The Guardian editorial:
So what is Labour doing? As Britain heads for the EU exit door and Labour loses a byelection in a seat it has held for more than 80 years, much of its energy is focused not on the government but on its own factions. Mr McDonnell says the Labour right is attempting a soft coup. Tom Watson, the deputy leader, accuses Momentum and Unite of taking over the party. The hard left is the scene of bitter infighting. Unite’s Len McCluskey accuses Mr Watson of skullduggery, which is a fine charge from someone who didn’t need to put his union through a premature leadership contest. Labour seems bent on rerunning to the 1980s, only this time with the unions and the party’s big figures lacking the heart, the curiosity or the heft – and the command in Scotland – to pull it around.
Labour isn’t necessarily in terminal decline. A quarter of voters still support it. But the decline is enormous and it can’t go on like this. Labour needs to revitalise its vision and values, rebuild a coalition of interests and find leaders to start turning the current failure around. It won’t do that by obsessing over internal issues. It requires a massive change of direction at the top. Right now, though, Labour simply isn’t up to the job.
Leadership is important.