For the sake of the Free World, Labour Needs a Reboot
It is always dangerous when a foreigner tries to make sense of an election in a foreign country because he is not as familiar with the inner-workings of that country as he is his own. Still, the drubbing of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and its ramifications for the wider world need to be examined.
Gerald Kaufman once described his party’s 1983 manifesto as the longest suicide note in history. It may now be the second longest. As it turns out choosing an anti-Semitic Marxist who has never seen a communist dictatorship or terrorist organization he did not support for your party leader, all while ignoring the results of a three-year old referendum was a bad idea.
It’s not just Corbyn, however. Since 1979, the Labour Party has won only three elections — 1997, 2001, and 2005. Who won those elections? Tony Blair, a man whom Labour has done everything in their power to disassociate themselves with.
It may be hard to remember now, but Blair started off as the British version of Bill Clinton. In the same way that, in the aftermath of the Reagan Revolution, Clinton was a Democrat who could win in a country that was now center-right, Blair was a different kind of Labour politician who could win in the aftermath of the Thatcher Revolution. He was a man of the left, but not mold of the rabid socialist and had no appetite to nationalize industry.
Blair was also unapologetically pro-American. This was fine during the humanitarian intervention of the Clinton era and even in the immediate aftermath of September 11, but the Iraq War doomed him. The war was even more unpopular there than it was here and the British left, and most of the country, has never forgiven him.
His successor, Gordon Brown, was not able to win a mandate of his own and ever since Labour has moved further left, first with Ed Miliband and then the blatantly anti-American Corbyn. Despite Labour’s belief that moving leftward will benefit them, with the exception of Theresea May’s own goal in 2017, each successive election has gone from bad to worse.
Labour’s inability to look past the Iraq War is dangerous, not just for them, but for the West. Corbyn tried to mask his anti-Americanism as simply anti-Trumpism, but his record speaks for itself. The United Kingdom still posses some 215 nuclear warheads, it’s conventional military and economic potential still make it one of the most important countries in NATO, even the world. If Corbyn won, a crucial ally, the one that gave the world Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Scottish Enlightenment, could have been lost.
The Labour Party needs to look at why it lost this election. Yes, Brexit had a lot do with it, but Corbyn was also wildly unpopular both in terms of personality and policy. The Free World needs a pro-American, pro-western Labour Party, because it is not good that only one of the two major parties in such a major country takes national security seriously and is willing to stand up to the enemies of Western Civilization. I know someone on the British left is not likely to take advice from an American who considers Margaret Thatcher to be one of his political role models, but for the sake of the free world, please come home and understand, the Iraq War is over and Donald Trump will not be president forever.