Why it’s time for Labour to unite behind Starmer

Alex Walker picks up the pieces after the Labour leadership election

Alex Walker
10th April 2020
Image: Jeremy Corbyn on Flickr
The votes are in, the ballots are counted, and the red flags are folded and back in the cupboards. The Labour Party’s shift to the left is over, and while I don’t think Starmer is as centrist as many say he is, a rightward swing in attitude is certainly imminent.

I have often said - and as a Labour man, this is hard to admit - that we might have an easier job uniting the left-wing in this country if the Labour Party had split into four separate parties in 1983. The Blairite Party would win vast swathes of traditionally small c voters, middle England, and most of London. The Momentum/Socialist Party would win most of the Northeast, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. The Liberal Democrats, formed by the SDP who did split from the Labour Party in 1988, would win the West Country and parts of Scotland. Finally, the Communist Party would lake Liverpool City Council and Blyth Valley.

In this fictional world, any election would result in a broad left-wing coalition. Brexit causing you issues? The Momentum/Socialist Party can promise a hard Brexit, and the Blairites will block it in parliament. No need to actually fulfil your promises: simple.

To unite all factions of the Labour Party, any leader would have to be a Blairite Socialist and a Leave-voting Remainer: this conundrum will keep us in opposition until Gabriel blows his horn

As it currently stands, this would fix the problem that the Labour Party faces, namely that it’s too broad a church. To get these disparate factions to organise, any leader would have to do the impossible. They'd have to be both a Blairite Socialist and a Leave-voting Remainer, a conundrum which will keep us in opposition until Gabriel blows his horn.

We might have been able to be all things to all men if we’d split, but we didn’t. That choice was made a long time ago. If the party doesn’t unify, behind Keir Starmer, no matter to which of the many left-wing factions we belong, we will lose the next election. If we lose the next election, it might be our last.

He might not be the leader you voted for, but he’s the leader you’ve got. It’s all well and good moaning that he won’t be able to unify the party, but if we all choose to throw our weight behind him, who will he have to unify?

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AUTHOR: Alex Walker
An English Literature student, who enjoys playing devils advocate. Interested in sharing my vacuous opinion on Film, TV, Music, Sports, and Political history. Find me on Facebook if you want write a piece together, or just want to tell me my articles are rubbish somewhere Zuckerberg can hear. Twitter, @TheAlexJLWalker

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