Let us be clear what the Tory welfare bill will mean.
If the parents of more than two children are precipitated into claiming benefits through a change in circumstances, like redundancy, a partner leaving them or being bereaved, then their children will suffer. If you are a women with, say 4 children, in a violent abusive relationship, you might be unable to leave and still feed your children. If you already have two children and get accidently pregnant, you may feel coerced into an unwanted abortion.
These are measures that are deeply, deeply wrong, and it is a moral requirement to oppose them.
What is more, concern about an equitable welfare system and social safety net has not historically been the preserve of only the left of the party, but also of the traditional right, of the revisionists, and even of the Blairites. It was Tony Blair himself who championed the reduction of child poverty.
So the twitterstorm outrage of opponents of Jeremy Corbyn about the 48 Labour rebels is ridiculous.
Let us point out that half of the rebels are newly elected, and are therefore MPs most recently connected with the real world outside the Westminster bubble.
In contrast, Liz Kendall – the only candidate to actually support voting for welfare cuts – got the lowest number of nominations from newly elected MPs, and her CLP nominations come overwhelmingly from safe or unwinnable seats – where activists are least attuned to swing voters. What sort of sense of entitlement inspires someone who has led such a disastrous campaign for the leadership, to think that any campaign they might wage towards a general election would be successful? What makes politicians who have had a career as special advisors, and working for Labour aligned think tanks or charities, believe that the years they have spent in meetings in Portcullis House makes them well suited to judge the mood of ordinary voters, struggling with precarious employment, unaffordable housing, and benefit cuts?
It was clear that there would be a rebellion as soon as Harriet Harman backed the Tory proposals, and was later pressurized into abstaining, but not opposing.
The responsibility of leadership is to manage the differences of opinion within the party. Instead Harman took a course of action that seems to have been calibrated to create division. The fault for the fiasco over the welfare bill lies squarely with Harman, and her supporters in the PLP.
Was this a miscalculated plot to adapt to an indefensible Tory policy, perhaps hoping to deter Corby supporters from joining Labour, or becoming supporters, and seeking to provoke a small rebellion, with the objective of showing Corbyn isolated? If that was the plan it has massively misfired.
Yesterday I spoke to three former Burnham supporters, two of them Swindon councilors, another the chair of a CLP, who have now switched to Corbyn.
The right wing in the Labour Party are desperate, when John McTernan, who presided as chief of staff of Jim Murphy’s utterly routed Labour Party in Scotland is wheeled out on Newsnight to give advice to Labour on how to win! (Let us remember that McTernan spoke at 2014 Conservative Party Conference fringe, where he gave advice to Cameron on how to beat Labour)
A Jeremy Corbyn victory is not only looking possible, but like it is our only hope.