THE BLOG
01/09/2015 09:27 BST | Updated 01/09/2016 06:59 BST

Corbynites: Labour's Chorus of No

A concerted march against Jeremy Corbyn's candidacy for leader of Labour is in full stride across the political spectrum. Right and left, neoliberal and neoconservative, all warn of the perils of Labour members and affiliates casting a vote for the unlikely front runner of Labour's leadership contest.

Over the weekend, the member for Islington North has been labelled both a threat to national security by the Chancellor, and, of living in an Alice in Wonderland world by Tony Blair.

Increasingly severe warnings fall on unhearing ears whilst 'Corbynmania' has taken hold of the political imagination and seen the veteran MP turn into a household name. For his leadership rivals, the endless coverage, allegations, voter infiltrations and interventions by Labour heavyweights has served only to drown them out of the contest.

Whether Jeremy Corbyn will emerge as leader won't be known until 12th September. Placed into the leadership contest to ensure a broad range of views were heard he now leads in the polls with 53% of first preference votes with a 32% gap against the nearest contender.

Greeted with derision, amusement and even elation by some Conservative MPs and supporters, some Tory MPs publicly and privately worry whether he could capture the zeitgeist of public imagination and emerge as a real contender for David Cameron's own successor.

Over some weeks, there have been warnings from Tony Blair ('don't vote for Corbyn because you hate me'), Alistair Campbell ('anyone but Corbyn') and Gordon Brown ('Corbyn would damage international relations'). All have been met by a chorus of 'no' from Labour members who struggle to see a difference between Tory full-fat-Austerity and Austerity-lite Labour.

Tony Blair has accused Labour members and Jeremy Corbyn alike of living in a fantasy world of political escapism, referring to Corbyn as offering a 'refuge' to those who are content to exist as opposition only and who are disillusioned by the ills of globalisation and an untouchable global elite. Many seeking the so-called 'refuge' of Jeremy Corbyn would consider Tony Blair a member of the untouchable elite he refers to in his op-ed.

For his own part, George Osborne has reignited the threat of the 'unholy alliance' that could emerge between the SNP and a Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn who could work to oppose renewing Trident. Writing in The Sun the Chancellor stated: "Now that consensus, which is so important for our security and reliability as an ally, risks being shattered again by an unholy alliance of Labour's leftwing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists".

Osborne doesn't consider that for many across the country the phrase 'unholy alliance' would instead more accurately cover the Westminster bubble and establishment.

Their warnings therefore, hold no water with Corbyn supporters since they believe the same course would be charted after the 2020 election by Kendall, Burnham and Cooper as by Osborne, May or Boris Johnson.

Whilst Tory leadership contenders bide their time to start their own succession campaigns and the Tories as a whole strive to cement their party as the party of the worker, they take the wind out of Labour's sails. Labour candidates must fight over diminishing territory to distinguish themselves from the pack, further compounding the Corbyn effect.

Corbyn's unlikely support from Nigel Farage alongside Russell Brand illustrates how his opposition to TTIP, his support for renationalising the 'big six' energy companies and his modest euroscepticism can capture distinct demographics where they overlap in agreement. A place where both Labour and the Tories have struggled to locate since the financial crisis.

Warnings that Labour can't win under Corbyn are wasted on those who do not distinguish between Blairites and Cameronites, New Labour and small 'c' conservatives. For the chorus of no voting for Jeremy Corbyn it is important to provide a platform - with a slim chance at the premiership - to a man who represents change.

Either way, the risk is worth it for those who no longer distinguish between the rest of the Labour candidates and their Conservatives counterparts who Corbynites see as simply more of the same.