Nick Cohen wrote an expletitive plea or should it be a rant telling Corbynista’s ‘to stop being a fucking fool by changing your fucking mind.’ In many respects it was akin to a spoilt child screaming ‘I’ll scream and scream, until I’ll make myself sick!’ By accusing Corbyn supporters of being in denial and that the party is in danger of going into meltdown unless they appoint their special one they too are very much in denial.
To automatically assume that someone like Yvette Cooper or Chuka Umunna have not just got the personality but the ability to turn around the fortunes of the Labour Party is arrogant to say the least. After all an illegal war in Iraq, presiding over one of the biggest financial crisis in recent years, and ignoring your grass root support on the assumption that the plebs will vote for ever is wearing the red rosette is one of the many reasons why Labour is in the mess it finds itself in now.
The problem with Labour is that it’s support is completely fractured. In Scotland they have practically become an endangered species whilst in certain heartlands they feel the party no longer represents them with some even attracted to UKIP. Added to which is the difficulty in appealing to the marginal seats to cross the line to form a majority government. Ed Milliband and Gordon Brown in the last two elections were unable to convince the electorate and here lies the problem.
Like everything in life nothing stands still especially as we react to the world around us. That’s why it is always important to continually evolve and ensure that the party is not just in tune with its members but its electorate. This is easier said than done but to not realise that New Labour is part of the problem of the party and not the remedy is a problem for the right of the party.
In some respects there is that smugness that only they know what is best and those that disagree about the direction of the party are fools especially if its a left slant. Ever since Corbyn has been elected as leader he has been constantly undermined by not just the PLP but the media such as the Guardian who in the past have supported the Labour Party.
Members voted for Jeremy Corbyn because they wanted what they perceived to be real change and what they feel the Labour Party should stand for. Rather than showing support and working as best they can they have throw a tantrum akin to a spoilt toddler at a birthday party.
New Labour was part of the problem as to why they lost the 2010 and 2015 election. To persist that the third way still works and that the electorate will somehow be convinced by someone speaking in cliches and slogans is to continually row around in circles.
It could be said that Gordon Brown allowed this void to happen where there was no one to step up to the plate that could lead and appeal to the electorate. Obsessed with keeping power with power battles between Tony Blair anybody afterwards was always going to be tainted with either side. This is certainly true of Ed Milliband and the other candidates such as Yvette Cooper for the 2015 Labour leadership election.
Nobody at present has the charisma or clout that would appeal to all voters. Furthermore any of Cohen or the Labour right’s preferred choices would do any better than Corbyn. At least he wants to offer an alternative. Yes it can be argued that Corbyn seems to be out of his depth and the shadow chancellor John McDonnell certainly is but a tilt to the right isn’t going to balance the ship.
The Labour Party is in a mess and needs to find a fresh approach that appeals to all. Furthermore there is hard work in attempting to get a foothold into Scotland as well as appealing to the marginals that would swing an election.
New Labour has become old Labour with the public just as distrustful of the old guard or anyone associated with the third way. To move forward is to work together and slowly build up bit by bit. They do say that loss (which is the case of the right losing control of Labour) brings denial, anger, and acceptance so maybe Cohen, Toynbee, and the others on the Labour right are now on the second stage before realising the reality they now face.
That is a party that needs re-building with fresh ideas, working together rather than fighting, and not looking back to the past.