"This is the New Politics. And it's very boring" (Bill Quango MP)In strictly electoral terms - specifically, the 2020 general election, assuming some sort of euro-nonsense doesn't derail the Fixed-term Parliament Act - the Tories are unlikely to be defeated by Corbyn and his motley. Certainly, the newly elevated Campaign-Groupers can apologise sweetly for past excesses and verbal diahrroea, and will soon muster a half-decent spin operation to avoid the worst of the self-inflicted damage. Maybe even sucker Osborne into some unattractive sneering. But Corbyn is not papabile, any more than were Foot or Kinnock or Miliband; and the massed voters of Britain will find him out.
How much will that matter? If we are being swept up by 2015-style People's Politics (or whatever they like to call it) maybe it will matter not so much as in former times, and parliamentary formalities will become ever less relevant. I suspect there are plenty with fantasies along those lines, in more than one of the camps of the Corbyn coalition: those that dote on him in desperation for a happy leftie revival; or expect to use him to promote their hard-core neo-marxist policies; or are simply having a laugh (and that's a category broader than just those £3-paying Tories: there are some proper wags and chancers along for the ride in the heart of Team Corbyn, and I know whereof I speak).
These people we can leave to their dreams, be they the traumatised, the Trots or the tricksters. There's another category I worry about, and I think back to the riots of 2011. Readers may recall that one of our thoughtful Anons offered a comment along these lines: the summer of 2011 was characterised by random, if contagious criminality born of sullen idleness - but the nihilistic hordes lacked an officer-class to convert the phenomenon into anything more sinister or systematic. However (opined Anon), just such a cadre was being hatched amongst the disaffected ranks of unemployed, social-media-savvy graduates: and we could all tremble when the natural leaders and strategists and administrators took charge of the cannon-fodder.
Hasn't happened yet.
Imagine, though, developments along those lines as the Tories continue to exercise their quietly triumphalistic political hegemony. Under normal circumstances the leaders of all respectable parliamentary parties are pretty much obliged to swing in on the side of law'n'order: even Kinnock opposed the excesses of the Miners' Strike.
But that's in the currency of the Old Politics. Suppose Corbyn, by contrast, felt able to suck on his teeth, stroke his grandfatherly beard and say publicly, well, these kids do have a point, things outside the Square Mile are pretty grim for them, parliamentary politics have failed the people, austerity really is wicked, and actually quite unnecessary ... then maybe he holds a big rally to fan the flames, organised by his well-staffed political office, manned by experienced, professional Livingstonistas who know exactly what they are doing and still dream of the poll-tax riots.
It's one thing when the whole of polite society comes down like a ton of bricks on a bunch of uncoordinated rioters as in the past. Quite another, I suggest, when the official voice of a mainstream party provides equivocating political top-cover, with its nastier functionaries in secret liaison with Anon's officer-class (and Sinn Fein, and ... Oh, and for good measure, with Nicola Sturgeon refusing to allow Police Scotland to send any reinforcements to the rioting cities of England.) This in turn legitimises 'balanced reporting' by the BBC, which indemnifies civil disobedience ...
None of this wins the 2020 election for Corbyn, because the massed ranks of the pensioners of England will unwaveringly vote against him. But it might not seem much of a victory, to the newly-installed Prime Minister Osborne. In the meantime, the streets could get very messy indeed.
So, much as I'd like to agree with BQ that the New Politics is boring - I'm not so sure.
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On the other hand. The house-training of the Corbynistas has already begun, as the last 48 hours have shown. It should never be forgotten that the Labour Party of 1920 was more or less a marxist revolutionary movement, but was brought swiftly into line per Westminster traditions and practices. Such is the genius of British politics.
Is Corbyn equally tractable? In which case, let boredom reign and Osborne's merriment be unconfined. Or is St Jeremy the unreconstructed and unreconstructable messiah, as many of his supporters ardently hope?