Given that I resigned from the Labour Party as soon as Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader means that I could hardly be critical of the seven MPs who today resigned from it. As the one time people’s party becomes the preserve and plaything of Corbyn and his posh boy Jew haters and hard Brexiters, I am only surprised it took them so long and that more MPs have not followed.
The first question I would have to answer if I was a Labour activist, ‘knocking on doors’ in the wind and rain is this: do I want Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister? Oh, let’s see. A hard Brexiter, an anti-Semite, the friend of the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas, the man who took £20,000 from Iran state TV, a country which literally hangs gay men from cranes, the friend of Putin and friend of the Venezuelan tyranny that presides over an inflation rate of in excess of one million per cent. Is that all? Actually, no. There’s a lot more where that came from. I could not be a Labour activist and campaign for someone like Corbyn because I would have to lie about my feelings for him.
My feeling is that Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and co have done something very brave today. It simply cannot be argued that they have left Labour because of personal ambition. It is the precise opposite. It is far more likely that their political careers are now, to all intents and purposes, over. However, they have left the party on points of principle, whether it is the poison of anti-Semitism, Corbyn’s unprincipled position on Brexit (and just about everything else, if the truth be known) and the general hard left march of Labour. They could have stayed, nodded their heads, marched to Len McCluskey’s tune and kept their nice backbench salaries. Instead, unusually for politicians, they chose principled honesty.
What will come of today’s political fire storm, or storm in a teacup, we do not know. Will it herald in a new political party, somewhere to go for the millions left disenfranchised by the left wing lurch of Labour and the right wing lurch of the Conservative Party? I am rather hoping it will because at the moment there is no one for me to vote for.
Emmanuel Macron showed what can be done with a completely new political party in France so maybe we could soon get one of our own. Britain is crying out for new ideas, a plan of where it should be headed, led by people of compassion and vision to take it there.
The two main parties, Labour and the Tories, are surely destined to fracture over Brexit and as they scramble at full tilt to the fringes of politics, an opportunity like no other exists in the centre ground. Will anyone fill it? Today gave us some hope. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?