Re-alignment in British politics

I completely agree with Paul Courtel that Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning a majority as Labour Leader in the next 2020 General Election are very slim indeed.

However, Owen Smith in my opinion will also suffer the same fate as Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband now that the horse has already bolted with the political landscape has altered so fundamentally.

The Conservative Party has wisely sat itself firmly on the centre ground, the SNP are dominant in Scotland and UKIP are continuing to erode Labour’s traditional working class base in England and Wales.

Labour as represented by the current Parliamentary Party is both largely isolated, irrelevant and virtually indistinguishable from their Conservative Westminster colleagues.

I would currently give Corbyn a ‘seven out of ten’ mainly because his political DNA is too firmly rooted in the ‘Old Labour Union Left’ as opposed to a more electable ‘Modern Progressive Left’.

He has a very lukewarm attitude toward electoral reform (PR would further irreparably damage Labour in the polls) and the Unions are also not happy about potential job losses if the Trident Renewal decision were to be reversed even though the £30 billion could be spent to create jobs elsewhere.

One can understand why Corbyn was so unenthusiastic about remaining in Europe since he was effectively being held hostage by his parliamentary colleagues and felt he could not express his true conviction that the European Union is essentially a capitalist cartel and which has produced no tangible benefits for the working classes/poorly paid and has only served to suppress their wages as the inevitable consequence of the free movement of cheap labour throughout the Eurozone.

The argument that if only Corbyn had been more vocal during Labour’s remain campaign then somehow Labour supporters would have seen sense and voted to stay in at the eleventh hour is simply absurd.

The problem for Labour during their remain campaign was not that they were not getting their message across but it was more the case that their traditional Labour voters were not listening to the message.

Corbyn quite rightly has ruled out a second referendum. It was a close result but that is democracy. You cannot re-run the 100 metres Olympic final because the other competitors are upset that they came very close to winning.

With Corbyn seemingly on course for a comfortable win in the leadership contest my hope is that we will have a much needed and long overdue re-alignment in British Politics with the Labour Party leading some kind of a Progressive anti-Tory Alliance alongside the Green Party, the Welsh Nationalists and the SNP.

These parties already have enough common ground on many core issues i.e. anti-austerity, anti-trident renewal, anti-capitalist, pro-equality, pro-republican, pro-self determination etc.

Outright victory may not be possible but they could win enough seats between them to hold the balance of power in Westminster.

I am not sure where the Liberal Democrats would fit in but would assume they would either merge with former Labour Blairites in a new a party or join up the Conservatives.

For the first time ever the electorate in this country would potentially have a clear choice in a General Election. A contest between a Centre Blairite Conservative Party, a Leftist Radical Reforming Coalition (led by the Labour Party) or a Right Wing UKIP.

Philip Madden

Hastings Road


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