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26 june 2016, and the name of the new party is...

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

#different. But we're ahead of ourselves, so let's sweep through the next few months as enough of the (labour) shadow cabinet quit, there's a vote of no-confidence in mr corbyn, he wins a leadership race and very regrettably the brightest and best go all sdp and set up a new, radical, centrist, forward-looking group: "we're not leaving the party" says attack-dog tristram hunt, "the party left us", and there's a few dotted around the rest of the house of commons that join them. It could start life with over 100 mps, a telegenic and dynamic leader, riding a wave of youngist backlash against "leave" and a majority of parliament ideologically sympathetic. In a febrile political environment desperate for new fresh faces, policies and ways of doing politics, it will play into a world in which new "parties" (or let's call it a movement) are spun up on a million tweets. Though s/he will think twice before actually pulling the trigger, the new conservative leader/pm is likely to want to be not gordon brown and will need their own mandate, especially as, unlike the campaign, parameters now need drawing about what "leave" actually means: how much immigration, how much spent on the nhs and all the rest of it. A mandate will also be needed to protect the negotiations from marauding ukip betraylists, even if their immediate fire is turned on converting their appeal in labour's northern heartlands to a slug of seats in the general election. #different (or whatever it's called) will need to appeal to that constituency too, and have a narrative to keep scotland on board. Their biggest weakness is being seen as too metropolitan, elitist and privileged. The break from the "old order" needs to be grossly apparent, including an authentic northern working class identity with a real response to that population's emotional social calamity. The most immediate question will be should it follow the libdem / lammy line of parliamentary sovereignty (meaning stand on a platform of staying in the eu then win an election and carry it out) or accept the apparent will of the majority and try to make it work in the most progressive way possible. Not ducking that question would really be the first thing that marks it out as #different.