Labour won Stoke. Jamie Reed lost Copeland
Paul Mason

“On the left in Britain we need to find a way for the left and centre left to co-exist within the same Labour team”

This seems so obvious and so simple, but it is the block over which Labour has stumbled repeatedly for at least 50 years. It is not simply a question of compromise policies but a gaping chasm between the socialists who see no alternative but a complete shift in “the system” away from the neoliberal consensus and the centre-left who just want to tweak it and make it a bit more caring. These are chalk and cheese and trying to combine them is a waste of time and effort and a gift to the Tories who will have a free run while the internal struggle continues. The only way it could conceivably work would be for the left to once more take a back seat and allow the money and the media support back in to create a New New Labour, but they are not going to let them happen again.

The only real way forward is a split that allows each camp to campaign honestly on its own terms and then make honest, open compromises in a coalition, as happens in other countries. That is admittedly very difficult without proportional representation, but still essential to rebuild left wing politics in this country.

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