Tony Blair writes of cliff edges and annihilation in his recent bleak prediction of what a Corbyn victory would entail. The language he uses, coordinated with fellow Blairites conveying similar messages, suggests that the party could split along similar lines as it did in 1983, when the SDP was formed from the breakaway group of right wing Labour MPs. I wonder whether it is already in the planning stages. How else to explain such an all-out assault on what is increasingly likely to be a Corbyn leadership?
Stepping away from that particular cliff edge, let's assume for a moment that Blair's intentions are innocent, that he only wishes to see the party steered in a more moderate direction. Even then, his analysis is deeply flawed and incredibly patronising. He assumes electoral armageddon without a mention of the credit crunch and the impact that has had on politics across the world, from the rise of Syriza in Greece to the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders in the US. And then there is Scotland - surely the progressive politics of the type espoused by Corbyn is the party's best bet of winning back votes from the SNP?
In truth, the former prime minister's judgement on UK politics was never as good as he thought it was - his last general election victory owed as much to the hopelessness of the opposition as it did to his policies, to the deeply flawed electoral system, and to luck. Look a little deeper and it is easy to spot when the malaise took hold. The Tories won more English seats than Labour in 2005; Middle England had already fell out of love with Blairism long before Brown and Miliband took over the helm. Local elections began to be lost; party membership plummeted. Blair's dismissal of all those rejoining now is a convenient sidestepping of his own responsibility as to why they left in the first place. I am one such returner who let his membership lapse, but who now feels like there is a chance for my voice to be heard once more.
The reality is that perhaps no one can save the Labour Party. Yet only Corbyn can replace it with something better - a Labour movement; a coming together of all the disparate groups that feel left out and let down by the Westminster bubble, and especially by the robotic yes men and women who are sold to us as Her Majesty's Opposition. In all likelihood, such a rainbow coalition is unlikely to include them.