How the Labour Party could miss its Churchill moment

Winston Churchill was humiliated in the election of 1945. Much to his chagrin, the labour movement had caught the mood of the people. However, by 1951 he was back in power. By then, the Conservative leader was almost 77. The question is whether the decrepit Labour Party can learn from this example of never giving up.

Jeremy Corbyn has a wealth of political experience. He knows that it is necessary to talk to unsavoury characters to achieve political progress. He recognises that age is no barrier to achieving success. While his ideology might not be nearly as reactionary as the jingoism of Churchill, Corbyn has the charisma necessary to generate enthusiasm.

Labour has the opportunity to ignore the opportunity which Corbyn represents. It can retreat into its comfort zone. It can avoid a confrontation with the power of the press. It can take shelter in identity politics. However, if it turns its back on passion and principle, it will lose the momentum which the optimism of Corbyn has kindled. A diminished party would face a diminished country in 2020. And this disaster might be terminal, with alienated voters leaking to the Greens, to the Liberal Democrats, and to UKIP.

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