However, unless there are deselections of 'Bitterite', anti-socialist Labour MPs, the whole thing is likely to end in tears, were Labour to win a national poll. It would be far better for any general election to come after deselections take place and not before. In fact, an election this winter would be more likely to destroy the Corbyn project, rather than see it come to fruition.
Let's suppose that Theresa May can't get her Brexit deal through Parliament and she then loses a vote of no-confidence. There is a Tory leadership contest and May resigns. The new leader, be they Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt or Boris Johnson or anyone else, calls an election to validate his/her position. Let's suppose then that Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, overcomes an intense media onslaught and wins the General Election, with a majority of around 20.
What do you think would happen next?
I predict that there would be a run on the pound and significant capital flight. This "crisis" would lead to a vote of no-confidence in the new government put forward quite swiftly by the Tories, which would receive the support of many of the Blairite and Brownite Labour MPs returned to Westminster on a Corbynite manifesto. Corbyn would be urged to step down straight away "in the national interest". The ‘crisis‘ would end in either Corbyn‘s replacement by a Labour figure more acceptable to the so-called ‘moderates', such as his current Deputy Tom Watson, who could step in as a "caretaker", or the formation of a 1931-style National Government, containing ‘moderate' Tories and "moderate" Labour and perhaps some Lib Dems too. Jeremy Corbyn would go down in history as the answer to the quiz question: 'Who was shortest-serving UK Prime Minister‘?
"A very British coup" would have been played out before our very eyes.
To avoid that scenario taking place, Corbyn supporters need to speed up deselections of MPs who have been hostile to the Corbyn project from day one. Many of these are neo-liberals who don't want to see the railways and utilities renationalised. Many are 'Friends of Israel', who don't want to see the country led by a man who has campaigned for many years for Palestinian rights and who has opposed UK involvement in Middle East wars against Israel's regional foes. Many of the Corbyn opponents are defenders of Saudi Arabia- and in particular the Saudi intervention in Yemen.
So for a number of reasons a not insignificant number of newly re-elected Labour MPs would be most unlikely to back a Corbyn-led government. Socialists in the Labour party would see their hopes of renationalising the railways and a change in foreign policy dashed right at the very moment when they were toasting what they believed was a great victory.
Just imagine the disappointment. And the anger.
I am fairly convinced that if Corbyn is elected PM on a small majority a group of Blairite MPs will cross the floor and sit with the Tories to prevent a Left Labour government. Not dealing with them now only delays the pain later.— Paul O'Keeffe (@Back2Bataan) November 19, 2018
There is, as Brutus says in Julius Caesar' a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all of the voyages of their life is bound in shallows and miseries'. If the Corbyn project comes to naught, then perhaps we could look back to what happened after the June 2017 General Election as a turning point.
After almost pulling off a sensational victory, and defying the ‘wipe-out' predictions of Inside the Tent 'centrist' commentators, the Labour leader was in an incredibly strong position. This was his flood tide. He should have moved against his enemies then, swiftly and decisively. He could have made a powerful speech attacking the Bitterites, saying that if they had supported his leadership and not sought to undermine it, the Tories would have been removed from power. He could have declared 'enough is enough!' and gone on the front foot.
But instead, he reached out to his opponents (who were now pleading for ‘unity'!) and gave them yet another chance. Many Corbyn supporters too thought that it wasn't the time to rock the boat as a new general election might be called at any time. But Theresa May wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. Labour had time to get its house in order.
Is it too late now?
It all depends on what happens in the Tory party and whether May can keep most of her MPs and the D.U.P. on board. Paradoxically Corbyn's best hope is that the Conservatives do manage to sort out their Brexit differences 'in-house' and an early general election is avoided. It would also be better if the next election came after Brexit had taken place.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Labour will win the next election, whether it comes as early as February 2019, or as late as June 2022. But winning it will only be half the battle. There will probably be people advising Corbyn that deselections right now are a bad idea as the media will portray them as ‘Stalinist-style purges' of ‘moderates'. There will be warnings that deselections would lead to Blairites setting up their own ‘centre party'. But Corbyn needs to call their bluff. He needs to understand that his most dangerous enemies are not on the opposition benches but on his own side.
Above all, he needs to remember the words of Joseph Conrad. "Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through… Face it".
The views and opinions expressed by the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
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