Modesty prevents me from writing an autobiography entitled How I Was Right All Along. That, and a sneaking fear of what follows hubris.
However, I did suggest quite some time ago that Britain had experienced ‘Peak Corbyn’. And here we are.
Labour are now backpedalling as fast as they can, stating that they never expected a Red Storm Rising in Thursday’s local authority elections. This is not true. There were numerous articles predicting that London would become a ‘Labour City’. Not all of them were scare stories designed to get out the Conservative vote.
Both Labour and Conservative parties have had bad news stories of late. However, the Conservatives’ negative press was about a glorious civil service foul-up that was not caught by ministers, as well as Part 94 of the Brexit soap opera. Labour’s was about being a bad party, infested with anti-Semites and also being led by a Russian patriot who is possibly a closet supporter of an Arab president who gasses his own people.
However, all the mud seems to have kept the Conservatives more or less in place, while it has dragged Labour down. The loss of Barnet can be directly attributed to Labour’s hostility to the Jewish community in this country. The loss of Derby may be due to having an MP who cannot stop sharing his appalling beliefs with the mass media. ‘Bellwether’ councils, notably Basildon and Nuneaton, moved to a Conservative majority. The pattern appears to be that Corbyn’s message does not travel well outside the M25 and has been halted inside as well.
Owen Jones suggested Labour’s problem when he tweeted:
The big challenge we found on @PeoplesMomentum campaign days is that older, whiter more affluent voters who strongly lean Tory are far more likely to vote in local elections, whilst our (disproportionately younger) voters are much less likely to. That's what we are working on.
— Owen Jones? (@OwenJones84) May 4, 2018
This is not at all racist, because it is impossible for Owen Jones to be racist. Well, not deliberately. It might be argued by some of Owen’s friends that an elderly rich white person does not have much of a ‘protected characteristic‘ to qualify for a seat on the anti-racist bandwagon.
There has actually been a major Labour victory that does require analysis. While reports have come in on the number of councillors and councils Labour have gained, held or lost, there is no mention of the fact that, even in some existing Labour council seats, the councillor changed. The most notable case of this is in rock-solid-Labour Haringey, where there was internecine fighting over housing policy. The result was that some long-serving councillors quit, to be replaced by members of Momentum, the Corbynist party-within-a-party.
These might be the first elections after which Momentum is able to wield executive power, albeit at a local level. Since Momentum and its fellow travellers now control Labour at the top, it would follow that this is reflected in the selection of Labour councillors.
Momentum appears not to be like Militant, the mad Trotskyist Labour entryist sect that took over in Liverpool and elsewhere in the 1980s and set about causing chaos for the sake of chaos. But it does remain to be seen if we are going to experience a 21st century version of the ‘Loony Left’ in local authorities up and down the country, especially in London.
We might be starting to see the first examples of Corbynism spending council taxpayers’ money according to St Jeremy’s political agenda. This will be interesting, but, for the residents of Momentum-dominated councils, hopefully not far too interesting.