A few hours ago Jeremy Corbyn won re-election as Labour leader with an increased majority. In 2015 the Islington North MP won in a landslide with 59.5% of the vote, and in this election he won 61.8%. His raw vote increased from just over 250,000 to over 313,000 votes. But this is no time for triumphalism. If the more right-wing sections of the Labour party genuinely want to unite and take the fight to the Tories then there is one area to focus upon: policy. The policies of Corbyn have been framed by the press as unbelievably left-wing that would lead to the creation of a Marxist-Leninist hell-hole. In reality many of his policies are standard centre-left stuff that these MPs should love.
The problems that the right-wing of the Labour party has had with the Labour leadership is that they believe that it is incompetent and unelectable. The solution to this problem is to focus on what unites you, and as I said above I believe this is policy. Many believe that whatever Corbyn says is very left-wing because he’s the one who said it, but this is false.
If elected as Prime Minister what does Jeremy Corbyn want to do? Here’s a short list: decentralise power throughout the UK; put environmental concerns at the heart of all government decision-making; reduce crime by addressing it’s socio-economic causes; create a less centralised NHS that is rooted in communities; bring in affordable child-care; borrow money to invest in infrastructure and green technology; focus on economic growth from the bottom-up; crack down on tax avoidance; build more social housing; reduce class sizes to 30 students or fewer; and return the Post Office to public ownership.
I have not unfairly represented what Corbyn supporters, myself included, support but this is no means an exhaustive list. The reason that this isn’t a full list is simple. These policies also happen to be from the 1997 Labour party manifesto, which was co-written by Tony Blair. If you are someone who genuinely wants to see these policies enacted then there is no reason for you not to support Jeremy Corbyn. I’m saying that this is akin to blindly following the leader, but if political figures pivot to policy rather than accepting what the media wants them to talk about then the Labour party would be much more united.
Labour is at a crossroads but the response of the Right of the party will be decisive. If there is a split then the Tories will almost certainly win the election, regardless as to when it actually takes place. If the policies that Blair endorsed in 1997 were popular with all Labour members back then, then they should be now. No Corbyn supporter has a moral opposition to investing in green technology or renationalising the Post Office. The Labour leadership have held out many olive branches and if they could agree on a policy programme that could form the basis of a manifesto, the party would have no reason to split. If these people want to have a strop and join the Lib Dems, they are free to do that but they should then know that if Labour fail to win a general election they will be partially responsible for that.