The Guardian has not been slow in coming forward with anti-Corbyn Hatchet jobs and its house journalists have queued up to be the next one to put the boot in. Even so fair comment has got through from time to time and a very good example is the article today by Gary Young.
Gary Young says:
For the past two years, the incantation among mainstream pundits and the majority of the parliamentary Labour party has been that under Jeremy Corbyn Labour offers no opposition to the Tories, and he will eventually destroy the party. Increasingly, though, it seems he could be the party’s best hope for survival and renewal, precisely because he has articulated what opposition to austerity might look like.
If this sounds fanciful, one should look elsewhere on the continent for a sense of what Labour’s future might have looked like, had it continued on its former path.
In 2009 the Greek Socialist party, Pasok, entered government with 44% of the vote; by 2015 it was down to seventh, with just 5%. The party’s demise coincided with, and was arguably precipitated by, the rise of the more leftwing Syriza, which went from 5% and fifth place to 36% and government within the same period.
This dual trajectory gave rise to the term Pasokification: the dramatic decline of a centre-left party that is eclipsed by a more leftwing alternative. A word was needed for it because there’s a lot of it about.
Earlier this month the French Socialist party came fifth in the first round of the presidential election with just 6% of the vote, while the hard left won 20%; back in 2012 the Socialists came first with 28% and went on to win the presidency. In Holland the PvdA, the mainstream social democratic party, won 6% in March and came 7th while the GreenLeft coalition won 9%; back in 2012 the PvdA came second, with 25%.
Less pronounced versions of the same dynamic have occurred across the continent. When parties created to represent the interests of working people in parliament decide instead to make working people pay for the crisis in capital they get punished, and ultimately may be discarded.
Anyone who believes that Labour is immune from this contagion just needs to take a look at Scotland, where the party went from 41 seats in 2010 to just one in 2015, before Corbyn was elected leader.
The polls are turning in Labour’s favour. If you have any time at all please help with the local campaign to return Ruth Cadbury. You can help with leafleting, the phone bank, office work an canvassing. Brentford & Chiswick is a marginal seat. Ruth won it against the trend. With your help she can do it again. Without it she may not. If you are not already helping then please make up your mind to do so.