Hope was awash at the Labour Party conference in Brighton last week (Sunday 24th – Wednesday 27th September), but is this atmosphere of jubilation proportionate with the turnaround in Labour’s fortunes since the general election?
Some polling puts Labour neck and neck with Theresa May’s dysfunctional party wracked by Brexit divisions, but the pessimist in me fears that this optimism could be construed as arrogance. Government in waiting we may be, but don’t underestimate the challenges we face to make our vision a reality for those who need it most.
This sense of hope amongst Labour ranks has subdued the damaging scepticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s critics but dissent is still present with 'moderate' Labour members now feeling more abandoned than ever. With iconic figures from Labour’s moderate wing being non-platformed the party’s direction is increasingly being driven by party membership, with more control ripped away from the parliamentary Labour party.
For the many the conference represents ‘an antidote to apathy and despair’
Amongst this cult of personality, anti-semitism continues to flourish despite a near-unanimous vote to address the issue with stricter measures. Alongside this the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg security entourage only serves to highlight the febrile atmosphere surrounding the conference.
Throughout the conference it became clear that the future of leadership lies in the hands of Emily Thornberry who has cemented her place as Corbyn's heir-apparent. Will the metropolitan figurehead be able to maintain the improvement in Labour’s electoral chances and the legacy of Corbynmania? Reception to Thornberry was overwhelmingly positive compared to lacklustre performances by others previously touted as potential successors.
With iconic figures from Labour's moderate wing being non-platformed the party's direction is increasingly being driven by party membership
For the many the conference represents ‘an antidote to apathy and despair’, but for the few, it represents an onslaught of seizing from Momentum and regular members and its increasing influence on the Labour party’s direction.
Oh Jeremy Corbyn, or Oh… Jeremy Corbyn. The jury's out but the situation is far more stable and far more exciting for those who want and for those who need a Labour government.