There really is no beginning to these talents here:
The threat that this might happen would force the hand of the 170 or so Labour MPs who very clearly will not be supporting their party leader, but who have now, by default, already selected their own group leader in Owen Smith. I believe they will be forced to act and have little to lose from doing so. There are three obvious reasons for that.
First, every one of them faces the risk of deselection by their constituency parties. Even if they hung on as the candidate the chance of Labour winning more than 100 seats in 2020 after four more years of shambolic opposition looks optimistic to me.
Second, facing four years of frustration and impotence they will be forced into action.
Third, their duty will overcome all other considerations: there isn’t an option available in UK politics for the largest group of opposition MPs to sit on their hands and say they will not oppose anyone but their own front bench: it is their duty to the electorate to oppose and that they will have to do.
With their backs against the wall I expect this group to form an opposition first, and a party second. On this basis Labour will fracture this Autumn, because it would have to: democracy would demand it of these MPs if they think they cannot serve under Corbyn.
OK, Labour Party shorn of the lefty nutters and keeping the Blairites.
What in that case does radical mean? It can only be an embrace of a radical approach to Brexit and the opportunities it provides or the whole thing will be a waste of time. My discussant agreed. As they put it, the left has to overcome its paradoxical position. There are free economic freedoms. They are of capital, goods and labour.
The left is happy about restricting the movement of capital whether through measures to beat tax abuse, by the adoption of financial transaction taxes, and much else.
It is also happy to prevent the free movement of goods, to protect Port Talbot for example.
And in reality we have always restricted the free movement of labour: we do not have an open border policy except with the EU, and yet suggesting changing this offends the left considerably, although not the population at large. On this most apparent of the ‘freedoms’ the left has to now make up its mind because this will dictate the future of Brexit.
Demand free movement and there is no chance of restricting capital and trade, and we will be left like Norway working in a fundamentally neoliberal system where we have no say and so chance of changing things. Accept limitations on movement and leave the single market and controls can be imposed on capital and trade as well when required, as the left would reasonably expect.
It’s a pretty fundamental choice to make, and an essential one. Forming a new party of the left that does not accept the reality of Brexit and give it a left wing stance (which happens to be consistent with current policy with the world excepting the EU) would be a waste of time. Do so and there is an electoral offering which can be the foundation for a radical economic policy.
Which should immediately adopt the policies of the lefty nutters and not the Blairites.