Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stronger together or better off apart?

"I want to lead a more inclusive and united party. After all, when the dust settles we are all still Labour." Thus responded Jeremy Corbyn to the frequent claim that he's a divisive character with whom no other leading Labour politicians would work, in the course of an article in which he addresses common misconceptions about himself, his views and his campaign. However, elsewhere it's been argued that, in the current context, attempting to preserve an overarching Labour banner is futile - far better to let the various factions (the neoliberal Blairites, the social democrats and the genuine socialists) go their separate ways.

Certainly, the Labour party does seem to be too broad a church, beset by infighting and without a clear sense of what it stands for. For instance, the abstentions in the ballot on the recent Welfare Reform Bill suggest that many of its MPs no longer subscribe to the key principles of humanitarianism and social justice. In view of that, you have to wonder what the point of Labour is any more - and whether it might be a good time for what has become an increasingly uneasy coalition to dissolve into its constituent parts. At least then Corbyn would stop having to pretend he'd be able to get along with those on the right of the party, wouldn't feel so pressured to compromise and would be at liberty to help provide the robust opposition to the Tory policy juggernaut that is so urgently required.

(Thanks to Phil for the second link.)

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