‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope’
Margaret Thatcher on becoming Prime Minister
Not very likely. Probably the best that Labour can hope for is no overt resumption of the civil war and outright hostilities.
Just a few weeks ago, 172 labour MPs failed to back their newly reappointed leader on the grounds he was a terrible leader.
their publicly expressed concern was not that he was a comedy-lefty Marxist throwback to the 1980s. But that he wasn't very good at being the leader. Well, he is the leader. And has cemented himself even more firmly in place.
Partly, because he has a lot of support from labour in the country. Partly because of his own iron will. Partly because his PLP opponents were, unbelievably, even more inept at ousting their leader than usual.
Choosing the unknown Owen Smith and endorsing his campaign of agreeing with everything Jeremy Corbyn says but just not how he says it, has left the bulk of the elected Labour party with an even bigger problem than they had before.
They have actively supported all the wild eyed talk of renationalising everything. No to any selective education. Building 25 billion new homes a week. 200% taxation of banks etc. The only disagreement was on the MPs preference to remain in the EU and to renew trident. Something Corbyn opposes and probably has far more support on than his MPs.
So, what can those MPs do now? What options do they have? Another coup is preposterous. Corbyn has shown he won't quit even if 3/4 of his MPs have no confidence in him. He has won the leadership with an increased majority. He cannot be toppled from his High Sparrow cult by 'outsiders'.
There seems to be no appetite at all for the breakaway option. Forming a new labour party with the remnants of the Liberal Democrats. If all 172 MPs set off into new party, they would probably become the official opposition. That gets Corbyn silenced in the House of Commons. They could vote their own new moderate leader and have the left wing media concentrating on their message whilst trying to portray Corby's labour as extremists. Far easier to do that if you are a separate party. Rather than the same party trying to back and sack the Corbynites at the same time.
If they can become the official opposition they can use the boundary review to reduce the power of the Corbynistas.
Most likely is the wait and see and hope option. Hope that Corbyn falls down some stairs. See if Brexit causes financial Armageddon and people are forced to vote labour. Wait until after the election and the expected wipe-out, and then pick up the pieces and start again.
None are really very attractive.
if I was over on their side I think a Gandhi approach might be the answer. Passive disobedience.
When the leader makes a speech, don't attend. When policies are announced, do nothing. No applause in the House. No boos either. Just a silence. Don't engage with the cabinet or the leader at all. behave as a seperate party within a party. If ever asked their view by the media, then damning with faint praise.
"This is one of Jeremy's least worst ideas yet. So we are making steady progress"
"He is improving. Very slowly of course. We have to accept that .. But all the time a slight improvement, don't you think?"
"He rso is trying his best..and you know that really should count for something....effort should be recognised, don't you think?"
"So, we lose a fifty odd seats at the next election..Does that really matter..? Ok..So the Tories will be in power for ever..But we...We, under the firm leadership of Jeremy and John, will be in full control of the moral high ground. And that's almost as good as being in government, isn't it?"
What other options are there?