Blairite wipeout in Scotland teaches us an important lesson about them. They have no particular beliefs other than in their own careers. Progress was always more about career progress than societal progress. When politics stops being a nice little earner, the Blairites will very easily give it up.
If they had strongly held principles and beliefs, they would continue fighting for them even if they made nothing from it and it actually cost them money, like, umm, me. But you don’t see any Blairite ex-MPs who have spent the last couple of years on wholehearted political campaigning or working for their party. They have gone where the money is – many accepting their remunerative reward from the corporations they so loyally served while in office. Many with banks and financé companies; Brian Wilson never stopped working for the nuclear industry whether in parliament or out. Some have joined the laughably called modern charities sector with its high six figure salaries. The only professional Scottish Blairite (though not MP) who has prominently remained loosely connected to politics, John McTernan, has done so as the lowest kind of journalistic prostitute, damning Labour for anyone who will pay him.
When I read that Tory lickspittle right winger Blair McDougall is to be the Labour candidate in East Renfrewshire, my first thought was “Oh great, that’ll split the Tory vote, SNP hold.” My second was “where is Jim Murphy?”. The far right Henry Jackson Society member Murphy was so dedicated to the cause, he carried his own soapbox and braved eggs. Surely he hasn’t given up? Surely he’s fighting again? But no, none of them are. As soon as the Blairites found politics stopped giving them large wodges of cash, they all lost interest in it, completely. You will search this election in vain for the dulcet tones of wee Dougie Alexander.
It was not ever thus. Gladstone and Churchill are but two examples that spring instantly to mind of politicians who lost constituency elections after they were MPs, but kept fighting and made comebacks. But whatever you can say about Gladstone and Churchill, they were not just in it for the money.
I do not think Labour face a wipeout in England of the same scale they did in Scotland. In fact, I do not think this will be a comfortable election for the Tories, as even the media cannot prevent the electorate from twigging May avoids people, avoids scrutiny, and is programmed with only three lines. But if Labour do suffer large losses in England, then Corbyn should look to Scotland for an example and take heart. Any defeated Blairites will not come back. They go away if you stop paying them. That should embolden him to carry on as leader. Politics is in an era of unprecedented volatility, and assuming May is re-elected, within two years she will be massively unpopular as the effects of Brexit hit.