Well. That’s that. Thanks to the #LabourPurge there is now only one electable Labour leader. Jeremy Corbyn. Anyone else who wins will have won dirty, and needing egregious and public cheating on your behalf makes you unelectable at the next level up. But even before that Corbyn was the most electable simply because the other candidates were too lightweight to come up with an answer fo him,
For those who don’t know about the #LabourPurge, Labour are throwing out voters, many of them lifelong Labour supporters, in an almost certain response to Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing candidate leading the race. By doing so they are destroying their credibility as a party.
And because of the obvious skew in who’s being thrown out and statements of the party grandees, Corbyn’s the only one who can win without having the chalice poisoned by central office. If he wins it will be despite the party establishment. If anyone else wins it will be credible to claim that it was because of it. Which means that due to this fiasco Corbyn’s the only electable one.
But even before that the other three had shown themselves not to be anywhere near as electable as Corbyn. The problem with Ed Milliband isn’t that he couldn’t eat a bacon sandwich. It’s that there was no reason offered to vote Labour other than “We’re not the Tories”.
Of the other three, Liz Kendall seems to think that her staring at a computer screen while begging people to vote for her while giving no solid reasons is a way to campaign rather than become an internet meme. Andy Burnham is better – the most cringe-worthy thing about his video was getting his parents to vouch for his character (and when getting your parents to vouch for your character when in your mid 40s doesn’t make you the most cringeworthy, something’s gone deeply wrong). Yvette Cooper hasn’t released such a video. Just making minor mis-step after minor mis-step. Calling on Andy Burnham to quit when she’s lying third in the leadership race and he’s lying second. Calling for UN intervention in Calais. But far more fatally she’s running hard against Corbyn to the point of mudslinging at Andy Burnham on the grounds that he’s too similar to Jeremy Corbyn. Running hard against someone that gets more than a third of your grass roots support is electoral suicide. Cooper wouldn’t just be accepting a chalice poisoned by Blair and Harman as well as the central party, she’s adding some arsenic of her own.
None of those three are electable after the current campaign. And they’d barely be electable if the central Labour Party hadn’t been busy trying to burn their credibility down.
There are four reasons however, that Corbyn would be electable without the added credibility of having overcome the establishment.
- Labour will never be better at being the Tories than the Tories are and the Sun (never buy the Sun) and the Daily Fail will portray them as loony left. So being left wing isn’t the problem people think. To be honest, policies don’t matter anywhere near as much as wonks believe.
- Corbyn is very clearly not one of the Westminster Establishment. A single look at him tells that. He looks more like a fisherman than a politician. This plays. And it was a huge bonus Farage had. That the Labour Party making him an obvious outsider makes clear.
- He energises people. Or possibly the novelty of his politics getting somewhere does. And there’s nothing likely to cut the energy out of what grassroots the Labour Party has left better than Corbyn losing in an unfair-seeming battle.
- He’s an actual person. You can say many things about him. “I always voted at my party’s call. And never thought of voting for myself at all.” is not one of them. Which instantly makes him a contrast with … most politicians.
For Labour voters to vote anyone other than Corbyn would right now to be consign them to the electoral wilderness.