Corbyn’s activist army as well as the new leader will be on trial in Oldham on December 3rd

Corbyn’s activist army as well as the new leader will be on trial in Oldham on December 3rd

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Activism is about knocking on doors on dark cold November evenings

The results of today’s election of committee chairs by LAB MPs highlights the massive gulf between the parliamentary party and the new leader. As George Eaton in the Staggers reports the outcome was a triumph for the right.

An indication of how badly it went for Team Corbyn was that “Of the 17 commitee chairs, 11 supported Liz Kendall’s leadership campaign, including Tristram Hunt (Communities and Local Government), Ivan Lewis (International Development), Emma Reynolds (Health), Mike Gapes (Foreign Affairs), John Woodcock (Defence) and Peter Kyle (Business).”

But there was sting in the tail as Eaton reports. He quotes one left winger saying This is kamikaze politics from the right. If they think the way to win over the thousands of members who voted against them is to behave in this way they are profoundly mistaken.

This is a common line from JC backers since his leadership victory in September but it misses one key point – how powerful a electoral force is represented by the new members?

At the moment we don’t know but there is a big by-election coming up in Oldham West on December 3rd when UKIP could give Labour a run for its money.

A lot of what goes into winning such contests is down to the level of grunt work that a party can carry out. Delivering one leaflet after another night after night and knocking on every door to identify support so that your GOTV (get out the vote) operation on the day can deliver the best result is what’s required.

That demands people – lots of them who are skilfully led and organised. A problem that Labour has had in the past in seats like this is because winning has been so easy in the past that it often doesn’t have the structures in place.

Corbyn activists need a big result on December 3rd.

Mike Smithson

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