going to win the Labour leadership election.

So what happens now?

Firstly, we must accept that the Labour party is in no way the same party that it was eighteen months ago.

The new members now so overwhelm the old members (many of whom may now be having second thoughts about staying members) that, apart from the MPs, hardly anyone involved is the same.

Labour as a moderate party is dead.

By moderate I mean a party that is looking to find a consensus with the entire UK electorate (as opposed to a party that actively desires to implement centrist policies).

Current Labour MPs can no longer expect to represent both the membership and their constituents. These groups are now incompatible.

The best thing for moderate MPs to do now is to step back and allow deselection to happen. They must remain in the party and “go high” as Michelle Obama put it.

The Corbyn project must be allowed a chance (democratically and pragmatically) to succeed or fail. Any interference now can only be counterproductive.

If Corbyn’s Labour is unelectable, as those opposed to him believe, it needs to be proven so, and it needs to be proven so well before the next general election.

But what if May calls a general election immediately after Corbyn’s victory? It is likely on current polling that Labour would be thoroughly beaten. If this is the case, it will be very tempting for the anti-Corby lobby to jump on him again.

But in the long term this will be counterproductive as Team Corbyn will still be able to blame failure on the disruptive PLP.

So, however Labour moderates look at it, Corbyn should be allowed space until 2018. If not, any lessons to be learned from immoderacy, will not be.

Corbyn does seem to have received a bit of a kick from having to justify his existence as any more than an anti-austerity candidate. The big concern for Corbyn skeptics now is that (as seen in all recent pre-election behaviours on Left and Right) we may see Corbyn adopt a strategy of silence.

If this is the case, any fallibility will remain cloaked allowing him to do what Miliband did and keep members hanging on to an ever fraying thread of belief that he would deliver policy they wanted in the way that they wanted. Miliband’s tenure vexed members failing to take the fight to the Tories – most notably in his abject failure to counter the “Labour caused the global crash” narrative.

If Corbyn succeeds in a similar silence, as is certain with his current superstar status, he will lead Labour at the general election after 2018.

Does this matter?

Well, one more term of Conservative governance will guarantee the strangling of the public sector which the electorate will be convinced to release into the rescuing hands of the private sector.

So, yes, it does matter.

If, as the political scientists suggest, Corbyn is unelectable, yesterday’s NEC results have signalled Conservative government until 2025 and the absolute certainty that the British public sector is at an end.

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