Such are the bizarre goings-on in the Parliamentary Labour Party — and also the six hours of bitter arguments of the LP National Executive Committee yesterday — that Angela Eagle is being suspected, at least by Evan Davis of BBC Newsnight, of being a stalking horse.
In challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the LP — and in easily getting 51 proposers — the hitherto back-stage Angela Eagle will, in fact, achieve what the powerful clique at the top of the Parliamentary LP are now reconciled to — a new party — as mentioned in my posting of two days ago (“Getting rid of the lesser problem”).
This is similar to what happened in the early 1980s when there was a breakaway of the Gang of Four — senior members of the LP — and the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Unfortunately no other MPs joined them and the SDP floundered a year later.
This time, however, when Corbyn wins against Eagle — as he’s likely to — the clique’s breakaway party (Democratic Party?) will be joined by at least 175 Labour MPs who’ve already registered their lack of confidence in Corbyn, leaving a rump of MPs remaining in the Labour Party.
The new party will have at least two or three years, and possibly five, in which to establish constituency parties, obtain funding from non-trade union sources and face the country at the next general election as rhe true successors to the successful government of ‘New’ Labour under Tony Blair in 1997.