It is no secret that the Labour party is disunited with a leadership and PLP that are far from in agreement over many issues. With various rows over issues from foreign policy to Brexit, the party is a broad church. However, this needn’t be a disadvantage for the party; in 1997 Blair embraced the broad church of ideas within the party, and was able to unite MPs and members under one common aim, getting Labour back into government.
While on many issues MPs in the Labour party disagree with each other, on the majority of issues such as the minimum wage, workers rights, human rights, rail nationalisation, and the NHS only to name a few, there is broad agreement among almost all Labour MPs and members. So why do we let the few issues that we disagree on divide us. The Conservatives are a far from united party, with widespread disagreement on Brexit to give but one example, but they don’t let that make their party look divided, if we are to win this election, we need to all accept that regardless of our differences, there is only one Labour party, and we all share a similar vision for the country.
If Labour is to win this election, we need to come back together, put our differences behind us. That doesn’t mean dis-acknowledging that there are differences – it means acknowledging our differences, but also acknowledging the vast policy areas in which there is a consensus within the party. We all want a Labour government in power, because any Labour government would be better than a hard-Brexit Conservative government led by Theresa May.
So to the left of the party, I say stop trying to undermine MPs who don’t accept your exact vision for the country. To the right of the party, I say stop trying to undermine the leadership that you are supposed to be asking the electorate to vote for in six weeks time. And lets try this out, for the first time in 20 years, lets accept our differences, but embrace our shared vision for the country, because no-one in the Labour party want to spend another five years in opposition.
We now have under six weeks to unite under a modern concept of social democracy and present that to the British people. We did it in 1997, we can do it in 2017.