I knew things were going to be bad, but nothing could have prepared me for the scale of the Tory victory and the scale of Labour’s defeat . The result was a bloodbath. The worst result since 1935. A harrowing loss not just for the good Labour MPs who fell but for the communities and families who desperately need a progressive government.
So who’s to blame? The hard Left will say ABC — anyone but Corbyn. Brexit, the weather, the media, Maureen Lipman, the Chief Rabbi, Tony Blair, sunshine, moonlight, good times and the boogie.
But don’t be fooled. This colossal failure must be owned lock, stock and barrel by Jeremy Corbyn and his deluded henchmen and cheerleaders. They had full control of the political machine, manifesto and message. Anyone who disagreed with them was bullied into silence or out of the party, from Jewish women such as Luciana Berger to old-school bruisers such as Tom Watson. This was full-fat, full-frontal Corbynism and the British public rejected it.
This far-Left, nasty, self-indulgent, infantile, illiterate project has now been tested to destruction.
As someone who has criticised Corbyn for his failure of leadership on Brexit and anti-Semitism, many have told me this is a “blessing in disguise” as people like me can get our party back. Well, I don’t feel any joy. I feel sick about what lies ahead for this divided, angry country and people who struggle at the margins of society.
But the one thing I do feel a sense of relief about is that moderate people such as myself don’t have to pretend to go along with this ludicrous political charade anymore. And that we don’t have to be scared of the thuggish Corbyn cheerleaders who specialise in the politics of hate, especially on social media. They told people to eff off and join the Tories, and guess what? They did. In their droves.
Twitter is not real life. These bullies have been found out. They don’t matter. They never did. They may be able to organise a pile-on but they can’t pile up the votes where it matters.
Anyone who cares about restoring the Labour Party to something which can be vaguely electable should feel free of the yoke of the woke. While it’s easy to fall into a heap of despair, we have to think about the future of the party and the civil war which is about to break out . Moderates have to fight back — no matter how hard that feels right now.
This is a defeat even worse than the one Michael Foot inflicted. It takes a party decades to build itself back to being something which is credible. We can’t afford to wait that long. We need a leader who can respect the values of the Labour Party but who can look outwards and connect with the public.
I urge moderates to stay in the party or rejoin it. The fightback begins here. This is a moment to show courage and rescue Labour. To coin a phrase, it’s time to take back control.