The myth of the Labour right’s concern with ‘electability’

The LP leaked report shows conclusively that in 2017 it was the Labour right who purposefully enabled the Tories.

Despite the constant attempts by the PLP and the party machine in collaboration with the likes of the Daily Mail, to dislodge Corbyn and smearing the party as being institutionally antisemitic to do so, he very nearly got an overall majority!

Is it possible that with the full support, or even frankly simply the silence, of the PLP and Party bureaucracy he might have got that overall majority!?

So what changed between 2017 and the disastrous 2019 election result? Well, principally what changed was the parties position on Brexit! And to ignore Brexit in the 2019 result is wilful ignorance. The LP lost the 60 seats in the Labour Heartlands almost entirely because the LP became perceived as a Remain party.

Yet the Labour right continue to ignore these electoral realities and claim that it is only ever ‘electability’ that they are concerned with and that they opposed Corbyn because he was unelectable! This is clearly nonsense and the 2017 election results clearly demonstrate that Corbyn was electable.

But Blair himself gave the game away when he said openly that he did not and would not support a left Labour government led by Corbyn, and this attitude is true of the Labour right in general. The Labour right would rather see the LP defeated than see a left social democratic Labour Party in power.

And this has been the case forever. In 1935 Labour, under what was then regarded internally as the caretaker leadership of Clement Attlee following the resignation of George Lansbury, made large gains over their very poor showing at the 1931 general election, and saw their highest share of the vote (until 1945). They made a net gain of over a hundred seats, thus reversing much of the ground lost in 1931. And the ground that was lost in 1931 was largely due to Ramsey MacDonald, elected to power as the leader of the LP, formed a right-wing, breakaway ‘National Labour Party’ (The SDP of the 30’s) and literally formed a Tory government!

History confirms the reality that the right of the LP are quite happy to see the LP defeated rather than see even a left social democratic LP in power, let alone a socialist LP.

About Chris Jury

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders.
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1 Response to The myth of the Labour right’s concern with ‘electability’

  1. Yup, and I know many people that I consider to be comrades who argued tooth and nail for a remainer position. In fact they still do whilst at the same time bemoaning the political assassination of Jeremy Corbyn following the debacle of December 12th 2019. Canvassing the council estates of Ceredigion was a nightmare as it was clear that the majority of people wanted out of the EU. Changing the position from the 2017 election stance on Brexit was an absolutely crazy blunder. The argument for a Socialist Brexit was never adequately put to the people and yet Jeremy Corbyn still managed to come within a few thousand votes of victory against Theresa May. As Chair of Ceredigion Labour Party I resigned from the Labour Party in June as it became ever more clear to me that the Labour Party is now a busted flush under the new new management of Keir Rodney Starmer. There is no such thing as a broad church, and that becomes more apparent as each day passes.

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