Only an honest conversation about the Corbyn era will help us learn from it | Owen Jones

I’ve interviewed dozens of Labour figures, to provide a nuanced understanding of events and to help chart a new course

Siri, define masochism: how about any attempt at a rational or balanced discussion of Labour’s last five years? Why pick at a still infected old wound when everything is on fire, you might reasonably ask, and when only a predictably toxic mix of score-settling and defensiveness will result? There is nothing to be learned from a morally disgraced political aberration except as a salutary lesson in where self-indulgent radicalism leads: here is the standard narrative embraced not just by the British right but many self-described progressive commentators.

For some on the left, the electoral rout of December 2019 was the product of a scorched-earth policy adopted by Jeremy Corbyn’s internal opponents, a remorseless onslaught from a near-uniformly hostile media and nothing else. That leads to a fatalistic conclusion: that any political project promising transformative change is inherently doomed. The reason I have spent the last six months interviewing dozens of Labour figures about the past five years for my book This Land is to provide a nuanced understanding of an often-traumatic half-decade to help chart the party’s future course.

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