I thought the leadership had to come together to make the case for the modern Labour Party. But now it is clear that it’s too late for that – the split even in normal, modern Labour is too deep, shown by the Right’s aggressive early attacks against the general election campaign.
So SPB is the only chance. The strategy is to talk round all the normal members of the Labour Party. The new recruits are unpredictable and have likely joined to vote for a particular candidate (mostly Corbyn we fear).
SPB has a good cop-bad cop tactic. Kendall and Cooper are the bad cops. They play up the chaos and the possible split. They also attack on policy (it’s impossible) and vision (it’s dated) and voting tactics (no second, third or fourth votes for Corbyn). They are backed up by trusted figures, for example Johnson and Brown. Blair, Campbell and Mandelson vanish. Burnham is the good cop. He talks about the yearning for change the Corbyn movement represents, ‘the vision of 45’, re-nationalising the railways, renewing the Party. He is backed up by characters like Prescott, Kinnock and Steve Coogan (aha!).