Marginalising Membership Sees Blairism Rise from the Grave

Labour’s Conference still has a high crank quotient, with votes on the conference floor for: mass nationalisation; £15 an hour national minimum wage; sanctions on Israel; and a belief that the new defence agreement with the US and Australia is a threat to world peace. All of which will be cheerfully ignored by the Shadow Cabinet.

The undemocratic gerrymandering of the electoral college, and protection of MPs from deselection, means that the still overwhelmingly left-wing party membership will find it difficult to foist a left-wing leader on the markedly less left-wing parliamentary party, which should allow Starmer to move policy-wise closer towards where voters priorities lie. Some of the old New Labour discipline is returning as well – look at how deftly Shadow Cabinet ministers now swerve questions about all the bonkers trans questions that obsess activists and bemuse voters. Starmer reportedly last night even went to privately meet The Sun. Making peace with Murdoch is something the membership would hate. As basic media handling realpolitik, it is a necessity.

Will it work? Well it can’t get any worse in polling terms, so in the words of the Blairite anthem heard last night at the Mirror’s party: “things can only get better”…

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