So Labour’s NEC have decided to “interpret” the rules in Corbyn’s favour.
Those who wrote them made it abundantly clear they were meant to create a level -playing field for all nominees and, crucially, to ensure a ‘filter’ of minimum support in Parliament for any Labour leadership candidate (incumbent or not). But that didn’t seem to bother the majority of Labour’s NEC.
I won’t go into the other crazy decisions about who gets to vote – friends who joined Labour as full members recently don’t whilst £25 supporters do?
And now a third candidate has joined the fray – all but guaranteeing the vote opposing Corbyn will be split whilst his followers will largely remain united.
The outcome looks pretty obvious – a Labour Party with a leader more than 80% of its MPs do not want. Split even further by acrimony and vicious internecine warfare for months on end. Focussed on their internal civil war whilst Theresa May gets of with consolidating the Brexit Tories hold on the country.
More subtly we now have two ‘opposition’ candidates pulled to the left by Corbyn’s ‘momentum’ – pulling Labour further away from the 9.3 million who voted for them and the further 2-3m they need to win back.
Crucially, on the EU and Brexit they have all become “mitigators” – accepting the EU Referendum as a ‘done deal’ and focussing on how to minimise the damage.
This is totally out of touch with the probably more than half the country who either voted ‘Remain’ (48%) and are deeply angry about the result and those who voted ‘Leave’ but now have severe ‘buyers remorse’.
The Tory Party has converted overnight from a pro-European party – which it had been since Ted Heath led the UK into Europe in 1972 – into a the Brexit Party.
The 4m plus who signed a petition for a second Referendum and the spontaneous demonstrations have been totally ignored by a Labour Party transfixed by its internal fight.
Instead of heading this movement, Labour have abandoned the field – almost as completely as the ‘Leave’ campaigners who got us all into this mess (Farage, Johnson, Gove).
Now Labour will do what the far-left loves most – having a prolonged internal debate about which version of “socialism” will lose them the next several General Elections. Great for recruitment to the far-left grouplets – useless to Labour voters.
And in the end, Corbyn will probably be re-elected and Labour MPs will have to split the Party not on their terms but on his.