Don’t be fooled: the Corbyn nightmare is real

Labour MPs hoping Jeremy Corbyn will tone down his rhetoric if he wins his leadership bid are kidding themselves.

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Jeremy Corbyn: moderate Labour's worst nightmare

Jeremy Corbyn has united the Brownites and Blairites after a decade of distrust, "in mutual incomprehension and alarm", says Jim Pickard in the FT. Tony Blair has stepped up his criticism of Corbyn's hard-left "Alice in Wonderland" politics.

Shirley Williams, the former Labour minister who helped found the breakaway Social Democratic Party in 1981, said this wasn't an "SDP moment". Labour moderate Chuka Umunna said, "We have to accept the result when it comes, and we've got to support our new leader in developing an agenda that can return Labour to office." But how accommodating will Corbyn be?

"Those who have taken at face value Corbyn's warm words about unleashing a new egalitarianism through his party's ranks should brace themselves," says Dan Hodges in The Daily Telegraph. The purity of his ideology "allows no room for dissent".

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His victory is based on shunning compromise. There is "talk of unity and moving forward", but when he becomesleader, the only certain direction of travel is downwards. Labour MPs are trying to reassure themselves that he will moderate his policies and his rhetoric, or that he might not be around for long. They delude themselves. "The nightmare is real."

Corbyn's record of working with other Labour MPs isn't good, says Patrick Wintour in The Guardian. Within days of his election he will meet his MPs, only 20 of whom ever really backed him. Two days later, he faces Prime Minister's Questions and, a fortnight later, "four days of scrutiny" at Labour's annual conference.

He needs to appoint a new front bench as many as eight members of the shadow cabinet are considering declaring that they cannot serve under him. The Tory party has prepared a "parliamentary welcome in which Corybn will need to decide how to vote on a series of touchstone issues" designed to show that his support is "a million miles away from the heartbeat of the country". The pressure is huge.

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.