Picture the scene. Labour makes heavy losses to both the Tory’s and Liberal Democrats and Johnson forms a government with a sizeable majority. There is a resurgence on the Labour right lamenting Corbynism as a good idea, but something that is ultimately unelectable, and one of the few remaining “third way robots” is elected leader. This cannot be allowed to happen.
Despite what the liberal intelligentsia might say, the left keeping control of the Labour party is genuinely important and an election loss, no matter how bad, cannot be allowed to threaten it. To be clear I am quite optimistic about Labours chances , the “formidable” campaigning abilities of Johnson we were all warned about have yet to make an appearance. At the moment he looks like a man coming out of a methadone clinic, and for all the puffery they got in the media the Lib Dems do not seem to be making any impact. I am just being pragmatic.
Before Corbyn became leader a mainstream left-wing party is something we hadn’t had in this country for almost 20 years. I do not care how bad the defeat is. I do not care what a Johnson majority government could do; the Labour party must remain in the control of its members and therefore a genuinely socialist party. Labour electing another neo-liberal centrist and the death of “Corbynism” could do almost as much damage to the future of the country as the re-election of Johnson and would undoubtedly be one of his most enduring legacies.
Again, I am confident this won’t happen as long as power remains in the hands of Labour members but problems could arise if the government wins a massive majority. Many people, quite understandably, will start to question the electoral viability of some of the parties ideals, the same way Blair and his followers did in the mid-nineties. Their concerns will be misplaced however. Electability is of course an issue that needs to be considered but if we are defeated in this election it will not be because of unpopular ideas. Poll after poll shows that Labour’s radical manifesto is our biggest asset and we cannot allow the failures of Jeremy Corbyn as a politician to be deliberately misinterpreted as the failure of his ideas.
I know Corbyn has had to contend with a partisan press out to get him from the moment he was made leader but people like Bernie Sanders show it is possible to cut through media bias and achieve personal popularity without compromising on policy. Any new leader from the left of the party should look to emulate this achievement. We will not lose this election but we must prepare, as those on the Labour right undoubtedly are, for a worst case scenario.
Image: Sky News