jeremy corbyn
Photo by David K Hardman

OK, so I’m glad, like a lot of other people, that Jeremy Corbyn is on the list … I really wanted to use Twitter for this but I don’t know how to ask a simple question in 140 characters … and the question is: why am I supposed to be pleased? … I’ve defin­itely got a few problems now.

One: I do think there’s something ever so slightly undemo­cratic about joining the party just to influence the election, while maintaining ultra­montane allegiance to, say, the Green Party. Isn’t this the sort of manip­u­lation “we” would normally deplore — diluting the voting rights of committed members to promote an external agenda, whether the usurpers are fascists or just Socialist Workers.

And Two: just what is the “debate” for? As in purpose. Imagine a situation where Corbyn wins. The whole party machine is implacably opposed to almost everything he believes in. Reading about what happened to Ed Miliband because he didn’t have the “authority” required to make any inroads …

And Three: just how big a tent, wide a church, can it be? Can you have the Pope and Martin Luther?
Cooper and Kendall both say they believe Labour lost the election because it was too left wing, too anti-business, etc. And Burnham pretty much thinks they got it right but … we could stand to twiddle a bit.

So what’s the debate for?
To convince those still committed to Labour values to say, fuck it, they’re monsters, let’s form a real people’s party? To convince someone like Corbyn to lead it?
To shame the others into conceding points?
To engage all those voters who left to re-engage? Or to attract a new cadre from the previ­ously uninvolved, like in Scotland with the SNP?

I’m not being snide or stupid; I really don’t under­stand. And I don’t see any of those things happening anyway.
I do care but why should I care? I just want to under­stand.