In 2016 I blogged about leaving the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn had just won his second leadership election, and I didn’t – and still don’t – believe him to be a fit and proper person to be Prime Minister of this country. If it was obvious then that Corbyn and the toxic mix of people he surrounded himself were more interested in ideological purity than electoral success, it’s even more obvious now.
Corbyn led the Labour Party to two electoral defeats, including its most calamitous humiliation at the polls since 1935, and at a time when this country was in desperate need of an effective alternative government. The leadership’s shameful failure to deal with the antisemitism crisis within the party, their abdication of responsibility around Brexit, and a wretched inability to face electoral reality – all of these left Boris Johnson with a majority that gives him free rein to do as he pleases for five years. Ordinary people in this country will pay the price of their failure to do the basic job of any opposition: to oppose.
You might think that, being faced with the prospect of looking on impotently on Johnson rampant, Jeremy and his acolytes would realise that something had gone horribly, terribly wrong and that their strategy had ended in failure. But the truth is that many of them show no sign of accepting the scale of their defeat. Labour needs to look defeat square in the face; to learn the lessons of its recent past, and to make the changes necessary to take up its historic task again: to be a proper and effective Government, in the interests of everyone in this country. The future of our nation demands nothing less.
God forbid that the party should fall into the hands of someone who is not up to that task, or who cannot recognise that it is necessary at all. Three years ago I left Labour because my conscience wouldn’t allow me to continue to give him moral and financial support; today I’ve rejoined Labour because I can’t sit on the sidelines while the future of our movement is decided.
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