The dominant political, financial and media establishment seems close to resolving the outstanding Labour leadership problem to its satisfaction. There will be no serious challenge from Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper, or, of course, Liz Kendal. Nor would there have been from Mary Creagh who pulled out of the leadership race, blaming Miliband’s lack of business friendliness as the reason Labour lost the election. The only difficulty might lie with Jeremy Corbyn, should he achieve the necessary nominations to stand for the leadership.
Corbyn could be dangerous to the established Tory/ New Labour Westminster consensus simply because he does not go along with it. His candidacy would challenge that Osborne-Cameron clique in a way the other candidates would fear to tread.
He would provide a real alternative to Osborne’s economically illiterate, politically opportunistic focus on austerity. He would confront Osborne’s calamitous focus on privatising public utilities such as the NHS, and his long term ruinous fire-sale of public assets such as Royal Mail, and the pointless New Labour / Tory commitment to replacing Trident. Even Michael Clarke, boss of the Royal United Services Institute who advises government on such things and understands the nuclear stuff, has been in favour of nuclear disarmament since the mid-1970s. Trident is simply a pretentious act of political self-importance without military or defence value.
A straw poll of LabourList readers found Corbyn was the first choice of 47 per cent of readers, more than 3½ times closest rival Andy Burnham, and almost 1½ times all the other candidate put together. He could be dangerous to the establishment. Hence the continuing strenuous efforts by the media to persuade Labour voters they lost the election because they were too left wing under Miliband. That propaganda will almost certainly be maintained, lest mature reflections on the electoral success of the SNP start to occupy more media space.
For the time being, the Westminster consensus, political, financial and media, still rules the day. So Mr Corbyn’s chances don’t look great. But Labour is the only current possibility of challenging the Osborne-Cameron clique.
That is for the time being. The Green Party is building its resources and support throughout UK, and its imperatives are becoming ever more pressing. A Corbyn-led Labour-SNP- Green coalition may seem like a dream, but the broad policy focus of such an arrangement is surely, in the medium to long term, unavoidable.