If the Brexit vote wasn’t already troubling for those on the British and European left, then the ongoing political fracas in the Labour Party provides another cause for concern. Twenty-one members of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet have resigned their posts in protest of the party leader’s handling of the Brexit campaign. The coup is also the manifestation of concerns amongst Labour leaders, especially those on the right wing of the party, that a Corbyn lead ticket would spell disaster for the party in the next round of parliamentary elections.
This is all very worrisome, since the trajectory that Corbyn offers to the Labour Party is precisely what it needs to navigate the troublesome political waters ahead. The Brexit vote threatens to further distance Scottish voters, once a Labour stronghold, from the party, thereby costing it a crucial constituency. In the long term, the direction offered by Corbyn is the only way for the British left to effectively counter the right-wing populism of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, whose ascendency was made so evident by the results of Thursday’s vote. The ouster of Corbyn would mark a return of New Labour, which has abetted the abandonment of Scottish labourites and the deliverance of working-class English voters into the hands of the likes of Farage and Johnson.