Of course, as Friday`s excellent editorial said, every MP "should be expected to face peaceful protest", but "personalised abuse or threats" have no place in our political system (Morning Star, 04/12/15). The latter point really does need to be stressed; disappointment at many Labour MPs` voting in favour of the bombing of Syria was shared by all of us, but tweeting abuse and threats only plays into Tory hands. Notice how quickly the mainstream media publicised them, never failing to add to the government`s propaganda about the unelectability of the current Labour party.
Corbyn`s policies, as the Oldham victory shows, can resonate with a general public, which is clearly and increasingly fed up with the obviously unnecessary austerity measures of the Bullingdon boys, and the 2020 election is there for the winning. The task of winning over the electorate, however, will be difficult enough, without an impression spreading that Labour is divided between Blairites and hot-headed extremists.
A small number of the right-wing Labour MPs are probably in the wrong party, but the majority can be won round to Corbyn`s way of thinking, and a united front can be in place long before the 2020 election. With the Tories finding it hard to break their habit of U-turning, but refusing to change their main proposal to shrink the state, with the least fortunate bearing the brunt of the effects, Corbyn and his allies must concentrate on analysing the details of every government policy and statement; too often, ministers are allowed to make, and usually repeat, outrageous claims which have not a shred of evidence to support them.
Far too many opportunities have been missed by Labour in 2015, but there is still a chance for the party, united around its leader and policies, to offer a real opposition to this most duplicitous of governments. Tristram Hunt wrongly moaned about the lack of "character and resilence" shown by pupils in the state sector, but if ever there was a time for Labour MPs of his ilk to display those characteristics, it has to be now! Even worms can turn, especially when they realise how their leader is far more in touch with the voters than they are.