I know Westminster is often described as a political bubble and therefore anything that is said inside is somehow not worth the same as a ‘real discussion’ on the doorstep! So today I was back in Westminster to get some ‘gossip’ from as many people as possible about the state of politics and of course the Labour Leadership election. This wasn’t the main purpose of course but nobody could stop themselves talking about it!
It is fair to say that my 15-20 conversations were not scientifically chosen but I did speak to MPs, staff and others from across the House. It seems the only happy people I cam across were the Tory MPs I spoke to who couldn’t believe their luck! A Corbyn led opposition was a gift to them as far as they were concerned. Although in the long run they felt it was poor for democracy and the quality of decsion making not to have an opposition that looked like a government in waiting.
The only other thing I picked up was the willingness for people to stay inside the Party and to fight for it again. I see there has been some ‘speculation’ about an SDP type split if Corbyn wins. I haven’t seen any evidence of this, indeed just the opposite. For those who fought off entryism in the 80s they feel they might have to start all over again. There was also some fear expressed about the darker side of Corbyn supporters who are nowhere near as charming as him and who may well use their newly found status to take over the machinary of the Party too. The word de-selection was muttered a few times.
These are only the bits I picked up today. I was hoping to bump into a Corbyn supporter or two to balance out the insider gossip, but that looks like it may have to wait until next time.
And finally most of the anger turned to a Party that gives the same voting rights in an election to somebody who may have voted against us in May 2015 but with the payment of £3 gets the same rights as those who have sustained the party for 30-40 years through good and bad. These people are pretty bitter.