There’s a momentary quiet as this morning’s political interviews fade into memory – or are sliced and diced and served up as vine’s or gifs on twitter.
What have we learnt?
Jeremy Corbyn’s survived another 12 hours, though he may be being held hostage by his courtiers. Corbynista’s have spotted a conspiracy involving a “Blairite” PR agency, called Portland. This was even mentioned by Union strong man Len McCluskey this morning on the Marr show. But when I read the piece (effectively just a rambling blog – that seemed to have been penned by Dave Spart) it reminded of this Monty Python classic. It was just too bizarre for words.
Not that the Parliamentary Labour Party have done themselves any favours with their slow motion car crash of an effort to topple Corbyn (coup is the wrong word because it implies some sort of organisation). Who would take over? While the Corbynistas dominate the party, via the Momentum movement, the MPs are looking in panic at their electorate. If a General Election took place later this year, the MPs could face oblivion two ways – either losing their seats because Corbyn represents their party – and bombs with the electorate; or by being deselected by Momentum activists in the run up to the Election.
Then there’s Chilcot. On wednesday the report in the Iraq war will finally be published. Will it lead to Tony Blair being impeached? Probably not but it will finish any thoughts of a leadership challenge from Labour MPs who supported it – like Angela Eagle.
What about the Tories? Michael Gove’s clumsy efforts to gather support for a leadership bid, involving the political assassination of the Prime Minister, and then Boris, the most popular Tory MP of the day and chief Brexiter, have not got off to a particularly good start. In fact, it could be said that his bid is already dead.
That leaves Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. May is an authoritarian. And a remainer. For both these reasons, this will go down very badly with both the neo-libertarian wing of the Tory party, who have been behind the Brexit campaign from day one. Expect to see a full blown smear campaign against May getting going any time soon.
Leadsom is a City/Banking/Finance industry person, and a prominent Brexiter. She has been bankrolled by her brother in law Peter de Putron, a hedge fund millionaire offshored in Guernsey. It’s difficult to see how she will explain away the disastrous impact of Brexit on the City (and potentially the UK’s offshore tax haven empire) with her City/Banking friends. Leadsom looks to be becoming the darling of the Brexit brigade. Apparently she also refused to rule out giving Nigel Farage a cabinet seat. Either way, she will be the neoliberal’s Prime Minister, so expect lots more privatisation, and a further shrinking of the Public Sector, welfare, the NHS etc.
One glimmer of hope is the creation of a Progressive Alliance; the organisers say
“a popular front of ideas and organisation is the only way to defend what we hold dear and to start to build a society that we can all live in and be proud of.”
That sounds good to me.
Whatever happens in the Labour Party, I would suggest that everyone who isn’t on the Right (and that includes pro Brexit and pro Remain voters) needs to agree to put forward a single candidate, representing their own party but within a united progressive alliance, in each of the key constituencies – especially the Marginals.
This could be the best way to stop the most Right Wing Government in decades from taking over.