Over the last twelve months we have watched the Labour party go from one crisis to the next, like a paralytic drunk bouncing between shop fronts and parked cars on a never-ending journey of stupor. The current catastrophe of parliamentary party versus leader and grassroots reveals the astonishing folly of Ed Milliband’s attempt to ‘Enliven’ the party’s leadership election – the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum.
Commentators are talking about the existence of two Labour Parties– On one side the soft left Centrists, the Blairites, the Gaitskellites, the social democrats and on the other the hard left, the Corbynites, the Trots, the Bevanites, the socialists. The accepted narrative casts these two tribes as locked in a permanent battle for the soul of the party, creating a natural equilibrium, ying and yang. This is no longer the case. There is now a third Labour party.
The third Labour party is the largest of all. It exists not in the drawing rooms of effete London suburbs but in warehouses and Wetherspoons across the land. They care not a jot for ideology or dogma or political correctness or Palestine and have voted Labour out of resentment of the establishment, class prejudice and the belief that it was the best way to protect their marginalised communities.
The working class have supported the Labour party in their millions for nearly a hundred years, a political identity passed down through generations, but they are starting to realise that neither the Blairites nor the Corbynistas articulate their views and are in fact happy to dismiss them as ignorant racists.
The disconnect between Labour’s professional political class and the traditional Labour voter was the real talking point of the referendum. Who can blame the common people for giving a great big two fingers to those who have taken them for granted for so long? Once again the Labour party has learnt nothing, with contempt for the working class reaching new heights in the aftermath of the vote with Guardian columnists writing about ‘Crappy’ Northern towns and David Lammy calling for parliament to ignore the democratic will of the nation.
Lammy’s position is as understandable as it is indicative of the status quo. A London MP who sees the coming typhoon and in an attempt to save his own behind at the next election decides to voice the concerns of the delicate snowflakes of the big smoke, without any thought of the repercussions his words will have in places like Rotherham, Blackburn or Burnley.
UKIP has become the lightning rod for working class anger and malcontent and thanks to Labour’s continuing, indeed increasing, inclination to treat the people as an irrational, immature inconvenience, a party that should have been declared obsolete post-Brexit looks likely to go from strength to strength.
Make no mistake the Labour apocalypse is real. Corbyn is driving the bus straight off the cliff with his fingers firmly stuck in his ears. Over the last twelve months he has consistently displayed an ability to ignore prevailing opinions, discrediting all criticism as part of the mainstream media conspiracy against him. He has become an expert in ‘Bunker’ politics and nothing that is thrown at him now will persuade him to change course, especially with Seamus Milne pouring poison in his ear.
It will not be a quick death. The Labour leadership contest alone can take months. Rather it will be a long drawn out affair, marked by paralysis of the parliamentary party and the slow march towards mass de-selection of rebel MPs. A breakaway Blairite party could be on the cards but quite how an SDP sequel could satisfy the growing sense of working class anger is a mystery. It would be a party without an electorate, a cart without a horse. Had the Lib Dems not been a jibbering wreck at the moment they could have expected defections galore, as it stands it is difficult to determine who possesses the most potent brand of ‘Ballot-Box Kryptonite’ – Corbyn or Farron?
As UKIP seeks to harness the hate in the country so we must have a leader who offers something better. The nation is crying out for a message of aspiration, progress, potential and, above all, hope. To satisfy this desire is the key consideration in choosing the next Conservative leader. A caretaker, a custodian will not do. The country needs inspiration and it is our duty to provide.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty