Desperate spin notwithstanding, the tsunami created by Nigel Farage’s six-week old Brexit Party may sweep away centuries-old parties which may now begin to split into their constituent parts.
But first a word about Farage. As a populist politician he is perfectly evolved. Cheerful, possessed of only the ordinary vices, personable, a communicator of genius. He is neither a philosopher nor an ideologue but gripped by one iron-clad obsession – British withdrawal from the European Union.
I have privately criticized him for prematurely departing the stage when Brexit was won after the 2016 referendum – but in fact his timing has been perfect. He gave the ruling elites, conspiring to wreck Brexit and defy the voters, just enough rope. And now they have hanged themselves.
The Labour Party as we know (and some of us loved) it, is dead. The coalition of Blair-Labour and Corbyn-Labour, of Remain members depending on Leave voters, of right-wing wreckers and liberals masquerading as leftists, identity-politics freaks and shop-stewards peace campaigners and blood-soaked warmongers, that Labour Party is dead.
Jeremy Corbyn’s 70th birthday party was surely spoiled as the results emerged on the day. His sincere, often skillful, walk down the middle of the road had ended as such walks always do – in his being hit by the traffic going both ways. I have known Corbyn for nigh 40 years and for decades had a close personal and political relationship with him. I have been his most stalwart defender on a daily basis in the British media for four long years – I could show you my scars. And so it pains me to say that this is the end of the line for him.
When his effectively number-two-man Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell – like so many an erstwhile Trotskyist – joined the betrayal of democracy cause in a tweet, the morning after the results, the writing was on the wall for Corbyn. McDonnell joined up with Labour’s disloyal deputy leader Tom Watson, leadership hopeful Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, and Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer QC, to demand an immediate volte-face by Corbyn in full unequivocal support for a new referendum. With Labour campaigning for remaining in the EU he signed Corbyn’s political death warrant.In any case, gone is the elan, the campaigning brilliance, the new broom Corbyn represented just two years ago. Bled pale by compromise, appeasement of his enemies – the fifth column without whom he’d have already been in Downing St – and the relentless attrition of false accusations, fake news and sheer mendacity, Corbyn is now a dead man walking.