Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Walking Away Would Be an Admission of Despair

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Walking Away Would Be an Admission of Despair

Article excerpt

Of course the Labour Party must not split. If the mainstream majority in the parliamentary party attempted to create an alternative to Jeremy Corbyn's unelectable extremism, the certain result would be a Tory government for the next fifty years.

Walking away would be giving up the fight for Labour's future before it has properly begun. And the idea of a new party--radical but reasonable, progressive but popular --is self-indulgent fantasy. The Social Democrats had the same idea thirty years ago. They ended up joining a coalition that put David Cameron in power and claiming, by way of apology, that without their intervention the so-called health reforms would have been even worse.

There should be no split and no talk of a split. Even speculating about the possibility gives Jeremy Corbyn's satraps the chance to accuse his critics of treachery. More important, living in the dreamworld of a sudden and successful breakaway provides an easy and comforting alternative to joining the battle to get Labour back on course. …

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