A Labour Party in disarray is a tragedy for the Body Politic, argues Peter Bingle.

I was brought up in a Labour voting family. In those formative early years which influence and cajole you for the rest of your life politics seemed a relatively simple act. Your parents, friends and close family all voted Labour.

My earliest political memory proves the point. My father sat me down aged ten at the breakfast table and explained to me that something truly terrible had happened. Somebody called Edward Heath had just defeated nice Harold Wilson. I was none the wiser but picked up the fact that this was not good news!

Over the years I have always retained a respect for the Labour Party and the Labour politicians who I have grown to know, many of whom are now close friends. The desire to create a fairer and more equal world is noble. The ambition to speak on behalf of the oppressed and dispossessed is equally so.

In a professional capacity I was both a participant and an observer during the Blair and Brown years. They were the most enjoyable years as a lobbyist. The quality of key advisers such as Sally Morgan, Geoffrey Norris, Roger Sharp and the formidable Shriti Vadera was of a level which puts the current bunch to shame. Big business was always very welcome at Numbers 10 & 11 Downing Street.

Blair much more so than Major was Thatcher's political heir. Many of his reforms were life changing for individuals and transformational for British society. They will survive the test of time. Only the Labour Party could have introduced them. That is the historic role of a party of the left.

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Why am I being so nostalgic about a bygone era? Because the Labour Party at its heart is a force for good and British politics needs a strong party of the centre-left to challenge and one-day defeat electorally the Tory Party.

As the last few years have brutally demonstrated the British public are not fools. They will not support a political party which is economically illiterate and out of touch with the views of ordinary voters. The Labour Party lost its way and the voters punished them.

It is also a disaster for good governance if there is a weak Opposition. Ministers become complacent and as a result sloppy and foolish decisions are taken. It is essential that the PM personally and the government as a whole are held to account on a daily basis.

Talking to my Labour MP friends is both revealing and sad. Some refuse to accept that the political game is up. The Corbyn nightmare will last longer than they hoped but one day the Labour Party will regain its sanity and electoral appeal. Others have thrown in the towel. They are resigned to the fact that the Labour Party that they still love is dying on its feet. They will stand down at the next election. They are too tired to fight the forces of the hard Left.

Over the next few weeks we may well witness the death knell of a political party that during the Blair and Brown years looked unassailable. And the cause of this collapse? A simple decision by the hapless Ed Miliband to let people vote in a Labour leadership election for the princely sum of £3! Did he know what he was doing? I hope not …

The disaster that is the modern Labour Party is also a tragedy for the Body Politic. A Tory hegemony in the end is in nobody's best interests not even the Tory Party's …

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