If I ask the vicar why he wants to save the Church, he would say "Because the word of God is still the word of God whether we are getting congregations of six or six hundred."
If you asked me "Why do you want to save the Labour Party" I would reply "Because I still believe in socialism, because I think socialism is the fairest way of running the country, because I want someone to put the case for socialism at every election."
And you would reply "You are part of the problem, not part of the solution." And you would not be wrong.
I gather there are two main contenders in the current round of displacement activity: a leftie one, who is popular with the people who prefer leftie ones, and a centrist one, who is popular with the people who prefer centrist ones. I understand the centrist one looks more male and white and therefore electable; but that he used to be a human rights lawyer, which is a bomb waiting to go off in the popular press. I understand they are both Zionists; I don't know if anyone has asked them if they are Catholic Jewish Atheists or Protestant Jewish Atheists.
Any talk about which of them is potential prime ministerial material is about as meaningful as discussing who will host the victory party when Bristol Rovers win the F.A Cup. The next Labour leader is never going to be prime minister; nor is the one after that. The next Labour leader with a shot at becoming P.M. is currently revising for his politics GCSE.
The purpose of the Labour Party is to form a Labour government. The purpose of forming a Labour Government is that if there are no Labour government then the Labour Party has no purpose. All talk of socialism and ideals and principles is meaningless flim flam if you aren't in government. Tony Blair has made that very clear: the question is not "is it right to support the rights of trans people"; the question is "will supporting the rights of trans people help or hinder the long march to a Labour Government." And he is not wrong.
If people think your fizzy drink is too sweet; then you have two options. Either you make it less sweet; or you fill the airwaves with subliminal advertising for sweet things; and advertising spots that say that sweet things are what the cool kids drink; and blind taste tests to show that people prefer sweet soda when they actually try it.
If people think your newspaper is too hard to read, then you have two options. Either you dumb it down, or you have an advertising campaign that tells people that all the girls prefer smart guys; and that in this day and age you need to read a serious paper to be informed; and that influences and opinion-formers prefer broadsheets over tabloids.
If people won't vote for your party, then you must either change and become the sort of party people will vote for; or else stay the same and persuade people that they ought to want to vote for the kind of party you already are.
But trying to persuade people to vote for your party is patronizing and insulting and suggests that you think you know better than them. It is tantamount to saying "If the people voted for the wrong Prime Minister then we should elect a new people." It is that kind of thinking that leads to walls along the Mexico boarder and sea bridges over ammunition dumps. In the real world, you have to find out what kind of political party people want to elect; and become that kind of political party.
We know the kind of political party people want to elect. They told us that very, very clearly in December. They want to elect right-wing, racist, nationalist, populist party, led by a rich, posh, white male. In order to form a government in 2029, Labour needs a posh, white, populist, racist leader: ideally someone even posher, even whiter, even more populist and even more racist than Boris Johnson.
Some people will not find such a leader to their personal taste: but there is an easy answer to that. Would you rather have a leader who you personally find congenial; or would you rather win an election?
So: whether the Leftist One or the Centrist One ends up as leader of the opposition, they will have only one job. They will need to do what Kinnock did and indeed what Momentum tried to do from the other direction. They need to rebuild the party machinery to ensure that they are succeeded by the kind of person that the people would vote for. An electable leader. A Labour Johnson or even a Labour Trump.
They will need, at all costs, to keep people like me out of the party. This could be achieved by a series of internal purges and loyalty oaths; or simply by becoming the kind of party that people like me would never, ever join. They need to change the rules so that party members are never again allowed to choose the party leader. They need to make a great big symbolic gesture to show the world that this is no longer Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, or even Red Ed's. Tony Blair famously tore up clause 4. Enthusiastically supporting the "Yes" side in Priti Patel's 2022 referendum to restore capital punishment would go a very long way to drive undesirables out of the party, while speaking to the legitimate concerns of ordinary working class voters in constituencies where there hasn't been a murder in decades. Of course, there would need to be a few sops so that old fashioned reformists can persuade themselves that a Labour populist racist is better than a Tory populist racist. Nursery school places often hit the spot, I am told.
"But why would you want to save the Labour party on those terms?"
Peace, child. You don't understand.
I'm Andrew. I like God, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Wagner, folk-music and Spider-Man, not necessarily in that order. I have
no hardly any political opinions of any kind.
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