Friday, September 04, 2015

A good piece in the Spectator on what happens if Corbyn wins

James Forsyth has a good piece in the Speccie here on the implications of a Corbyn victory in Labour's leadership election, for Britain and the Conservatives as well as Labour.

It begins

"Just because something is absurd doesn’t mean it can’t happen. This is the lesson of Jeremy Corbyn’s seemingly inevitable victory in the Labour leadership contest. At first, the prospect of Corbyn leading Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition was seen to be so ridiculous that bookmakers put the chances of it at 200 to 1. Labour MPs were prepared to nominate him to broaden the ‘debate’. Now, almost everyone in the Labour party thinks we are days away from Corbyn’s coronation ..."

Looking at some of the difficulties a Corbyn win would cause Labour, Forsyth's comments include

Labour lost the last election because the voters didn’t trust the party with their money and the nation’s finances. Corbynomics (and his proposed ‘people’s quantitative easing’) is not the answer.


"... a Corbyn victory would pose an immediate dilemma for any ambitious Labour MP. Anyone who served under him would be tainted. They would be asked in every interview if they wanted Corbyn to be Prime Minister; if they said yes, then that clip would be used endlessly against them come their own time at the top."

For the Conservatives

"Some Tories are unnerved by the prospect of a Corbyn leadership, arguing that bad opposition leads to bad government, and some worry that an unelectable Labour party would lead to  .... complacency."

Quite, and I'm one of them.

Forsyth wisely qualifies what he writes with

"As the last general election so spectacularly demonstrated, pollsters and bookmakers can get it horribly wrong. Labour’s election is not over. Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper may yet win ..."

and concludes

"A Labour party that is prepared to elect Corbyn as leader is a party that has consigned itself to not being in power for a very long time."

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