Time for May to roll the Labour Bourbons
If the British PM Theresa May is smart, she will call an early post-Brexit election over the next few months instead of waiting until 2020. The political landscape has changed so much in Great Britain since David Cameron won the 2015 election that May would be entirely justified to go to the polls now and seek a fresh mandate from the people for the next five years. That, and she has an unparalleled opportunity to smash the Labour Party and possibly make the Scottish Nationalists the official opposition.
Labour just swung even further to the left, emphatically re-electing Jeremy Corbyn as its leader with a greater majority than on his original elevation to the party leadership a year ago (61.8 per cent versus 59.9 per cent). Corbyn increased his share of vote among the party members by 10 per cent, affiliated supporters by 3 per cent, but curiously lost ground by 14 per cent among registered supporters. His grip on the party and its hierarchy in now vice-like.
Corbyn represents everything I hate about left-wing politics; the sort of an unapologetic â€˜70s nostalgia thatâ€™s completely unmoored from reality. Not that we should judge people on their appearance, but Corbyn even looks the part: a painfully serious, bearded, sandal-wearing (probably), small town lumpen-Marxist prophet. As Labourâ€™s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said three years ago (in a quote that only came to light days ago), â€œLook, Iâ€™m straight, Iâ€™m honest with people: Iâ€™m a Marxist. This is a classic crisis of the economy â€“ a classic capitalist crisis. Iâ€™ve been waiting for this for a generation! For Christâ€™s sake donâ€™t waste it, you know.â€ These are the people who are today leading one of the great parties of the British democracy; the commie Bourbons who have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.
Corbyn and his supporters have certainly not forgiven Tony Blair for winning three elections in a row, after making the Labour Party more centrist and more, well, electable. Corbynistas are stuck in the perpetual past, the early 1900s, the â€˜60s, the early â€˜80s, periods of not necessarily great electoral success but certainly of great ideological purity. Corbyn himself has recently praised Karl Marx (â€œfrom whom we can learn a great dealâ€). He wants to keep the back-channel open to ISIS. He wouldnâ€™t go to war to defend a NATO ally under attack. He has taken consistently pro-Russian position in the Ukraine crisis. He wants to renationalise the railways, utility companies and the banks. He has compared Israel to ISIS â€“ while launching a report about anti-Semitism inside his own party. His idea of trans-Atlantic diplomacy is to invite Donald Trump for tea at Finsbury Road mosque, one of the most controversial Muslim places of worship in Great Britain. Enough for you?
By contrast, Theresa May is continuing to impress me a lot more than during her stint as the Home Secretary under Cameron or during the contest to replace him, when my sentimental favourite was Boris Johnson. Mayâ€™s net favourability rating is +31; Corbynâ€™s is -40. Corbyn will spend the next few months purging the party of moderates and any remaining sensible people; itâ€™s time for May to go ahead, in her own and in countryâ€™s interest.