Moderates

Uncertain times

All of the party’s interventions in the next 12 months should be measured by three tests, writes Progress director, Richard Angell

First published on the Fabian blog

Never has an opposition proved itself so unfit to meet the 12 months ahead of it. Just 12 days into 2017 and two policies have been proposed, critiqued and reversed by the Labour leader himself. In fact, both happened in the same 12 hours.

Whether you see Jeremy Corbyn’s new year relaunch as ‘let Bartlet be Bartlet’ or Trump-lite, it has been laid bare. More importantly it has been found wanting. We had five years with Ed Miliband as ‘his own outrider’. It resulted in him being out on his ear. This cannot last. I predict 2017 will see at least one, if not more, further Corbyn relaunches as the leadership struggles to do enough to show the party it can at least go through the motions.

To end 2017 stronger than it has started might not seem hard but it will require focus. All interventions should meet one of three tests: first, whether it makes the Tories feel the heat; second, whether it changes Labour in the eyes of the voters; or, third and even better, whether it gains Labour new levels of support. (more…)

The week the mods got organised

First published on Progressonline

They said it couldn’t be done, that moderate Labour supporters could never be persuaded to pay £25 for a vote in the leadership election. But this week, from a standing start, Saving Labour – and all those who fell in behind – galvanised the moderate wing of the Labour party and recruited a historic number of Labour voters to the party fold. 183,000 people used the party’s fledgling Registered Supporters scheme to get a vote in the forthcoming leadership election. Reports suggest that between 34 and 40 per cent are those wanting a credible opposition. More than anyone could have hoped for if the number got into six figures. And that was well before reports of 40,000 duplications – much more likely to be Jeremy Corbyn voters – were deducted from that number. (more…)

Labour’s moderates need a single unity candidate by 5pm tonight

Angell1

First published on Times Redbox

Politics is often guilty of ramping up the rhetoric beyond reality. But not this time. The existential crisis, for that’s what it is, that now grips Labour can only be solved by the parliamentary party showing a level of unity and purpose that is proportionate to the scale of the challenge.

Let’s take a step back and see how we’ve got here. Jeremy Corbyn had never enjoyed the genuine support of more than a couple of dozen of his fellow members of parliament.

The rest who ensured he was on the ballot paper last summer have already expressed buyer’s remorse, if not all as bluntly as Margaret Beckett. (more…)