James Kirkup writes in The Telegraph:
There are wars where the two parties fight in the hope of seizing territory, righting a wrong or making a point, before settling the conflict with a deal each hopes will be advantageous to their interests.
And then there is total war, when each side knows that the fight only ends in the total destruction of one side, or perhaps even both.
Jeremy Corbyn has today confirmed that the struggle underway in the Labour Party is now the political equivalent of total war.
He did it with these words, at the launch of his campaign to keep his job, when he was asked whether Labour MPs should face mandatory re-selection to stand again as Labour candidates at the next election:
“There would be a full selection process in every constituency but the sitting MP… would have an opportunity to put their name forward.
If Corbyn wins, his supporters will try and deselect 80% of the caucus.
If Mr Corbyn, the strong favourite to win, is indeed returned as leader on September 24 and moves ahead with mandatory reselection (backed by many members and the Unite trade union) then Labour would split.
A number of sitting MPs would find themselves deselected as Labour candidates for the 2020 election, but still in Parliament, effectively independent of Mr Corbyn’s organisation. Some might even chose to stand again against Mr Corbyn’s “official” Labour candidate in their seat.
It’s hard to see how a Labour Party fundamentally split in such a manner would lead to anything other than a comfortable Conservative election victory. Mr Corbyn’s words this morning could well mean Theresa May is Prime Minister until 2025.
Maybe even 2030, but I imagine she would hand over in her this term.