With the Wakefield by-election looming, it may be interesting to go back to February 2021 and a piece by Nigel Jones in the Critic.
If the Labour Party didn’t already exist, who would invent it today?
If Keir Hardie were still around, he might ask himself why he bothered to create a political party that has now lost its purpose
The whole piece is worth reading as a reminder of how dire our political options have become. A reminder that not so long ago, the Labour Party elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader.
It took a while before the wider public became aware of just how poisonous Corbyn’s politics were. Once they realised that the man did not possess an iota of the patriotism of a Foot or Benn and was a Britain-hating pal of terrorists and anti-Semites, their verdict was Labour’s most crushing defeat since 1935. To take Corbyn’s place, however, Labour have chosen another dud.
Instead of an Islington-dwelling middle-class politician with no knowledge or empathy with those on the wrong side of the M25, they have chosen – ahem – an Islington-dwelling middle-class politician with no knowledge or empathy with those on the wrong side of the M25. Sir Keir may be a smoothie lawyer who dresses more smartly than his predecessor (admittedly not a high bar), but his political instincts show the same unerring habit of hitting the wrong button, and he has all the charisma and popular appeal of a plank.
Who would invent the Labour Party today? It's an interesting if somewhat depressing question.