Once Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader of the Labour Party (let’s just stop saying “if”, shall we?), he’s going to face the problem that confronts all socialist leaders at some point: it’s all going to go horribly pear-shaped as reality sets in. His party won’t listen to the serial rebel, and a strange bond in the House of Commons could be quickly formed by the frontbenches of the Conservative Party and the backbenches of the Labour Party in a bid to run the country somewhat sensibly in the midst of what I’ll call the Corbyn-Redwood axis of madness. Those same Labour backbenchers will in the meantime be waiting for dear Jeremy to fail, willing him to do so even, in the hopes that the whole thing can be straightened out in time to salvage something for the next general election.
When faced with the “pear-shape dilemma”, history tells us you have two options. You can allow things to take their course and simply watch as it all falls apart. Or you can go all Stalin on everyone and keep discipline and the show on the road via ruthless, Machiavellian tactics. You enact totalitarianism, in other words. In Tom Watson, Corbyn might have the perfect Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili character to carry this dirty work out.
This isn’t anything to do with the morality of either Corbyn or Watson, I’d rush to add. I know that for all his faults, Tom Watson is actually a pretty morally guided individual and I’m sure I would have more politically in common with him than Jeremy. However, Corbyn is a dreamer in the Leon Trotsky mould; someone who thinks if you simply will something, it will all come together magically. Watson, meanwhile, is a hard-headed realist who will immediately spot the nightmare ahead.
Watson’s main concern will be keeping the party in one piece. So I can’t see how anything other than sworn, public loyalty to the new chairman of the comrades will be tolerated. I could be exactly wrong about this, of course, and Watson could go the other way and bide his time for a few months before sticking the knife into Corbyn himself. Taking the analogy to its conclusion, does this mean I think Jeremy is going to end up with an ice pick embedded in his forehead somewhere in Mexico? I doubt even the murky world of Labour politics could get that literally murderous.
But seriously, the thing that would stop Watson trying to stage a coup, I think anyhow, is the basic boundaries of democracy. What I mean specifically is that Watson must know he would never be elected leader himself and that his best chance of remaining powerful within the Labour Party is to simply ride the Corbyn wave and when it crashes, hold himself up as the tireless manager who at least ran a tight ship after the hippies took over. As the pieces were rummaged through, the crime scene examined, Watson would be in a strong position. Particularly as he of all people knows just how hard it is to successfully commit regicide within the Labour Party. In a world of madmen, the guy with the only slightly crippling neurosis is king.
You could always do a George Galloway and blame Jews. I wish I was joking but seeing some of the types he associates with who knows?
A truly appalling piece of smug, centrist writing. Lots of delicious Soviet references designed to frighten and all dressed up in self-satisfied hypothesizing designed to fool the casual reader into thinking the author is knowledgeable.
As well as just adding to the pile of same old crap written about Corbyn (‘He’s a baby-eating Socialist you know…’) The whole article can be summed up as ‘Could Tom Watson as deputy stage a coup’? Ans: Possibly.
You’ve written some tripe NIck, but this really is drivel of the poorest order.
I have to agree with Mike. Not a word about policy just a focus on power and what it does to people. Trotsky the ‘dreamer’ ? O yes he dreamed up and organised the Red Army.
Nicky just started following me , should I be worried ?
The rich running this country for themselves don’t fool anyone now. Blue Labour you’re finished. Osborne Smith Cameron and your bosses take your austerity and shove it where the sun don’t shine. If Jeremy Corbyn gets stopped the people will not forgive Labour they will be dust next election. As for Cooper, Kendall and Burnham telling people how to vote really do they think people are so stupid as to need their advice (or want it)? They are no marks who will not bring Labour back to power.
If the Labour establishment figures aren’t happy with THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE they could so easily change sides!
I think Mike said all there is to say about this post. But having read it, I can’t just not say anything at all. So… it stinks like my dog does when she’s been rolling in fox poop. Literally, metaphorically and absolutely.