All my experience in the Labour Party led me to one conclusion-what we needed most was a mass party,ideally of young idealistic people who wanted to change the world.You know like the young peop0le who came back after WW2 and wanted to end the squalor and ugliness of the preceding Tory decades-a world to win!
Over the last few weeks the Labour Party has tripled in size and can be almost called a mass party once again.
However it would appear that its the wrong mass!
A bit like the wrong leaves on the eail or the wrong weapons of mass destruction !
Not long ago we were told that Labour needed to attract people who had voted for other parties, Lib-Dems,Scot-nats,Green party, even Tories and UKIP supporters.We needed to build another big tent.
But now it seems what the Labour Party hierarchy meant was a not really so big a tent and one that could be trusted to vote like docile sheep for the next available mediocrity that sounded like the last available mediocrity and going back through a long line of mediocrities
Why does the Kinnock conference speech about generations of pig ignorant Kinnock's spring to mind?
now it is true that some mischievous Tories with a few bob to spare may have invested three quid (I bet they weren't members of Unite!) and its possible that the 'hard left' have infiltrated the party ranks.
But lets get this in some sort of perspective.
it is possible that a bunch of Tories have signed up-maybe the same Tory donors who have bunged Yvette Coopers' campaign £75K( or don't we talk about that!)
And maybe the 'far left' have mobilised all their supporters to join- well that's probably a few hundred at bes.Anyone who knows the nature of the left groups in this country knows two things, that there are not too many of them and the possibility of getting them to agree to any coherent joint strategy makes herding cats simle!
So what we really have is a large number of people who really desire change,who have seen mass movements emerge in Greece,Spain and Italy and especially Scotland and want to be part of that movement.
Can anyone in the Labour Party seriously suggest that the SNP knocked out 40 Labour MP's on a right wing programme?
What happened in Scotland was not about the charisma of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond , it was a recognition that austerity was destroying the fabric of their country and the Labour Party stood for absolutely nothing.
Who on earth would vote for Murphy and Alexander and the other numpties who were offering merely a shade less austerity than Cameron and Osborne.
Now of course all we have his the hysteria of the British press and the wheeling out of what are euphemistically called 'Labour grandees' on a daily basis to rubbish Jeremy Corbyn and his thousands of new young supporters.
I thought it was scraping the barrel with Blair,Mandelson,Danzuck, Blunkett and the rest, but the ramblings of Baroness Boothroyd probably reached a new low.Who can they pull out next ?
Expect to hear any day from Herbert Morrison or Ernie Bevin-or possibly the wise words of J Ramsay McDonald-that doyen of all things traditional Labour Party.
The machinations and gerrymandering of party officials will get worse and more sinister in the next three weeks,expect more people to be barred after they have cast their vote-and how does that work in a secret ballot?
We are told that they will comb the canvass returns to see how people voted.Having canvassed for almost 40 years I can assure anyone that canvass returns are as close to fiction as any novel by jeffery Archer (actually they're better than any fiction by Jeffery Archer) and anyway-I thought the whole point of the electorally concerned Labour Party was to win people back to the party, especially if in the past they voted elsewhere.
Seems an odd way to encourage them to support the Labour Party:
"Oh you voted Green in nineteen oatcake-your barred!"
I hope that Jeremy Corbyn wins and the Labour Party moves into a new trajectory, my great fear is that the forces of reaction, those fat cats who want to be in a meaningless shadow cabinet (you know the ones that Tim Farron is encouraging to join him and his 7 dwarves to become the 'real' opposition)
I(f they win then all the enthusiasm of the past few weeks will be lost, those new members will vanish like the summer snow,who wants a four year war of attrition in constituency after constituency.
I've been there and it is soul destroying.
In my lifetime the best thing that ever happened in the Labour Party when the SDP decamped .It is possible that the left will be in a much stronger position than it was in 1981,but Corbyn will have two major handicaps-the PLP and the Party organisatio0n.