In highlighting that Labour has become irrelevant, Lord Warner made a valid observation but the point he misses is that democracy requires a strong opposition also
In his resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn this week, Lord Warner, a Labour health minister between 2003 and 2007, made a number of valid points about the disaster that this once highly important political machine has become.
In the letter, Lord Warner – whom Lord Prescott condemned as “no great loss” and who has decided to become a cross bench peer – stated:
“Labour will only win another election with a policy approach that wins back people who have moved to voting Conservative and UKIP, as well as to Greens and SNP. Your approach is unlikely to achieve this shift”.
“I have watched for some time the declining quality of the Labour party’s leadership, but had not expected the calamitous decline achieved in 2015. The Labour party is no longer a credible party of government-in-waiting. The approach of those around you and your own approach and policies is highly likely to to worsen the decline and in the Labour party’s credibility”.
“There are are far too many people who want to luxuriate complacently in the moral righteousness of opposition – we are not just a debating society. We are not just a Sunday socialist school. We are a great movement that wants to help real people living on this earth at the present time. We shall never be able to help them unless we get power”.
Jeremy Corbyn should listen to Lord Warner if he wants to achieve electability and he should also move back towards the centre for another reason and that is that any successful democracy requires a successful and relevant opposition. With the Liberal Democrats capable only of fitting in the back of a taxi and Labour dominated by left-wing harridans such as Diane Abbott that simply is not the case in Britain today. Something has to change and it has to change urgently.
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