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Poser: this image of Keir Starmer suggests that he supports the right-wing idea that it is better to present the appearance of a leader than to actually be one.

At long last, the Labour leadership election is about to end.

Members have been voting since long before now, so This Writer won’t be influencing the result by pointing out:

If a right-winger like Keir Starmer or Lisa Nandy is elected, the party will be unelectable – and here’s why: It’s attitude will be wrong.

You see, right-wing Labour is small-minded and vindictive, and also unimaginative.

In policy it is too close to the Conservatives – and we already have them, so Labour won’t win more votes from that party than it will lose by alienating, or driving out, socialists who came back when Jeremy Corbyn took the leadership.

And the right-wingers have already made it perfectly clear that they intend to expel as many socialists – the people who carry the torch for the party’s original mission – as they possibly can.

Consider this:

Do not be sentimental. This is the time to purge the party machine and put your own people in charge. Sack the general secretary and all the place people immediately. Don’t believe them if they pledge allegiance – either they are being duplicitous or, worse, they mean it: if they rat now, won’t they re-rat in the future? As we said when we expelled Militant, there’s no problem with a witchhunt when there really are witches to hunt.

It’s part of an article claiming to be a Memo to Keir Starmer from John McTernan, in the expectation that Starmer will win.

McTernan was very much yesterday’s man during the Corbyn years – a right-wing loony with views that were rightly considered certain to drive the electorate out the door.

Now here he is, trying to ingratiate himself with his preferred candidate for the leadership by urging him to follow Hitler’s example and have his own Night of the Long Knives, to consolidate his victory and paint it – as Hitler did – as a way of preventing a future coup.

Look at the way he suggests that it would be worse if the people in place at the moment mean it when they pledge allegiance than if they were being duplicitous. He thinks it would be wrong to be loyal to the Labour Party. For McTernan a leader must stand at the head of his own cadre of cronies. No doubt McTernan expects himself to be a member of that gang.

The lack of belief in the honesty of the current Labour party officers says much about McTernan’s own trustworthiness. Isn’t there a song that tells us “It’s no secret that a liar won’t believe anyone else”?

How about this part, which is subtitled “Punish the losers”:

There’s an old saying in the Australian Labor Party: “magnanimity in defeat, vengeance in victory.” Make it your motto. Continuity Corbynistas like Rebecca Long Bailey and Richard Burgon must be exiled to the back benches for the rest of their parliamentary careers, which should be as brief as possible. Victory has to be absolute.

This is duplicitous in itself. The Labour Right was never magnanimous in defeat! Backstabbers like McTernan (and many others) did their level best to undermine the Corbyn project at every opportunity.

And the desperation to remove socialists from any position of authority denies the possibility that the public might consider them to have opinions worth sharing.

Abraham Lincoln had a “team of rivals” running his government, and he was one of the most successful US presidents of them all.

Most importantly, though, McTernan is urging Starmer to alienate a vast number of loyal party members by abandoning their politics. He states:

Punishing Burgon and Long Bailey will alienate a portion of the membership. Good. Let them return in disgust to the fringe parties where they should have been all along… Restore party conference to its proper role — a loyal leadership rally.

This will certainly reduce Labour’s national vote to below eight million – and keep it there for many years to come if loonies like McTernan get a chance to take, and consolidate, power.

His comment about the party conference suggests that he wants to reduce the membership to a tiny core of mindless, obedient Nazis – and the Parliamentary party to a club of pseudo-Tories, grinning encouragingly at the real thing as they vote through law after law to elevate themselves and stamp the rest of the population into the dirt.

That’s McTernan’s vision of the Labour Party’s future. And I don’t think you can trust either Starmer or Nandy to reject it.