So there we have it Mr Corbyn wins the leadership of the Labour Party for the second time in a year this time with an even bigger mandate than last time. By any assessment it has been a disaster for the moderates in the Labour Party. They have been pursuing a determined course with the aim of removing Jeremy Corbyn.
The first step was to hold a vote of no confidence in the Parliamentary Labour Party – they won that easily but Jeremy stayed put.
The second step was to have a rolling series of resignations from the Shadow Cabinet and the lower Shadow Ministerial ranks. That did not work either. The gaps were either filled by bringing M.P.’s off the back benches or giving some more than one rôle. Some posts were simply left unfilled.
The third step – the nuclear option – was to have another leadership election. Unlike last year the moderates would be ready – ready to challenge the Leadership in the Courts if necessary to try to increase their chances of success. The cost of being a supporter was increased from £3 to £25. 120,000 more recent recruits were barred from taking part at all after another court battle. All to no avail.
Mr Corbyn increased his share of the vote from 59.5% to 61.8% and he won easily in each of the three categories of voters. The increase in Labour Party membership has been unmatched by any other party and Mr Corbyn now has a stronger grip on the leadership than before the challenge began.
As we near the end of August the contest to decide who should be Leader of the Labour Party (still Her Majesty’s Official Opposition in Parliament) rumbles on. Of course, there is not even a vacancy the current Leader wants to continue in the job he won with almost 60% of the votes less than a year ago. The challenger seems to think that the best way to improve Labour’s prospects is to promise to ignore the results of the referendum when over 17 million voted to leave the European Union. I never think you should underestimate your political opponents and things will eventually improve for Labour. It does seem strange to an outsider of Labour politics how Tony Blair who won three consecutive general elections for the Party is now held in contempt by many of Labour’s own members and supporters.
As the Labour Leadership battle gets underway I was not too surprised that the High Court upheld the decision of Labour’s National Executive Committee that the Leadership incumbent does not need to collect any signatures when challenged. The logic is simple. The incumbent – in the present case – Jeremy Corbyn has already had to overcome this hurdle when he was elected in the first place. The fact that he was only able to do so thanks to some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party lending him their support so he could get on the ballot paper in the first place is irrelevant.
Both candidates for tech Labour leadership seem to be basing their appeal on more of the same old Labour policies which have proved disastrous in the past. MOre spending, more borrowing and ultimately like it or not that will mean more taxes for everyone not just the top 1%.