Jeremy Corbyn’s Gang of One reawakens the media of the 80s
|Peter Preston. Guardian "Journalist"|
Peter Preston must have been in the middle of a very long "senior moment" when he wrote the piece of journalistic nonsense.
To draw a similarity between the events of the 1980's and the departure of the "Gang of Four" and what is happening now with the growing support within the Labour party for Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the Labour party then, and perhaps more importantly, now. To describe Corbyn as a "Gang of one" fails to grasp the simple fact that his candidacy for the leadership has led to literally thousands of people either joining, or like me rejoining, the Labour party to be part of the movement to take back the initiative and restore confidence in a bankrupt political system with credible and deliverable alternatives to the status quo of the current "Westminster bubble" politics.
The only similarity between the situation today and that which existed in the 1980's, is that an element within the Labour party could not accept the challenge to their historic position of dominance within the party where their views on policy and leadership were considered (by them at least) to be written on tablets of stone to be blindly followed. The rejection by the party of this doctrine, led to them departing in a fit of pique and within a few short months, disappearing into the nebulous mess of the Liberal Party.
Today the situation is different in that membership of the Labour party is booming primarily because of Jeremy Corbyn and his appeal to the traditional Labour supporters and Labour values. The other three candidates and their supporters on that side of the party are increasingly marginalised with the media and television resorting to scare tactics in an effort to boost their dwindling support. It is in my view, unlikely that there will be a “Gang of Four” type split in Labour party ranks, albeit that the lively differences of opinion will continue. However, should there be such a split, it will come from those considered to be on the right who refuse to accept the democracy which they espouse to support. Their position invariably seems to be that democracy is good, provided that the democratic decision is the one with which they agree.
Peter Preston really should consider the detail and not just the headline.