The Labour leadership battle is over...for a bit

Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn easily won re-election as leader of Britain's Labour Party, taking nearly 62 percent of the vote after a challenge by the party leadership came up well short. But as Independent columnist Mark Steel wrote in an article that appeared before the results were announced, the neoliberals and pro-war hawks who want to lead the Labour Party aren't about to accept a democratic vote of the party's membership as the final word.

Labor Party leader Jeremy CorbynLabor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

AT LAST, the result of the leadership election will finish this period of Labour's squabbling. Then a new period of squabbling can begin, three minutes after the result is announced, when a group of 45 MPs issues a statement saying: "During the last three minutes, it has become increasingly clear that Jeremy Corbyn has lost the support of the party and must step down immediately.

"We were more than willing to give him a chance, and indeed for the first 40 seconds, some of us even nodded when he said something. But over the last minute, our poll ratings have failed to improve so we have no choice but to challenge him to another leadership election, and demand he's put in prison."

They will also propose a rule change. Instead of the outdated method of choosing a leader by allowing members a vote, the challenger will fight the incumbent at kung fu; they have decided to stand Shi Yan Zi, the Shaolin monk and kung fu master, as he would be attractive to floating voters in Staffordshire and has some progressive ideas on housing.

Or, instead, the leader should be decided by measuring which candidates' supporters can wee the furthest--although the National Executive Committee will ban 350,000 jets of wee as they didn't flow in accordance with the aims and values of the Labour Party.

One method the MPs are already employing--before the result is even announced--is stating that, if Corbyn wins, they will ask if they can fill the Shadow Cabinet with people who have just spent the last three months calling him a miserable unelectable stinking idiot. This seems only fair after they've gone on every single TV and radio show in the country saying, "Jeremy may be a nice man, but he's an international terrorist jihadist radical feminist, and I just don't feel that's the outlook we need if we're to win back Nuneaton."

They challenged him so, if they've lost, it makes sense that, as a compromise, they get to run the party anyway.

Or they could suggest Corbyn is allowed to stay on as leader, but the MPs who resigned get to choose the party's policies--a handy way of spreading out the workload. He can then concentrate on other roles such as popping out to the Post Office.

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ONE PROBLEM that must be addressed, whatever the result, is the number of people who keep infiltrating the party by joining it. There is overwhelming evidence that among those who have joined over the last year are people who have their own views, and that simply can't be tolerated.

Last week there were reports of a new member in Coventry who suggested holding a fundraising jumble in a couple of weeks, and this attempt to influence policy must be stopped if Labour is to present a modern face. Fortunately, on this occasion, the new member was banned from voting and had their membership card burned in front of their face in a satanic ritual, but the checks must be more thorough in future.

As the recent TV expose proved, outside organizations such as the Revolutionary Crusade for Workers Merciless Annihilation of Posh Twats, with a national membership of one, planned to join the party, which explains why Labour now has 600,000 members. Hopefully it will be agreed that to prevent this sort of trickery, from now on, no one will be allowed to join unless they were already a member before they asked to join.

One welcome trend that should continue if Corbyn remains leader is the end to the daft practice of politicians talking up their results after every election.

It's infuriating when MPs claim after a poor result that it's all going well, and they're on course to win the election and so on. Under Corbyn, however, Labour has corrected this. Now the MPs complain that every result is a disaster. Even if a reporter says, "You did quite well overall," 70 MPs will rush into the BBC to say, "No, we didn't, it's catastrophic, a 4 percent swing towards Labour in Solihull is far worse than a 1 percent swing as it summons up the devil, so Corbyn must be sacrificed on a mountain immediately, or we have no chance of winning back Portsmouth Council in 2018."

Eventually, everyone will come to their senses, and someone like David Miliband will take over in the tradition of Tony Blair, who proved he can win elections. Because one iron rule of history is if a set of ideas won an election in the past, they're sure to win forever, no matter how things turned out.

Whatever else Blair may be remembered for, he understood how to get power, and that's the main thing. Because Corbyn's opponents insist principles without power means nothing. And the same went for Blair's friends such as Assad and Qaddafi and the dictators who still pay him for his advice. It's no good looking up to people in places such as Libya and Uzbekistan who have "principles," such as not torturing opponents, and not living in a palace where servants carry you on gold-plated elephants, as these principles don't get you power, so bollocks to them.

In any case, Blair has announced from now on he'll only spend 20 percent of his time earning money, and 80 percent on his charities. And to cut the time you spend earning millions by advising tyrants down to 20 percent shows just how deep his Christian ethics are.

So Labour must choose another candidate to take on Corbyn immediately--then another one, and another one, until they're saying, "What about that bloke Tom Watson met at Glastonbury?" and "Ed Balls did Strictly Come Dancing so maybe he could ask Claudia Winkleman?" until they finally get one who can win.

First published at the Independent.