It is the Blairites who represent a deviation in the history of the Labour party away from its values and eponymous constituency. The biggest threat to the Conservatives would be an alternative, viable anti-austerity manifesto.
Fortunately, the Blairites are outnumbered, in the wider party, by the massive influx of new members joining since the general election. This new membership alone is greater than the entire membership of the Conservative party. Contrary to the media narrative, Corbyn’s victory has galvanised whole swathes of the electorate, particularly amongst young voters.
Labour did not just lose the election. It lost the previous five years by acquiescing to a bogus Tory narrative of excessive public spending as causing or exacerbating the crisis despite the IMF clearly rebutting this. Miliband tried to appease his base with attacks on predatory capitalism but, at the same time, he tried to out-tough the Tories on immigration and cuts. This schizoid approach did not convince voters.
In Scotland, millions felt they had been abandoned by New Labour’s policies including the Iraq war and the embrace of neoliberalism. The same pattern has been repeated in the North of England with traditional working class voters in Labour heartlands defecting to UKIP. The UKIP vote went up from under a million in 2010 to nearly 4 million in 2015.
If the left does not offer a convincing, progressive alternative then UKIP and the far right will capitalise.
The notion that a return to Blairism would rescue Labour is completely out of touch. And dangerously so.
Real politics and real leadership is about creating a vision for the country rather than merely chasing votes according to what is perceived to be flavour of the month.
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