Well, one headline you won’t see is “Owen Smith Landslide Victory.” Not even Sadiq Khan or Kezia Dugdale believes that, let alone Owen himself. So why do I think that my own choice of headline is the more likely? (And no, I have not been abusing “substances.”)
Ballot papers are arriving, so its time to give the Labour Leadership election a bit of thought without the usual hysteria on either side.
Regular readers will know that I am a Corbyn supporter. You can give that whatever name you like but I’m not calling others “Owenistas” if you get my point.
What matters is which party is going to form the next government. I cannot see any way in which there will be a snap election. it requires a two thirds majority in the Commons, and I honestly don’t see that happening in any circumstances, so we have until 2020. Four more years.
One thing that every Labour supporter can agree on is that the mainstream media and the interests they serve, do not want a Labour government. They were seduced once by Blair and Mandelson, but are unlikely to make what they see as “that mistake” again.
Harmsworth, Desmond, Murdoch, the Barclay family and others, will move mountains, quite literally, to see it doesn’t happen again. And that is the key to the decision you and I have to make if you have a vote for the Labour leadership.
The editorship of these newspapers, and their proprietors, are desperate to see Labour defeated in 2020.
The same editorship that is so keenly aware of the political pulse of the British electorate
If they are so convinced that Jeremy Corbyn is “unelectable” why are they wasting so many column miles of newsprint, or terabytes of online copy, in such a determined effort to trash him?
If they genuinely thought he was “unelectable” they’d be busting a gut to ensure he WON this election wouldn’t they?
Why do they want him to lose and Owen Smith win?
Because they know that Smith is a lightweight who can be rubbished with ease. Fast forward four years to the republishing of the images of Smith’s sparsely attended meetings. You don’t have to spend too much time thinking just how damaging the use of this would be.
He would be a laughing stock. Whatever policies he espoused would be drowned out by the ridicule heaped upon him by the power of the right wing press.
All of which explains rather neatly why they are so keen for Owen Smith to win. It is Smith, not Corbyn who is unelectable.
So why am I so convinced that Jeremy Corbyn IS electable?
Granted the party membership has grown dramatically to something over 600,000 members. Owen’s supporters will point out quite rightly, that you need a lot more than that to elect a government at a General Election.
Parties get elected very largely, by people banging on doors, or so the activists tell us. I have no reason to doubt that.
The Tories do well because they have a lot of people with the time and the commitment to do just that.
Labour’s 600,000 are not just voters. There is every prospect that a very significant number of them WILL bang on doors.
THAT is what is so significant about the numbers attracted to Corbyn or Smith meetings. If Corbyn retains the leadership then a vastly greater number of supporters, fired with enthusiasm by his campaign and his genuine socialist principles, WILL go out and campaign.
By contrast, how many of those attending Owen’s coffee morning gatherings will be out there doing the same?
If Corbyn is defeated, will his supporters campaign for Owen Smith with such enthusiasm?
Equally, I am not convinced by the old chestnut that Corbyn will not attract voters from the Tory party so he cannot win.
At the last election the Tories polled 6.5% more votes
than Labour. The turnout was 66.1%, so 33.9% DID NOT VOTE.
It is idle to speculate as to why they did not vote, but no one could quibble with the suggestion that many of them, and certainly more than 6.5% (the Tory majority) did not vote because none of the options, Tory, Blue Labour, crumbling LibDems, or UKIP, were attractive.
What this means is that if as few as only 6.5% of the 2015 electorate who did not vote, (or 417, 326 people), are persuaded to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, then they are well on the way to winning. Who needs Tory turncoats when Labour has over 600,00 members?
But it doesn’t stop there. By 2020, there will have accrued another five years of new voters turning 18. if the psephologists are right, then a very significant proportion of new voters will vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. I do not know the figures, and I invite correction (genuinely) but is it not reasonable to say that we are talking in at least seven figures?
So NOW do you understand why I say that the mainstream media are so anxious to snuff out the Corbyn campaign? This is what they can see coming.
In 2020, Jeremy Corbyn WILL be electable. Not only that, they and the Tories are convinced that he WILL be elected.
Owen Smith presents no realistic challenge. The Right are confident that if Smith is elected, the Labour Party will melt away. They ARE “Right.”
I honestly cannot see why the PLP are blind to this. Maybe they are just seduced by the cosiness of what Blairism gave them 25 years ago. They’ve lost two elections since then. Those days are gone.
That is why I was so pleased to be able to cast my vote for Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon.
I want a Labour government.
Jeremy Corbyn is the only person who can deliver it.