As the dirge-like proceedings of the Labour leadership contest trundle on into high summer, the quiet chattering of the far left has started to grow into a cacophonous chant. With the socialist tag team of Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott running for party leader and Mayor of London respectively, the more extreme members of the Labour party have had their partisan fires stoked on a daily basis by a constant stream of vacuous soundbites. For a typical example of this, see this morning's 'open letter of solidarity' to Greece (signed by both Abbott and Corbyn) in which they offer their camaraderie and suggest that the Greek debt should just be cancelled - another example of head-in-the-sand socialists not understanding how the real world works.
The problem that Labour have is that the glaring leadership and policy vacuum at the top of the party has led to a groundswell of disgruntled and disaffected members wanting to see an extreme push to the left. In years gone by, first with the Blair governments and then the mid-left opposition of Miliband, the loony lefties were content to drone on about the 'good old days' when Labour stuck to its far left roots. They could do so in the knowledge that party policy would never swing anywhere near as far left as they suggested, so they were safe to extoll the virtues of socialism without any fear of being proved wrong.
It has been decades since Labour was truly a far left party, and those policies and ideals have been, like Schrödinger's cat, locked away in a box, philosophically both alive and dead. If the likes of Corbyn and Abbott are able to seize control of the party, the acolytes of the far left will gleefully tear open that box, only to discover a collection of political dust and bones. The world has moved on: socialist cornerstones such as punitive taxation and kowtowing to the trade unions are generally repugnant to a modern electorate, and one only need glance in the direction of Greece to see the fiscal ramifications of such a government. If the loony left really want to keep socialism alive, they should leave that box on the shelf gathering dust - that way no-one can prove that it's dead and buried.