The re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, widely predicted though it was, has still managed to deflate moderates across the party.
Corbyn’s comfortable victory over his challenger Owen Smith (62 per cent to 38 per cent of the vote) means that, in all likelihood, he will now lead Labour into the 2020 general election – and near certain defeat.
As I wandered around the conference hotels in Liverpool, gallows humour was everywhere. It’s as good a barometer as any for the state of the modern Labour party and its descent into idiocy.
After all, the north-west of England sends more Labour MPs to Westminster than anywhere else in the country, and outside London this is where the party has most members.
And in my experience, an awful lot of them are Catholics: activists and councillors as well as MPs and their staff. They are badly out of kilter with Corbyn’s New Model Labour Party of enthusiastic youngsters, pseudo-revolutionaries and men in their 50s who still wear T-shirts in public. To these newcomers, politics is about slogans and posturing. Their answers to complex issues are trite. Religion, invariably, is part of the problem. So current developments in the Labour party should be disastrous news for Catholics.
And yet. Corbyn is, at present, seemingly (and perhaps counter-intuitively), no worse for Catholics, no more antagonistic, or uncharitable, than any of his predecessors. The culture war that Catholic lefties like me dreaded has not arrived. Not yet at any rate.
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