…it is now! The Labour party may have been expecting a poor result in historically Tory Henley-Upon-Thames, but to come fifth with barely over 3% of the vote, behind both the Greens and the BNP, is a humiliation of historic proportions. This is the case not least because the story is breaking on the first anniversary of Gordon Brown’s first anniversary in power.
Hot on the heels of the 42-day vote which was passed only on the back of grubby negotiations with the ultra-reactionary Democratic Unionists, not to mention the crushing defeat in “Labour safe” Crewe and Nantwich as well as the kicking received in this year’s Council elections, left-of-centre Labour MPs must be wondering whether even the supple-spined Jon Cruddas would be able to launch a leadership challenge to the floundering bozo who currently heads the government. Not that they’d actually do anything about it, you understand, but they’ll be wondering.
Either way, it would all seem to point to the fact that the public is way ahead of the left on one key point: this Labour Party is not worthy of ordinary people’s votes. And from the left’s perspective, the scales should now be falling from more people’s eyes – the Labour Party is no longer a viable vehicle for progressive politics in this country. The sooner we realise it, the sooner we can get on with the long, arduous and complex task of building something better.