George Eaton concluded his article with the statement that many feel that "Labour has regressed several decades in the space of a few weeks", but it is quite obvious that many more think the party may be coming to its senses (The Politics Column,34July). The view from the pressbox, generally, is that a Corbyn-led Labour party has no chance of electoral success, using as evidence the mistaken view that the "suicide note" manifesto of 1983 was solely to blame for the party`s election defeat that year. Other equally significant reasons, like the Falklands effect boosting Thatcher`s support, the personal hatchet-job done on Michael Foot by the right-wing press, and the effects of the Labour/SDP split, are all conveniently ignored. The result is that the Blairite propaganda against Corbyn`s more radical proposals is being used to sway voters towards the other centre-right candidates.
Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than in the You-Gov poll, which Eaton uses to make his case against Corbyn. Not content with surveying voting intentions, the poll asked about the importance of the leader understanding "what it takes to win". The reason for such a leading question`s inclusion in a poll of party members can only be to create further ammunition for the anti-Corbyn propaganda campaign about a left-wing Labour party`s unelectability!
It is evidently not just Corbyn`s "ideological distinctiveness" which is causing him to lead the race, as Eaton suggests. His policies are neither "hard left" nor "revolutionary", like many on the right claim, but they do offer, to a vast majority of the population, opportunities for change and hope, and an end to a society based on unfairness and injustice. Isn`t that what a Labour leader is meant to do?