Jeremy Hardy thinks… about electability

'MPs are stuck in 1997, waiting for a charismatic, Blair-like messiah, but without the bloodshed'

November 16, 2016 · 2 min read

Of those Labour MPs who argue that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable, some are worried that he is electable. They would not like to see a Labour government challenge the fetishism with markets and the ‘wealth creation’ of city alchemists. They certainly wouldn’t want to serve in it, as it sounds like a lot of work. There’d barely be time to tweet, let alone pal around with Conservative chums in BBC interviews.

But there are others who genuinely can’t imagine how the electorate might surprise them, despite the fact that the electorate does little else these days. Those MPs are stuck in 1997, waiting for a charismatic, Blair-like messiah, but without the bloodshed. It’s worth remembering that they never accepted Blair’s retirement. Brown was not only a victim of his own temperament and daft faith in an ever-expanding economy built on nothing; he was savaged in the liberal media, briefed-against by his MPs and attacked by his own cabinet.

Then along came poor Ed, who had the temerity not to be his brother, not so mired in the dark excesses of American counter-insurgency as to be unable to question the Downing Street-White House axis. Awkward Ed, with his funny voice and obviously ethnic looks, his father traduced in the Daily Mail in a manner reeking of anti-semitism, before it was fashionable to call-out anti-semitism. Not even Ed felt able to flag it up. He was probably too busy dealing with the disloyalty all around him, and trying to come up with Blair-style re‑brands for the party, as though that would solve its complete breach of trust with its natural supporters, whom Blair nakedly despised.

So who have they got then, the ‘moderates’, if such a word can be used for people who would countenance nuclear annihilation? No one. Absolutely no one.


In and against, and outside, the party

Following major defeats, the left on both sides of the Atlantic must urgently get stuck into community organising, movement building and political education, argues Joe Guinan

The downfall of Robin Hood Energy

The sale of Robin Hood Energy doesn’t mean public ownership doesn’t work, but that we need to be more ambitious, argues Edward Dingwall

Keir Hardie Trafalgar Square

What’s wrong with the Labour Party?

The role Labour plays in maintaining the capitalist state makes it a crucial site for socialists to organise within, argues Luke Evans


starmer and corbyn

The Labour left and ‘the long march through the institutions’

Sabrina Huck kicks off the debate on Labour and the left with a re-reading of Dutschke, with an introduction by Hilary Wainwright

Momentum

Forward Momentum: democracy isn’t a distraction

Democracy isn’t a distraction, says Deborah Hermanns - it’s the only way to transform Momentum and the Labour Party and effectively build power in our communities.

Transgender Pride Flag

This government is failing trans people: Labour must take a stronger stand

Aisling Gallagher explains why Liz Truss’ recent rhetoric on proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act signals a worrying shift.

Only fearless, independent journalism
can hold power to account

Your support keeps Red Pepper alive