Continuing my somewhat rambling peregrination through the backwoods of the current Labour party - and why wouldn't it be rambling given the twists and turns in "events, dear boy, events" - I suppose that now, or at least, very soon, the epoch-making decision will have to be taken by the majority of Labour MPs. Of course, there is a minority who are totally in favour of 'Jezza' and his 'Trot-lot' but the vast majority are not. Strange to say, from a man who by and large despises politicians, I do feel some sympathy for them. I, as a Right-winger, know all too well what it is like to see the Party on whom you have pinned your hopes and desires, turn traitor - and yes, Dave 'n' George, that means you! So, for political activists who have been imbued with love for the not dishonourable history of the Labour party and who have pledged their futures to advancing social democrat ideals, this is now a hideous moment of choice.
What are their choices? There are three, I think. First, they can surrender to the 'Corbynistas' which will keep the 'Momentum' thugs off their constituency patches and avoid the unpleasantness of being subjected to a deselection process. Alas, however, that will invite the ultimate deselection of all when the voters in their constituencies kick then out in the next election. Second, they can just strive to keep a very, very low profile whilst simultaneously attempting to be all things to all men. Well, dammit, they're politicians so they should be good at it! Thirdly, they rebel!
This last option of rebellion can take various forms. They can just vote according to their moderate consciences, taking plenty of time to explain everything to their local Labour party in their constituencies in the hope of keeping them sweet should 'Momentum' turn up banging their drums. Or they could go the whole hog and find someone, anyone, in the Labour party with sufficient stature to lead a break away. The first difficulty lies in my definition of someone with "sufficient stature"! I look at the current leadership of the party and despair at such a collection of deadbeats and gutless no-hopers - and yes, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper, I mean you! There is no existing party of the moderate Left to offer a life boat for them to jump into. The Lib-Dems are an utterly busted flush. The Greens are almost battier than the 'Corbynistas'. Of course, there is always UKIP - and Thursday's by-election should provide a litmus test as to their virility in today's situation - but there are elements of UKIP policy which are anathema to most left-wing activists.
Perhaps the only solution, even if it is monumentally risky, is to try and form a new party, a new 'Scandie-style' social democrat party. The first requirement will be to find some rich men prepared to back the idea and that might not be too difficult. After that it will be necessary to lure away as many existing Labour supporters as possible at constituency levels. The new 'Social Democracy Party' will have five years to build and recruit the required organisation capable of running a nationwide campaign at the next election. One factor that will give them hope is that over that same five years the 'Corbynistas' will crash dive!
So then, Maj. Dan Jarvis MP and ex-Para, "red on, stand in the door; green on - GO!"