As I said, this contest is going only one way. Thousands of people are registering as supporters for £3, and why wouldn’t they? In the old days you would wear a “Don’t Blame Me I Voted Labour” badge for a few months after losing an election. Today, you click and pay and vote for the candidate that the establishment doesn’t like.
The sentiment is unpersuadable. Centrist Labour sympathisers can point out that winning elections is a condition of any of the good things that Corbyn supporters want. For that we are abused for putting power before principle and then we are met with an array of irrelevant facts, such as that Corbyn increased his majority in Islington (Islington), or that millions of people didn’t vote in May. (The point about non-voters being that they tend not to vote; people who believe that non-voters were abstaining because they weren’t being offered a radical socialist alternative are heading for disappointment.)
Valiant efforts have been and will be made to try to persuade the Corbynites not to turn the Labour Party into an irrelevance, but I doubt that they will succeed. Yesterday Alastair Campbell made a long and cogent appeal for ABC: Anyone But Corbyn. And if you haven’t read Alan Johnson’s article along the same lines, it is well worth reading the part quoted by Campbell.
But it is all hopeless.
• One thing that could stop Corbyn is a legal challenge. It seems quite plausible that any party member or registered or affiliated supporter could bring an action, for example an injunction to prevent the announcement of the result on 12 September, if he or she could show that a number of people have been allowed to vote who don’t support the aims and values of the Labour Party, as specified in the rules.
I know that the party is worried about it. I understand that, although the ballot papers will start to be posted on Friday, the party is delaying sending papers out to new supporters while it vets them. That would allow the party to argue in court that it had taken all reasonable steps to weed out Trotskyists and Tories, but enough will get through to make a legal challenge possible.
I think a challenge would be wrong, because it is quite clear what the result is likely to be under the rules. There are not enough Trot and Tory entrists to affect the outcome. But it is quite possible all the same that this could end up in court.
• Finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:
“Mr Escher’s office please.”
“Up the stairs, keep turning right.”Reuse content