“The amazing occurrence is the sustained achievement of party unity, not just for a season or a year but for an entire parliamentary term.”
This follows British Labour’s National Policy Forum which was also addressed by Tony Blair. Ok it was written for LabourList by Luke Akehurst, considered on the right and not everyone’s favourite. Akehurst supported Ed Miliband for leader and credits him with the achievement.
Still, Polly Toynbee, who’s not a right-winger, has much the same message in the Guardian:
Delegates gathered to thrash out policy on every issue – but they weren’t thrashing each other, unlike previous ferocious all-nighters. Even on old intractables such as Trident, rail renationalisation or social security, agreement was reached by discussion, with just one, roundly defeated, rebel vote – against austerity.
Westminster no longer regards the party as “full of mad people”, and the party no longer thinks its leaders bent on betrayal.This outbreak of self-discipline is a sure sign of Labour’s growing terror at the prospect of losing the election.
Angela Eagle, the party chair who steered the forum, says that everyone knows “without fiscal credibility we’ll be smashed. We can’t protect the people we care about by raging from the sidelines.”
Polly of course is also a realist about the media and Labour:
The injustice of the hostile media Labour faces means its discipline must always be titanium-tight, if not twice so. No such scrutiny for the Tories.
Looks like British Labour has learnt to get over it as well as how to deal with it.
I’ve met Angela Eagle here and in the UK. She’s good. She’s right.