The Tories have been given a precious gift they must use it wisely.
12 Sep 2015 at 11:50
At midday New Labour was buried. And like Commissars who had fallen out of favour with the old Soviet Politburo and executed in damp cellars, all people and all things Blair have been airbrushed out of history. The excruciating embarrassment of winning three elections is just a distant and unpleasant memory. By the time the history books have been revised it would never have happened. Labour history begins today; a good day to bury bad views. This was a crushing victory for Corbyn and quite unchallengeable. But this was a blistering humiliation for Burnham who looked as sick as a dog. 19% of the vote is a catastrophe from which he will never recover.
Yet probably the most remarkable result for Corbyn was the reaction to his speech. For the first time in living memory there was an outpouring of genuine affection towards a Labour leader. They tolerated Blair because he was a winner. But he was never loved. Corbyn’s attraction is simple. He believes in what he says. And he is not programmed by focus groups. He articulated the beating heart of Labour well. Decency compassion and fairness. But these are just words.
The press will murder him of course. He will be portrayed as a friend of the men of terror which he is. He will portrayed as an enemy of business which he is. He will be portrayed as a security risk which he is. But don’t underestimate him; do so at your peril. His simplistic ideas may gain traction.
His election is a mixed blessing for the Tories. 2020 is not a certainty. But it is more probable than not. But the real gift to Cameron is that he too can articulate decency and compassion. Better than any other leader or potential leader. And he can deliver it through economic growth not a command economy. And Europe? If Corbyn is an outer it will make Tory splits look like a Teddy Bear’s picnic. Can you imagine Bill Cash and Nigel Farage on the same platform as Corbyn? Delicious.
Of course there is ersatz unity in the Party but once the spoils of victory have been distributed comes the rape and pillage. The left are a vicious bunch with long memories. They expect Corbyn to deliver. And if he compromises as he must? It will be bloody. Labour conferences will now become a blood bath.
The Tories have been given a gift. They must use it wisely.