As many of those folk who have known me for a long time, and especially in close-up, will already know, I am a very strong believer in a healthy democracy. This needs at least two (but hopefully not too many) political parties with credible policies and a reasonable hope of being elected to government.
We have increasingly lacked that proper structure here in Britain, which is why I have (as many readers will be aware) been playing a small part in trying to fix the issue. For the past nearly seven years this has meant trying to find a replacement main opposition party to the Conservatives – whose ongoing tenure in government seemed to me assured for many years to come – in the knowledge that Labour were going to more or less destroy themselves in about half a dozen years.
As I told people in the second half of 2010 and later, I knew that Labour had set themselves upon an irreversible path to their own demise once they had installed Ed[ward] Miliband as their party leader – though I doubt any of them believed me back then. The party was turning to the left, and then some. Now, of course, those people perhaps understand at least something of why I made that bold claim, and with such conviction.
Fast-forward to today and what do we find?
Labour continued to turn leftward, eventually and inevitably installing the real party-killer (Ed-M was just the catalyst that made it not only possible, but just about unavoidable) Jeremy Corbyn. It had to happen. Equally predictably, this move allowed the ever-lurking out-and-out Communists to infiltrate and dominate the party, using the movement they created called Momentum. Their long-awaited day had come!
Thus today's Labour party has become the wolf in sheep's clothing, and is busy transforming the party from within. The parliamentary party has, as they'd have expected, become a serious problem, because of all those pesky 'moderate', 'Blairite' or 'blue Labour' MPs as the current leadership (and especially Momentum) brands them.
Thus we are seeing a number of more 'suitable' candidates for the upcoming General Election being parachuted in to safe Labour seats, while the less safe seats are becoming more marginal in the present political climate so will probably be voted out of office anyway – not a significant issue, then.
The Labour party manifesto for this election reads like something that wouldn't have gone amiss in former Communist East Germany – and its supposedly draft version was leaked to two news outlets so that it became in effect de facto policy. As I posted on social media less than a day ago, the idea was to make it effectively impossible for the party to materially change anything – and indeed at the meeting to discuss any such changes that was held later in the day, it was reported as just 'tinkering' and making no substantive alterations.
Thus the Corbynite faction have what they have sought all along: the leader they wanted, the now-official policies they wanted, and their own/preferred people forming a majority of their parliamentary party a month from now.
This was the real reason they embraced the 'snap' election so readily: not to win it (they knew that wasn't possible) but to transform Labour into a genuine Communist Party disguised as something else, even if the camouflage isn't exactly fooling most people. Still, they have enough supporters for their needs, considerable evidence of which I continually find in various places.
Such a wolf can never again be a suitable alternative party to the Conservatives. As I said seven years ago, Labour had set itself upon a one-way street to destruction: there can be no way back. Perhaps, as some have surmised, they will split as they once did when the SDP was formed by 'the Gang of Four' more than a generation ago. If so, though, it will be for the same actual reason (i.e. not the public face) which will be currently-elected members seeking to avoid losing their seats – self-interest, in other words, so this would not make a breakaway party trustworthy.
With UKIP now losing support hugely, the party falling apart internally (which has been going on for some time now) and rapidly becoming a 'dead end', as I labelled them a few years back; the Greens continuing to fool nobody so with barely three percent support; and a slowly resurgent Liberal Democrat party as the only other even vaguely realistic alternatives; it is the last of these that – for all its faults – looks like being the only conceivable future opposition party out of those currently in existence.
What about possible new parties, though?
The wealthy UKIP financial supporter Arron Banks has been rumoured to be creating a new party, a kind of UKIP Mk 2 that is provisionally being called "The Patriotic Alliance" – but all has gone very quiet on that front for the past two months; i.e. from well before the snap election was called, so the current hiatus wasn't caused by that.
So, in conclusion, what we expect to happen in the next few months? Theresa May's Conservatives look set for a landslide win in next month's General Election. After that, Labour might or might not split, Arron Banks' new party might or might not be launched, and the Lib Dems might or might not continue to climb up the pecking order. It looks like interesting times ahead!