Would Jeremy Corbyn be Re-elected as Leader of the Labour Party and What Then?

A Thought Experiment 

By now most people agree that it is inevitable there will be a leadership challenge to beleaguered Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. What is less clear is what will happen after that. Most sources seem to agree that Corbyn still enjoys a lot of support amongst the members of the Labour Party who elected him. The MPs in his party feel very differently as was made evident by the vote of no confidence held on the 28th June. It seems only a matter of time until Angela Eagle, Yvette Cooper or Dan Jarvis decide the time is right to challenge their leader.

If and when this does happen they’ll need to secure the backing of 20% of Labour MPs and MEPs to force a leadership election. This would mean getting the backing of 51 of Labour’s elected officials. This would hardly seem a challenge given the way that vote of no confidence went. 172 MPs want Corbyn out. Therefore it is theoretically possible for all three of the supposed contenders to garner the necessary support to mount a challenge. One has to suppose it would be more realistic for one candidate to come forward, so as not to split the already divided Labour party into further factions. Political pundits seem to think Angela Eagle is the most likely candidate, so for the purposes of this thought experiment we’ll continue with that assumption.

So we have a situation where Angela Eagle has garnered enough support from MPs to mount a challenge. That triggers a leadership contest. Given the way that Labour leadership contests are now decided by the entirety of the Labour party, and given how big a mandate Jeremy Corbyn received just one year ago you’d be forgiven for thinking that it would be a foregone conclusion that Corbyn would simply be re-elected as leader.

However, things may not go so simply for Mr Corbyn. There is some uncertainty as to whether he would be allowed onto the ballot paper for the leadership contest, because he may also need to secure that 20% support that a challenger would need… and he would not have such an easy time acquiring said support. He only just got onto the ballot paper last year, so unless he is automatically on it because he is the standing leader – an idea that is far from clear cut – he may well not be. Surely at that point the Labour Party membership, where Jeremy is so well supported, would become just as unhappy as the PLP are now. They would be facing a vote for candidates they don’t want, because the PLP have forced Corbyn out not by getting him to resign but simply by refusing to support him. Would that seem fair? Would it seem democratic? Would that matter?

Let’s make another assumption for the sake of this thought experiment. Let’s assume that Corbyn is on the ballot paper, either automatically or because he somehow gets enough support from the Party’s MPs and MEPs. And let us also assume that he wins that leadership contest, owing to that grass roots support he seems to still enjoy. What then? What happens to a Labour Party whose MPs clearly don’t endorse their leader but can’t do anything about him?

I think that what is likely to happen is a splintering. The rules of Parliament allow for MPs to change parties at any time; and while I don’t think that any of the PLP would likely defect to another existing party, I think it highly likely that some echo of a Blairite New Labour could be formed. Presumably under a more imaginative name. The question then becomes who the official opposition party would be. If we were to make yet another assumption (because honestly, it is impossible to know anything at this point so why not?) and suggest that some or most of those 172 MPs who voted against Corbyn in the no-confidence vote would become members of this new New Labour… that would leave Labour under Corbyn with only 40 or so MPs… and this new incarnation of the labour party, comprised at least initially of MPs rather than voters would therefore assume the role of official opposition, thereby rather side-stepping the whole issue of having an opposition leader who is unelectable.

We would end up with a Parliament more fractured and divided than before, which is perhaps a better reflection of how the country is at the moment. Would that be good for the stability of the government and long term ‘health’ of our Nation going forward? Your guess is as good as mine. Would it add pressure for a general election before 2020? You bet your bottom dollar it would.

Do I Understand Evil?

A teacher once told me that I had a problem believing in the concept of Evil. I think that he was right. Then. I also think that I’ve changed, and although I’m still not 100% sure that any man is born a monster I am rapidly beginning to find it hard to believe in the concept of Good. Or at least in the power of Good to overcome Evil. For all the blood donors, the vigils, the Facebook profile overlays that have sprung up since last weekend’s shooting in Orlando… for all that, what does it actually matter or mean? The best will in the world is not going to bring back the 49 souls we lost that night. Nor will it bring back the countless others that have been killed all around the world in the week between then and now.

My problem with the world is less grandiose than good vs evil. It is simpler. It is a question: Why do we insist on killing each other? It might sound naive, you might argue that it’s something to do with human nature and a thirst for power or whatever else. But I still don’t understand why people find the need to take another human’s life. Sure, I understand anger – although I try my hardest not to let it rise in me too often (this week I’ve been angry for sure). But why must anger lead to violence? What is it about the human (and let’s be honest, most often the male) brain that processes anger and hurt into the desire to cause harm to others?

I feel like this is an area where I could read a lot of theory from Freud or Socrates or other men (and hopefully some women) who have had thoughts about this and written them down. And while I would be eager to do that, so eager in fact that if you have any suggested reading then please leave it in the comments, I feel that even when I’ve read the thoughts of wiser, deader men than me about this subject I will still find myself unable to comprehend. To really get it.

So maybe Dr Faulkner was right after all. Maybe I just don’t get Evil. But you know what? I think perhaps that is the only way I will be able to get through my life. By not really understanding Evil and hopefully by finding my belief in Good and it’s power again. Because as another wise man once said “All that is necessary for the triumph of Evil is for Good men to do nothing.” Perhaps it is time I started to do something, something actually active to fight back against all the evil that I don’t understand.

A picture of Carson City Board Game

Board Game Reports: Carson City, Book Café 25th May

I tells ya I was cheated! Cheated I say. I’m an honest kinda guy, just tryin’ make my way out West. I don’t wants for much… my Daddy was a miner so when I headed down Carson City way I figure that’s the best thing fo’ me to do… set up a mine or two. Course ya gotta buy the land first… make sure no varlet gonna come in and steal your rock. And I thought it bes’ to inves’ – ain’t that what some folk say? So I’m down that bank, about to go put some of my ‘heritance away, when that no good Kade fella comes in and challenges me to pistols. I was taken aback, and I ain’t one for duelling too much, simple mining folk ain’t got no truck with guns normal like. This fella though, he was all guns blazin’ and he takes me out, cleans my clock.

Lucky my money was in my socks so he don’ steal it, but by the time I com’ round the damn bank is closed of the weekend. Next time I get a chance to ride into town the interest ain’ lookin’ so pretty, so I figure I’ll stick to my mining, and I’m doing ok for meself, got a pretty sweet operation going when suddenly every building I try to buy to grow my bizness, I get outbid on, or run off by more damn guns.

Things take a mighty bad turn but I’m clinging on, making a livin’ and looking to get back on top, when that same damn son of a bitch from the bank shows up and tries to rob both my mines… I managed to chase him off one, been brushin’ up on my gunslinging… but he steals half my take from t’other and what with being froze out the market looks like my bizness days might be numbered… Darn cheats!




A picture of Carson City Board Game
The Final Board.


  1. Yellow: Kade : 38 points
  2. Green: Pete : 34 points
  3. Red: Me (Adam): 30 points
  4. Brown: Ross : 27 points
  5. Orange: Dave: 27 points
  6. Blue: Phil : 22 points