Some unfortunate minion in Labour headquarters had the duty of sending out inspirational e-mails to members during last week’s conference.
As the Tom Watson debacle dominated headlines, I received the uplifting injunction: “What a weekend! THIS is what Britain could be like”. That was probably not a prospect to inspire Britain.
Labour got lucky when the Supreme Court wiped sectarian plotting off the front pages. That should not detract from the earlier perception that the conference was a depressing shambles.
Ultra-left sectarianism does not embrace building bridges in advance of a General Election or any other blip in the march of history. Manoeuvring for continuing control of the party machine is far more important.
You can see why leading sectarians, like Jon Lansman who fronted the Watson plot, would think that. Thirty-odd years ago, they were sidelined and remained there while, much to their disgust, Labour governments were repeatedly elected and achieved a great deal in their absence.
Now they are not only back but in control. They have probably factored in the likely defeat of Jeremy Corbyn and are looking further ahead. Meanwhile, Labour currently polls in the low-20s when it should be double that.
To me, one of the most disturbing images of a torrid political week was Len McCluskey repeatedly accusing a woman TV reporter of “telling lies” and “causing division” for asking valid questions about comments from Lansman. The sense of bullying was palpable; the arrogance of power personified.
While Labour under Corbyn make voters fear rather than hope “THIS is what Britain could be like”, there will no Labour governments. That, rather than Brexit, is Labour’s most urgent challenge and time is running out to address it.