What now for Labour?

9th December, 2015

What now for Labour?

The future of the Labour Party is now in serious doubt after the highly divisive issue of the Syrian air strikes in Parliament when sixty six Labour MPs voted with the Government and thirteen others abstained, all conducted in the febrile background of a debate both bitter and acrimonious outside of parliament.

Leading up to the debate and the vote moderate Labour MPs were subjected online to vitriolic and systemic social abuse and derision from hard left sections of their own party, notably the militant Momentum group. Even as the vote was about to be taken several Labour MPs faced the indignity of having their constituency offices besieged by mob-handed demonstrators. Office staff were harassed and threatening messages left on their telephones and at twitter and facebook pages.

It has left many long-serving Labour members to question the validity of remaining within their beloved Labour Party. They no longer recognise the party they joined to further the cause of social justice, freedom and equality and roll back the capitalist frontiers of hard conservatism and free enterprise.

So what now for Labour ? A three-way path appears to be opening up for Labour with any number of permutations in between on possible outcomes.

  • The first path involves a politically wounded Jeremy Corbyn limping on with a divided and fractious Labour party tearing itself apart from within.
  • The second path details a Labour leadership challenge which ends in Corbyn’s resignation or defeat, and the party being led by someone like Hilary Benn or Dan Jarvis from the modernising wing of Labour.
  • The third path sees a catastrophic internal Labour Party split, which ultimately leads to a new centrist party being formed by the moderates. Or alternatively, as alluded to in a new book (see link below), a new leftist party being formed by the less-than-moderates.

Which outcome prevails is in the lap of the Gods and the prevailing wisdom and force of political will in the beating heart of the party of the people.

By Obozo

Contributor


Please note: articles and posts on ‘Middle Vision’ reflect the views of the individual authors and not of all involved in ‘Middle Vision’

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RELATED

Hilary Benn’s speech on Syria could tansform Labour, says Martin Kettle [Guardian]

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Nick Higham talks to W Stephen Gilbert, author of a book about the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn [BBC’s Meet The Author]

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One thought on “What now for Labour?

  1. I think the first scenario is looking like the favorite, as the 2nd scenario looks like certain defeat right now. The hard left is winning hands down in terms of organisation, strategy, branding, social media and message. In the last month I’m struck that I don’t see anyone constructing an organised positive case, or constructing \ implementing a strategy to fight the hard left within the PLP.

    Hard left groups and commentators are pursuing a fantastic digital strategy (and just strategy in general). They have spent over a decade building the mailing lists, Twitter followers, Facebook likes. Spreading the message, building the community, working on the message, framing and branding. Hillary Benn isn’t even on facebook – his speech could have collected potential supporters, but the moment has gone. Corbyn on the other hand has nearly half a million likes, not all in the UK off course but a starting point for any re-election I’m sure. The 2 most influential left wing thinkers \ commentators are Russell Brand and Owen Jones – they use video to spread the message, jump on popular causes and build the networks. I don’t see any of these modern techniques being used by mainstream MPs.

    Like

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