Labour is dead; in its place stands a new Corbynist party the likes of which have not been seen before in British politics, argues Peter Bingle. 

At 1145 on Saturday 24th September the Labour Party was officially pronounced dead. Its demise was not the result of a defeat by political opponents but rather a decision by sixty-two per cent of its own members. By re-electing Jeremy Corbyn the members had decided to create a new party of the hard Left which would sever any links with the social democrat traditions of recent times. The maverick outsiders of the Blair and Brown years are now running the show…

Corbyn’s victory should have been a surprise to nobody. When you create a party membership in your own image it is inevitable that they will vote for you. What was more surprising was the mood in the conference hotel. No sense of euphoria. Sullen probably best sums it up.

This is a party which knows in its heart and head that it is not going to win the next election. Party strategists know that the membership has decided to go in a direction which will not win favour with the wider electorate. They are not going to be tainted by the corruption of power for a very long time. The irony is that most of them seem content if not relieved that they are becoming a pressure group rather than a potential party of government.

Talking to the few former ministers who have bothered to come to Liverpool (and there aren’t very many of them!) you are struck by their acceptance that the Labour Party as they knew it up until the night of the 2015 general election is well and truly dead. They will make speeches and write articles to the contrary but they know the political game is up. A new Corbynist party has been created which is unlike anything seen before in British politics …

This new political party has no interest in inhabiting the centre ground. That would involve ideology being compromised and that can’t happen. It will promote a socialist vision in which the state will grow ever larger, taxes will increase and the private sector will be very much the junior partner to the public sector.

The trade unions will once again have a dominant role in directing a party which they fund and control. The role of the individual will be replaced by the might of the collective. It could not be more different to New Labour and the Third Way.

Corbyn has proved much smarter and tougher than his detractors believed/hoped when he was first elected. He has killed off the Labour Party and replaced it with a political movement shaped very much in his own image. That is no mean achievement…

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