So finally the ballot papers go out in the Labour Leadership Contest. Some people have even voted by now. The polls have extremist candidate Jeremy Corbyn well ahead. The word extremist gets thrown around in politics, but in this case it is a legitimate use and I shall continue to do so. Some think he could still be beaten, I now doubt this. Those who do quote what happened to the polls in May. Most polls in May however were just within Margin Of Error of 3% either way, most were 5% out, under estimating the Tories by 3% and over estimating Labour by 2%. The polls would have to be twice as wrong for Corbyn to lose now as the more recent polling had Corbyn at least 10% ahead in the run-off, if the contest gets that far. The last YouGov poll had Corbyn on 57%. The poll therefore will need to have his position at least 7% wrong for there even to be a second round, still worse than the polls did in May. Given that I can see only one conclusion, one I admit I never thought conceivable at the start of this process, that Jeremy Corbyn is going to win.
So as a Libertarian who prefers the Conservatives some think I should be cheering this situation.I have already written about Corbyn’s realistic chances at a General Election where I concluded confidently that Corbyn cannot win. I stand by that view. Anyone who thinks my fear of Jeremy Corbyn is electoral is seriously mistaken. So why am I not cheering? Corbyn ensures a Tory victory in 2020 right? Yes it does, and make no mistake, if he does win I’ll be doing everything I can to demolish him and work for a landslide just like every other person who want to see a Conservative victory in May 2020 will.
But frankly this is more serious than what happens at the next election. Firstly if Jeremy Corbyn wins there will be no real opposition. The SNP will continue to play their Westminster games but eventually, we will get English Votes For English Laws. While there is scope for the Lib Dems to re-build with Corbyn as Labour leader, it will take a long time for them to regain their confidence to be a strong opposition again with a mere 8 MP’s. The Lib Dems also have the added issue of history, the Lib Dems do best when Labour, not the Conservatives are on the up.
As for Labour, with Corbyn in charge there will be lot’s of loud, shouty, no doubt abusive and rude verbal diarrhoea from the Corbyn supporting Social Media mob. Policy wise offering old solutions like re-nationalisation and the call that will hurt Corbyn most, for a ‘Planned Economy; that a sensible Tory campaign will catergorise as North Korean, the only place in the world that has such a thing. It also fits in with the extreme charge of all the other things that have been exposed about Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘friends’ and ties with Anti-Semetic individuals. Perceptions that will slaughter any attempt at opposition.
So in reality in a Corbyn led Labour world the Tories will have to be the Government and the Opposition at the same time. Of course many backbenchers will be reluctant to do so as it may hurt their constituencies if they cross this very fine line. John major once said there was a “fine line between sycophancy and rebellion.” Getting the balance right will be a tough job for those, especially new backbenchers.
This can be a recipe for lazy Government. We have already seen examples, would a Government focused by a serious opposition allow the DWP to use fake benefit claimants to make an openly political point. This smacks of an over confident Government knowing there is no real opposition. The Government can do what it likes if Corbyn wins, knowing they will still win in May 2020. I certainly fear this situation will lead to further mistakes and errors due to the complacency a Corbyn victory will bring.
Then there is the damage to Britain itself. Like them or not, for the last century Labour are one of only two political parties who have competed for office. A party who have presented themselves from time to time as a serious party of Government, who ran the Government for the first decade of the 21st century.The party of Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Tony Blair along with many other serious big figures of British politics.
On September 12th, that party could be run by a man advocating a planned economy, the brainchild of the Soviet Union and practiced today by the brutal dictatorship of North Korea, Labour could be run by a man who has openly called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends. Labour could be run by a man whose social circle included key members of those representing the IRA while they were blowing up British Citizens. Labour could be run by a man who still to this day refuses to condemn their actions. Labour could be run by a man whole claims to abhor homophobia but calls for closer ties with Russia, a nation condemned by countless gay, lesbian and Human rights groups on it’s gay rights record. Labour could be run by a man who is happy to stand in for his “Good Friend” George Galloway on Iranian State television, a nation that executes homosexuals.
On Septerber 12th Labour could be run a man who has attended events ran by known holocaust deniers like Paul Eisen and refuses to admit whether or not he gave money to Eisen’s organisation. Labour could be run man who considers Muslim hate Preacher Sheikh Raed Salah an ‘honoured citizen’ and invited him to the commons. Labour could be run by a man backed by another of his guests to the commons back in 2009, Dyab Abou Jahjah, A Lebonese extremists who backs the Hezbollah terrorist group who has stated “I consider every death of an American, British or Dutch soldier as a victory”,
So yes, I will continue calling Crobyn extreme, not because I made it up or it is a conspiracy, but because he is. And with a record like his, having Jeremy Corbyn as a man who will be offered by the two main parties in Britain as a potential Prime Minister, regardless of my confidence that he will not win, is enough in itself to demean democracy, It shows contempt for voters by refusing to give them a serious choice. It demeans the commons and the democratic process by providing absolutely no serious opposition at all. It has the potential to lead to sub-standard complacent Government It demeans Britain as a nation and in the world, how can a nation with no serious opposition take any moral high ground about the values of democracy and freedom when we barely have one ourselves for what will almost certainly be the 5 year period? Removing Corbyn before May 2020 will be far more difficult than some think if he is elected.
So whatever the short term gain for the Conservative Party. However much fun demolishing a Corbyn led Labour may be or may seem, I still do not want him to win on September 12th. Whatever your view of Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham, all three will at least provide something of an opposition and put an alternative before the people of Britain that they can choose to support or reject. In doing so that alone will lead to better Government. If you are a Tory for Corbyn, I get it, I understand the appeal and the temptation, but I shall not join you. I would prefer the defeat of extremism to take place on September 12th with social media Corbynites crying into their computer screen sooner rather than later. Then we get on with Governing, and on with the battle ahead for May 2020.