To Corbyn: “For heaven’s sake man, go!”
Labour is at a point of no return. The choice that its membership makes come September will hold great consequences, not only for the future of Britain, but for a once proud, and gallant, party.
And the choice between incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith could not be clearer.
Under Mr Corbyn, he has deeply divided the party. His leadership campaign was never meant to be taken seriously — MP’s supported Mr Corbyn unto the draft so that there would be a ‘progressive’ voice against a field of ‘Blairite’ candidates, only for MP’s to watch in horror when Mr Corbyn was elected in a landslide.
He has failed to unite the party and the movement, many concerned the direction in which he is taking it. His lacklustre support for the Remain campaign, lacklustre performances in Prime Minister Questions and failing to bridge that gap between a fringe MP to Leader of the Opposition saw him alienate and worry many.
It came to such a point that 172 MP’s of his own party expressed a motion of no-confidence in him, with only 40 MP’s supporting his leadership.
There was mass sackings and resignations from the Shadow Frontbench as MP’s determined to once make it work, declare that his position is no longer tenable.
The leader of any parliamentary party should be first accountable to his own elected MP’s. If a clear majority of MP’s declare that they cannot, and have no confidence in, any leader — that leader must resign, even if he won 60% of support from the party membership.
And it is clear that if a clear cannot command the support of his own MP’s, he will spend more time looking behind his back, rather than holding the government of the day to account.
Especially during such a critical time as this, with Brexit, a Conservative majority government and a number of pressing challenges to address, a strong, united Opposition is needed more than ever to scrutinise what the government is doing and holding it to account on its errors.
I support the Conservative Party and I will admit that I did watch with glee as the Labour Party unravelled. But the time has come when we need to put national interest above self-interest.
If Labour spends more time trying to undermine its leader, it will spend less time holding the Conservatives to account. And that is a bad thing — it allows an almost free-pass for the government to do whatever it pleases, knowing that the Opposition cannot
And as much as I want the Conservatives to win in 2020, I don’t want them to win because of a divided, disunited Opposition. Elections should be a battle of ideas, not because Labour can’t get its crap together.
And that is why it needs Owen Smith as leader. Mr Smith can heal the rifts and divisions within the party. On policy, there are no dramatic changes. Some have said that there are great overlaps in what Mr Smith and Mr Corbyn stand for. And while Labour still faces an uphill battle to win in 2020, it won’t be on the back because the people greatly dislike Mr Corbyn and have been turned off by what he says.
If Mr Corbyn is re-elected, it is inevitable that Labour will head towards a nasty split and render itself into political wilderness for decades. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is bad for a nation which demands an Opposition to keep the government to account.
When Mr Corbyn entered office in 2015, Conservatives were asking how big their majority would be in 2020. But today, Mr Corbyn has proven himself so inept, so poor in his job and divided Labour by so much, many are coming round that Britain’s interests are best served for Mr Corbyn to go and Mr Smith elected.
And so in the words of former Prime Minister, David Cameron:
“It might be in my party’s interest for him to sit there, it’s not in the national interest and I would say, for heaven’s sake man, go!”