I agree with John McTernan: those Labour MPs who voted Jeremy Corbyn onto the ballot despite feelings of insurmountable ideological dissonance are morons.
I agree with the majority of the (sane) British public: a Corbyn-led Labour party would be essentially unelectable, gift-wrapping 2020 for the Tories with a nice red bow on top.
I also agree, though, with Dan Hannan, amongst others: a Corbyn victory would ultimately prove to be lousy for the Conservatives.
Finished chortling at the chaotic image of a shambolic, socialist Labour opposition torn apart at the seams by internal rifts? Then hear me out.
To govern effectively, a party needs a certain clarity and focus. It’s best served by a strong opposition, with decent ideas of its own and the effective leaders required to deliver them. The presence of true competition heightens the effort and sharpens the policies, and generally raises the incumbent government’s game. With a Kendall-helmed Labour across the aisle, that’s precisely what the Tories would get: a party who would give them a good battle, but ultimately reside just across the centre from them, focusing the fight on political matters. With a far Left opposition, the opposite would be on the cards. Loopy policy ideas and wide-eyed ranting figureheads would allow the Conservatives to coast, which would be detrimental to both the party and the public. They would find themselves bogged down in constant arguments, not over policy or practise, but over the tiresome ‘Evil Posh Tories’ myth perpetuated by the far Left. The disdain for anyone who has the temerity to disagree with their bonkers socialist views is as vitriolic as it is unwarranted.
Conservatives need to admit to themselves that a Corbyn-led, far Left Labour opposition would be ultimately disadvantageous to the Party. Yes, we’ve all had fun with the ‘Tories For Corbyn' movement, and yes, for Labour to move that far to the left would be irreparably damaging to their ambitions for 2020, but that’s not the point. Disfunction and political extremism make for great comedic bedfellows, but reality requires something a little less farcical.
Let’s be serious. Labour don’t need to shoot themselves in both feet for the Tories to feel good about 2020. The economic recovery and reduction in inequality (amongst other victories) should be enough to fill the government with confidence, but they risk losing that side of the narrative if they allow themselves to be dragged into a fabricated class war. What the Conservatives need is a strong opposition who will challenge them on the minutiae of their policies, not a negative, sour bunch who will spend five years playing the ‘Evil Posh Tories’ card. Negativity and petty squabbling in Parliament does the whole nation a disservice, and for the Conservatives to truly reach the pinnacle of their own political ambitions they require a reasonable, positive, Centrist opposition to bring out the best in them. They need a battle to understand the people of Britain, to win them over, and to service their needs - not a five year edition of ‘Us vs Them.’
#ToriesForCorbyn? No. #ToriesForKendall.