Spin doctors urgently needed to manage an inspiringly authentic car crash

Yes, it’s another Corbyn post. Sorry about that.

But there’s the thing. Politics is absolutely fascinating at the moment. If Burnham or Cooper had won the Labour leadership, we would have had the same old Blair-like triangulating platitudes. Instead, we have inspiring authenticity from Jeremy Corbyn.

There appears to be a highly interesting Marmite-like dichotomy developing. On the one hand, people who previously had no formal connection to politics are joining the Labour party in droves. Jeremy Corbyn has attracted the young and old to his speeches. People love him. He can turn up to commemoration services with his top button undone, keep tight-lipped for the national anthem and keep equally tight-lipped during a long march of 2’43”. All this just makes people love him more. It means he is authentic. (By the way – re: the non-singing of the national anthem. The right-wing media criticised Neil Kinnock (an atheist) for singing hymns too enthusiastically. And of course, Michael Foot was crucified for wearing a smart green duffle coat/”donkey jacket” at the armistice parade. So you can’t win on this stuff if you are a half-decent Labour leader.) On the other hand, the right-wing press are building up/taking down Corbyn as an ogre.

Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s firm and long union background, the unions do not appear to be happy. They are rumoured to be preparing to withdraw significant funding from Labour as the new anti-union bill goes through parliament. As a result, Jeremy Corbyn has, it seems, been starved of top quality spin doctors. (Perhaps, also, Jeremy Corbyn has not been following advice.) Again, this has led to more welcome “authenticity”. We know all about Tony Blair and spin doctors. Look where that ended. A very inauthentic and long period of Labour government. Tsh!

So, you can get too much authenticity. All the top-button-undone, long march of silence, white poppy/red poppy/no poppy stuff may get more supporters for the Labour party. But unfortunately it all distracts from the central story of all the inequities which the Tories are smuggling through under cover of all this nonsense.

So top buttons need to be done up when ties are worn, otherwise it’s just going to keep the anti-Corbyn (“Wurzel Gummidge”) narrative going like halon gas in a computer room, suffocating all other life in the media circus. Ultimately, Labour won’t get elected without some decent media management. However, I sense that the justified adulation of the “love” half of his Marmite dichotomy will convince Jeremy Corbyn even more that he should just ignore the mainstream media and walk on in silence, on his long march. He does so at Labour’s peril, but more importantly he does so to the disadvantage of the UK. We need a strong official opposition.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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45 Comments

  • Nick Collins 16th Sep '15 - 3:06pm

    Is it about branding? We’ve had Labour, followed by “New Labour”; what have we now, “Post-Modernist Labour”?

  • Dave Orbison 16th Sep '15 - 3:37pm

    Paul I confess to being confused by your post. I’m not sue if you are praising Corbyn’s authenticity and welcome it or whether you suggest he is naive and what we need in politics is more spin and so Corbyn will fail and it’s all his fault that we have no decent Opposition. In any event I’d like to make a few points. Over the last couple of days Corbyn has attended a Refuge Rally, addressed a TUC Conference where he received a rapturous welcome (did you miss that), sat in debates in the Commons where he voted against a dreadful Trade Union Bill and the savage impact the the cuts in Tax Credits will have. He has in one attempt taken the Yah-Bo out of PMQ’s.

    By contrast LDV contributions have pretty much failed to address any of these issues as noted by Caron in the previous post. Even when a post is made on Refugees the contributions are insignificant compared to the very many on Corbyn. Yet you suggest the lack of Opposition is down to Corbyn. Really? Are you serious?

    How many LibDem’s voted on the Trade Union Bill and dare I ask which way? An issue packed with serious civil liberty issues that at least the Tory David Davies was moved to speak against. Where were the LibDEms on the cuts to the Tax Credits where independent studies have shown family incomes will be hit hard net of any benefit from the Living Wage. It is ironic that your piece comes after Caron’s where she rightly draws attention to other issues the LibDems could address. So keep patting yourselves on the back. What does Corbyn, elected since 1983 with successive increased majorities who won a landslide leadership election that make’s Tim Farron’s leadership election result look like a Parish Council by-election, know about politics. Sneer at him all you like but to me Corbyn seems to be trying. I’d rather support someone who tried and failed than someone who simply stands by and sneers at their attempts.

  • John Tilley 16th Sep '15 - 3:45pm

    Paul
    Thank you for the link to the article in The Independent which lists 5 reasons what everyone loves Jeremy.

    I especially like number 5 —
    5. Tony Blair is not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.

    It would be difficult for any Liberal Democrat to disagree with that sentiment.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Sep '15 - 3:49pm

    Dave Orbison 16th Sep ’15 – 3:37pm Sorry to nit-pick, but a “refugee” may need a “refuge”.
    He has appointed a peer to his shadow cabinet and been thanked with an immediate threat of resignation.

  • Dave Orbison
    This spectical may be a distraction but the real issues remain such as what kind of economy is the Britain of the future going to have? A nationalised one is certainly not the answer.
    The need is to break down the class system not reinforce it and this is where the Liberals can lead the way.
    I like many others was a member of a trade union and the way it conducted its affairs was appalling.While outwardly having a democratic structure the branch was run by a clique as was therest of the union .Trade Unions need to make up their minds,are they political parties or are they going to represent the wishes of their members.There is a place for free trade unions not those used for political ends.

  • I’m claiming credit for inventing the phrase ‘Corblivion’ right now.

  • Dave Orbison 16th Sep '15 - 4:37pm

    @@ Richard thanks for correcting my typo

    @Manfarang – do you support the Trade Union Bill? Do you think there is a need for this legislation with strikes at a record low? Do you think abstentions should be automatically counted as ‘No’ when that does not apply elsewhere in our parliamentary democracy? Do you think it right that there should be a threshold when this does not exist elsewhere including MEP and Police Commissioners? Do you think at the same time of increasing these hurdles to obtain a mandate that the Govt should block unions’ attempts to increase turnout by moving to online voting? Do you think law abiding citizens should be made to give their personal details to the police just because they are involved in a strike? And do you think these people should be made to wear a badge (the Nazi’s used Red Triangles in the 1930’s)?

    Actually Manfarang I take that back rather than ask you I’d like to ask the leadership of the LibDems as I have no idea what their position is. They seem to be silent on the matter. Well except for Vince Cable who denounced these proposals as dangerous, vindictive and wholly unnecessary. A lack of posts on LDV seem to support the view that the LibDems don’t care or could not agree between the eight of them which way to go. Just curious?

  • Dave Orbison 16th Sep '15 - 4:49pm

    @CQ I’ve got another… Coailtionblivion…see what I did there clever isn’t it? Except rather than based on the yet to be, or what may never happen (as he has confounded his critics so far except for the top button, tut tut), mine is based on what actually happened to the LibDems. Anyone left with any humility? By the way I remember when Labour lost in 2010 and so many on here demanded they apologise for this and that. Without the apology they will never get back in power. Maybe. But there seems a remarkable lack of similar opinions re the Coalition. Indeed looking at the Conference Resolutions the GE results appears very much to be the elephant in the room. Well if you cannot bring yourselves to apologise and their is much to apologise over how about showing just a degree of humility. Before rushing to list off all the wonderful successes of the Coalition just focus on the number 8 – as you type. The self congratulatory mocking of Corbyn on LDV is truly staggering and frankly delusional – as in there is no factual evidence whatsoever to suggest the the LibDems are heading for anything other than oblivion.

  • Dave Orbison
    There was ballot rigging in the unions, they didn’t stick to the rules. As I said outwardly they are organisations with democratic structures but in fact become controlled by small groups. I am one of the millions who once belonged to a union. I find nothing at the moment that shows it isn’t the same old same old. I would be happy to see a free trade union movement that is led by those with true democratic values.

  • Sir Norfolk Passmore 16th Sep '15 - 5:25pm

    Dave – the Lib Dems in Parliament voted against the Trade Union Bill recently, and blocked Tory attempts to bring in similar legislation during the lifetime of the Coalition Government. So I am unsure why you apparently “have no idea what their position is”.

    But I take issue with your apparent argument that the only possible views are either (i) that all trades unions are a paragon of democracy and worker participation, which are doing a splendid job and should be left wholly untouched; or (ii) that the Trade Union Bill is excellent and indeed doesn’t go far enough vis use of red triangle badges.

    It’s wholly possible to oppose the Tory reforms on offer, while saying that many trades unions are unrepresentative of their members (and certainly of their industries as many former members have become disillusioned and walked away), that many conduct their affairs shoddily, and that many use members’ funds in a way that lacks transparency to pursue personal and political missions with little to do with the interests or views of the people they are supposed to represent.

    It is entirely legitimate to argue that trades unions have an important job, that their right to do it should be protected by law… and that they are (by and large) doing it badly.

  • Dave Orbison 16th Sep '15 - 5:48pm

    Sir Norfolk – there you go again putting words into my mouth as opposed to Corbyn. I said nothing about unions being a ‘paragon of democracy” Did I say that? No. So returning to what I said… I saw no policy announcement from Tim Farron, no coverage here in the last few days re the Bill, no press releases (assuming you don’t count the comments from Vince Cable as a Party statement). In the debate itself it appeared that no LibDem contributed to the debate – I may be wrong on that. And only 4 of the 8 MP’s voted against it.

    So it seems odd that on here Paul (in another piece mocks Corbyn for being an ineffectual opposition) when, the LibDems whilst in opposition are invisible. I would welcome Tim Farron wading into the debate and supporting the Greens, SNP and Labour’s opposition to the specific measures in the Bill – but it didn’t happen. If LibDems do not stand up and publically campaign against a measure, take part in a debate or can even be bothered to vote, is it any wonder that we are left guessing as to where the party stands. The Coalition has come and gone. It ill serves the LibDems to remind us of their role in it. Yesterday is history – what do the LibDem’s stand for. Based on Manfarang’s contribution and in the absence of others, I could be confused into thinking the LibDem supported the Bill. Still getting half the MP’s to vote is … half hearted?

  • Glenn Andrews 16th Sep '15 - 6:10pm

    Mr Orbison. All Liberal Democrats who voted – and there were 5 not 4 voted against the bill ( and according to the policy announcement)….. that makes the Lib Dem position pretty clear to me.

  • Someone please tell me that all 8 Lib Dems voted AGAINST the Trade Union Bill.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Sep '15 - 6:46pm

    The TUC conference has voted for electoral reform without specifying a system.
    The PCS is a civil service union and therefore not affiliated to the Labour Party.
    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/tuc-backs-pcs-campaign-for-voting-reform
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Serwotka

  • Joe Otten thanks, I’m assuming that three Lib Dems were absent, rather than voting FOR or abstaining . Do you know whether they were in fact paired or not? Does anyone know?

  • Matthew Huntbach 16th Sep '15 - 8:07pm

    Dave Orbison

    So it seems odd that on here Paul (in another piece mocks Corbyn for being an ineffectual opposition) when, the LibDems whilst in opposition are invisible.

    Let us remember why we have a Tory government able to pass these horrible things. It is because Labour supports propping up the Tories by giving them a much higher share of seats than they got as a share of votes. Labour raucously supported the Tories in defending this distortion in the AV referendum.

    Quite obviously, it is hard for the Liberal Democrats to be visible when that distortional representation gave them just 8 MPs.

    Don’t you think it might help build support for what you want if you acknowledge that the Liberal Democrats agree with you, and show some thanks for it, rather than just assuming the opposite and denouncing them? But anyway, that’s what you Labour types are like. You’d rather be an unchallenged monopoly opposition than engage in pluralist politics and actually get things done.

  • Dave Orbison 16th Sep '15 - 9:55pm

    @Matthew. “You Labour types”. I don’t actually think we have met. Prior to 2010 I was a LibDem member and at 2010 with much enthusiasm and hope I voted LibDem. I don’t think shooting the messenger is especially helpful in reversing the fortunes of the party. If you look at my posts over last few days I have consistently called for the LibDems to rise above the premature sneering at Corbyn and focus on the details of any policies he actually comes out with to see if there is common ground. I stand by that. I am disheartened by the apparent lost opportunity to do that based on the rather smug self congratulatory anti Corbyn comments on LDV. By way of illustration I referred to the Trade Union Bill where the LibDem position has received little or no coverage on LDV in recent days let alone in the Press.
    As for the GE 2015 result and people like me moving away from LibDems, you only have yourselves to blame. The patronising stuff about pairing, others rather than you and Joe do know a bit about politics and Parliament, misses the point. where were the LibDems – answer invisible so far as the public were concerned.? Get angry if you want but the demise of the LibDems sits firmly in the lap of those that supported the Coalition and haven’t got the humility to admit it.

  • Since 1994 when Blair was crowned we have been cursed by a politics of  “professionals”, the media, the establishment.

    On Channel 4 News  Paul Mason  commented in passing that now for the first time in 90 years The Labour Party is no longer being  run by The Establishment.   It was almost a throw away comment but none the less true.

    Quarter of a million people voted for Corbyn to be leader of the Labour Party because they want change.    They do not want someone who dons the Blair Smile (as genuine and welcome as an unwanted phone call about PPI).     Many, not all, will be delighted that Corbyn does not give a toss about the ridiculous Dress Code that some in the media say is obligatory.   It is not obligatory, it is just tory.

    I was delighted to hear that Corbyn had turned down an interview by Andrew Marr because he had something more important to do instead.   My reaction – “Thank goodness — at last there is someone who will not bow to the self important Panjandrums of the BBC.”.  

    Who other than political nerds cares tuppence  about those long and tedious political interviews with Andrew Marr?   Real people switch off or switch over to catch ‘Goals on Sunday’ with Chris Kamara.    “Unbelievable” ?      Jeff Stelling says – you should not underestimate the appeal of Chris Kamara.   We should not underestimate the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn.

    If you think a gang of spin doctors is what’s needed, can I respectfully suggest that  you are missing the point?

  • I just thought ” it’s 3am, corbyn is obviously exhausted and he is being persued by a gang of cameramen and reporters”. I wondered why they were hounding him. Isn’t that what most “normal ” people would think?

  • George Kendall 16th Sep '15 - 10:31pm

    @Paul Walter
    Thanks for that post. It echoes something I feel very strongly.

    We shouldn’t welcome what is happening. There are many ways it could play out, but one that seems quite possible to me is that the Labour party split in two.

    If that happened, worst case scenario is the Tories would see off UKIP (which isn’t impossible), and have the support of the rightwing and centre-right vote, perhaps with some centrist voters too.

    And they might be faced by as many as four parties: us, the Greens, Corbyn-Labour, and moderate Labour. It’d be a nightmare situation, which might take 20 years to sort out.

    Eventually, presumably, someone would be able to unite a coalition of left, centre-left, and centre, but until then, under first-past-the-post, the Tories might rule unchallenged.

    Think what the country would look like after 20 years of that.

    Obviously, we need to play this situation as well as we can for the Lib Dems. But it’s still a potential nightmare.

  • George Kendall 16th Sep '15 - 10:47pm

    @Phyllis
    You might think that, I’m afraid it’s not what happens.

    It’s happened to our leaders too. It’s unfair and horrendous, but it’s part of modern politics. When the Tories feed their attack dogs their attack lines, they are remorseless, it never stops, and some of the mud sticks.

    There may be a period of honeymoon for Jeremy Corbyn. But, as they keep undermining him, and repeating news stories about what John MacDonnell said about the IRA, Corbyn’s leadership will be destroyed, and the Labour party will take reputational damage that may take decades to recover from (if ever).

    For a sympathetic representation of what John MacDonnell said, see:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2015/09/what-did-jeremy-corbyn-s-new-shadow-chancellor-really-say-about-ira

    Imagine how that’s going to be played, and continually replayed, by the tabloids. Imagine what the general public are going to think, once they really realise that he did use those exact words.

  • @George Kendall
    “And they might be faced by as many as four parties: us, the Greens, Corbyn-Labour, and moderate Labour. It’d be a nightmare situation, which might take 20 years to sort out. Eventually, presumably, someone would be able to unite a coalition of left, centre-left, and centre”

    I share your views on this, and as a moderate Labour supporter I’d certainly like to see the back of the hard left and the formation of the kind of coalition you describe.

    But for that to happen – and for Lib Dems to be a part of it – your party would have to rid itself of its own extremist right wing. There are wide ideological splits in the Lib Dems just as there are in Labour.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Sep '15 - 11:32pm

    It happened at Holyrood that there was a group of Labour members and one or more Socialists, somewhat controversial.

  • George Kendall 16th Sep '15 - 11:56pm

    @Stuart
    Let’s wait a few months. I suspect you’ll find our so-called hard right sound a lot more moderate when they get out of responding-to-Labour-attacks mode, and into fighting-Tory-hegemony mode.

  • The thing about the “Corbyn car crash” is that nothing about it was meant to be. He was supposed to be the defeated lefty in the New Labour machine,. There to be the whipping boy to show the others as modernisers and he won a majority at every level. And he’s supposed to be the cartoon ranting red for the press, but he instead lets the public ask the question during PMQ. What the coverage most resembles is one of Britain’s many moral panics usually brought about when something new or alien or unfathomable enters the national consciousness. So what you’ve got is a kind of damage control. Lot’s and lot’s of screaming and wailing of teeth. The next step will be trying to make him a national institution, but the sticker there is he means what he says and bypasses the media attention. It’s pretty obvious that he simply doesn’t care what is being said and will just keep plugging away and if it all goes wrong will simply go back to doing what he was doing anyway.

  • John Tilley 17th Sep '15 - 8:59am

    George Kendall 16th Sep ’15 – 10:31pm

    “.,,,And they might be faced by as many as four parties: us, the Greens, Corbyn-Labour, and moderate Labour. It’d be a nightmare situation, which might take 20 years to sort out….. ..,,
    Think what the country would look like after 20 years of that.”

    George, your understandable fears are based on the assumption that the Tories will not put a foot wrong and remain in power for 20 years.

    Remember Harold MacMillan’s warning “Events, Dear Boy, Events”.

    Osborne has already put a foot wrong earier this week by taking an average £1,300 out of the pockets of what he used to call “hard working families”.
    The situation in Northern Ireland is boiling up to the level where it exposes a inability of the Westinster Conservatives to deal with the DUP and all those weird people on the fringes of Unionism in NI.
    Not to mention the running event of Bill Cash, John Redwood, and the eurosceptic tendency. How long before the next defection of a Tory MP to UKIP?

    I completely agree with you when you say —
    “Obviously, we need to play this situation as well as we can for the Lib Dems.”.
    But it might not be the nightmare for us, it might be Osborne’s Nightmare

  • NOW THE TORY MEDIA WANT HIM TO KNEEL !!

    The offshore Barclay brothers are getting the Telegraph to raise the issue of JC having to kneel and kiss hands when he is sworn in by the Queen as a privy councillor. Why the heck should he in 2015 ?

    Counter intuitively,…, I suspect a lot of folk are beginning to warm to JC . The Tory PR machine is making an issue of absurdities and anachronisms. There’s much nonsense still about …. such as swearing an oath of allegiance to HM at the Commons – some with your fingers crossed behind their back.

    As Liberals we should recognise our own long history and tradition of dissent back to the Chartists and beyond. Charles Bradlaugh MP who refused to swear the oath was one of ours. Even H.H. Asquith claimed descent from a ‘Farnley Wood’ plotter imprisoned for attempting to restore the Commonwealth. As the phrase goes now…. it’s in our DNA as well as in that of Jeremy Bernard Corbyn Esquire.

  • @ John Tilley Add to the list……Osborne didn’t have much to say when overall unemployment in the UK rose by 10,000 last month.

  • Really liked this article, addresses the dichotomy instead of falling head-first into it.

  • Helen Tedcastle 17th Sep '15 - 12:35pm

    Personally, the more the Tory attack-dogs and their bully-boys in the media hound Jeremy Corbyn, the more I warm to him. He’s the underdog and the British love an underdog.

    I’m not as pessimistic as some that it is inevitable that the Tories will destroy him. The Tories and their nasty policies will be found out when the cuts bite. People talk to each other aswell and they can’t stop that.

  • Do the British love Marx , Lenin and Trotsky and all that goes with it?

  • Dave Orbison 17th Sep '15 - 4:36pm

    @Paul It was reported as being after midnight. Perhaps it was 23:45 or even 23:30. I don’t know, perhaps Phyllis does.

    Is the key issue the accuracy of the timing of the hounding or the hounding itself? Corbyn has set his stall out at wanting to politics in a different way. I appreciate that many here may disagree with him, thought I think some have rather jumped the gun. But I had hoped that there could be some common ground. Clegg has often talked about having a better PMQ – there common ground, you see it can be done. The smearing of politicians rather than adult debate as to policies they advocate is surely we can all do without. I think Phyllis was making a rather straightforward point as to how we should respect one another. Paul, a bit disappointed that of all the things to comment on you take issue with this. The Tory’s are obviously holding nothing back. The LibDems are in an interesting position and judging by the mixed messages on LDV, somewhat undecided as which way to jump.

    I hope the LibDem’s will eventually come down decisively on being prepared to stand shoulder with Labour on policies where there is common ground and declaring their outrage at the smear campaign and playing no part. The new way or the Tory way? I guess we shall see,

  • @Dave

    While LDV certainly appears to be an important organ for debate among Lib Dems (and apparently former-Lib Dems), I wouldn’t rush to pass judgment on the parliamentary party (let alone the whole party) based on the things that get discussed or don’t get discussed here. Whether you like it or not, the election of Labour’s new leader is one of the most interesting things that has happened in British politics for a while, which very predictably absorbs a lot of positive and negative attention from Lib Dem members, and whether we like it or not, there are not as many Lib Dem MPs as there were prior to 2015.

    Tim Farron and other Lib Dem MPs seme to have been using their time to campaign for refugee’s rights, but they have nevertheless continued to do their job in Parliament, and have voted against the trade union bill (they also blocked similar plans while in coalition). The Lib Dems have also campaigned on the basis that blocking the Tory plans to cut welfare by £12 bn would be a red-line issue in any possible future coalition negotiations with them, so I am sure there might be some common ground with Labour to oppose some welfare changes, though I think it is unlikely that the Lib Dems (and perhaps even Labour’s parliamentary party) would go as far as to oppose having any welfare cap as Corbyn told the TUC. As you probably know, there are several Lib Dems that support ditching Trident (though I’m not one of them), and that argument is very likely to be discussed in conference, but I am rather sceptical that the anti-Trident view will prevail (though replacing it for a cheaper alternative could have a decent chance of success). Arguably Corbyn is also going to meet a lot of resistance on that issue from his own party.

    You are likely to find a lot of – in my view justified – bitterness around here because of Labour’s lack of support during the AV referendum (I have no idea where Corbyn stands on that issue), as well as Labour’s gimmicky lack of support for the coalition’s plans for House of Lords reform, though I remain hopeful that there might be some room for cooperation on those issues in the future. I welcome that Corbyn seems to have moved a bit from his previous position on the EU referendum, but I fear that many Corbynistas will remain resolutely anti-EU and will campaign to leave.

  • Dave Orbison 17th Sep '15 - 8:24pm

    @Paul I’m sure Phyllis can comment if she wishes too – are you the only one to comment on her post? As for Corbyn should use a taxi on the advice of a spin doctor… should he stop using the Tube too and abandon his bike? Or we we stand up and say that we would rather the media act responsibly? A forlorn and perhaps naive hope maybe but I don’t see any problem is having aspirations.

    @Alfonso – I think you make some excellent points. I think Lab and LibDems need to look to the future and not the past. There is much back there that gives both sides source for complaint about the other. But where does that take us? If we do have common ground such as the Trade Union Bill then lets co-operate. I’m not sure the LibDems have worked out their position yet. On the Trade Union Bill half the LibDem’s did not vote and none took part in the debate.

    They were anonymous. I think it slightly misleading to say they were all working on refugee issues. Corbyn certainly went to a rally the afternoon he was elected rather than spend his time in endless tv interviews. I have no doubt that Farron and others have too which is great. But I was disappointed with their anonymous profile on the day of the Commons debate re Trade Union Bill. Early days yet – though Farron appealing to disaffected Lab MP’s or vica versa I think fill sme with dread that we shall succeed in simply giving the Tories a free run. I’d prefer Labour and LibDems to be the parties of policy rather than personality.

  • @Dave

    There certainly is a risk for Labour that many of their right-wing might defect to the Lib Dems (which might not be such a bad thing for either party: http://www.ippr.org/juncture/learning-the-right-lessons-from-labours-2015-defeat ), but as far as the common policies are concerned I don’t think that would make too much of a difference, as perhaps the Corbynista wing of Labour might be easier to convince on constitutional and electoral reform. The Lib Dems could also be in a good position to benefit from defections from the pro-European wing of the Tories if their infighting over Europe during the referendum gets worse, so I remain optimistic for the Lib Dems chances to re-emerge, and make it harder for the Tories to win a majority. However, Labour still has to sort out its internal divisions and Corbyn will have to work hard to improve his relations with the media if Labour is to remain a viable party of government, otherwise I do fear that the Tories will keep winning majorities for a long time.

  • Richard Underhill 17th Sep '15 - 9:50pm

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