Can Owen Smith save the Labor Party?
Primary election for party leaderLabor before the ultimate acid test
Crisis, acid test, power struggle: at Labor everyone suspects that none of this will be resolved this afternoon. Internal accounting has been and is too merciless, and left-wing activists in particular are blamed for this.
"Certain groups in the party have put my personal contact details online," Labor board member Johanna Baxter told the BBC with tears. "A colleague cried and pleaded with Jeremy Corbyn to protect her and others who are intimidated and threatened."
The rift in Labor in Britain runs deep. Corbynistas versus Blairites: the supporters of the left Corbyn versus the supporters of the hated Tony Blair. The renewed primary election should change little in this situation. Former Labor leader Neil Kinnock is just desperate.
"This is the biggest crisis Labor has ever had. I'm 74 years old. If things don't change radically and quickly, I will never see a Labor-led government in my life."
Jeremy Corbyn is popular with the grassroots
In the internal election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn clearly attracted more crowds than his opponent Owen Smith. Jeremy fans sang "Jez we can" again, like a year ago. Back then, Corbyn was sensationally elected party leader as an outsider, now everyone is awaiting re-election. The majority of the base is for Corbyn, the parliamentary group in the lower house is definitely not. And the MPs also insist on being democratically elected. Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly calls for party unity.
"It doesn't mean that everyone always has to agree to everything. But the general line is clear: We are against the austerity policy, we reject the Tories' plans to reintroduce high schools. These are things that we are unifying these days. "
Owen Smith, the opponent of the Realos at Labor, presents himself as the one who wants to save Labor from ruin.
"I see the danger that Labor is facing an historic split. It is a struggle for the soul of the Labor Party. The reason I ran is: I want Labor to survive."
Lisa Nandy, Labor MP, only warns of the consequences of the dispute.
"The fact that we fight each other loosens the fabric that binds us. We no longer get around to our real task. To be an opposition, a possible ruling party and that we are fighting against the Tories."
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