There’s politics and then there’s delusion. Sure, to go into politics you have to have a certain confidence, a certain belief that you are indeed The Man. Such confidence not being something Chuka Umunna is short of. Yet it’s entirely possible for such confidence to move off into the realms of delusion.
For Chuka is going to leave the Labour Parry – so it is alleged at least – in order to be The Man who saves the country. When in reality, without the Labour Party, it’s “Chuka Who?”. Much the same applies to the others who are thinking of creating this new party:
Chuka Umunna is one of a number of Labour MPs expected to quit the party on Monday. About four or five MPs are likely to jump ship, with others considering leaving rumoured to include Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Mike Gapes.
The first past the post system does indeed make it very difficult for people to win seats without the backing of the major political party. The flip side of that being that the party makes it possible for people to win seats.
Those insurgent parties do sometimes win in byelections, that’s true. Near none of them survive – the last one that did being the SNP – a series of general elections. Because it’s not the person, The Man, that is important:
A split in the Labour party is now inevitable, Stephen Kinnock has said, amid reports five MPs could quit today. Last night the Labour MP said: “There probably will be some kind of splintering” but urged MPs considering resigning to “stay in and fight”. Up to half a dozen Labour MPs could resign the party whip today over complaints over Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of Brexit and anti-Semitism. This morning a group of Labour MPs will make an announcement at an event today on the “future of British politics”. Labour figures including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Ian Austin and Angela Smith have been rumoured for weeks to be on the verge of quitting.
If Maggie had decided to take her handbag home with her she might have gained a few seats fora new party. Churchill famously won the war and lost the election. That Labour near won the last election even under Jezza shows that the influence of the one person isn’t all that great.
Chuka might fancy himself as the saviour. Leaving the Labour Party will mean his losing his seat one or two elections from now. And, you know, that will be the end of Chuka. Because he’s not The Man, is he?