A damaging parallel is emerging here in the U.K. and across the pond in the U.S. Those clinging onto ideals of the far-left are risking power falling into the hands of the far-right, a prospect that should haunt us all

 

In the U.K., it is Corbynite Labour supporters clinging onto a divisive leader that risks handing Labour support to UKIP. Across the Atlantic, it is the Sanders socialists refusing to back Hillary Clinton who are effectively offering the U.S. to Donald Trump.

Currently, the Labour Party stands for very little. It has a far-left leadership majorly out of tune with its MPs and an eclectic membership confused by what their party represents. Even after the withdrawal of Angela Eagle and a sole opposition bid pledged by Owen Smith, Labour still risks failing to unite its divided membership. This is made harder by a heavy student-based backing for Corbyn’s principles against a lingering feeling of being cheated by a ‘Blairite revolt’.

Labour stands as a party representing the working class of Britain. Now, with a large section of this social demographic chanting for Brexit, it represents a revolt against ‘Labour IN’ and an alignment towards the ideals of UKIP. The number of voters exchanging the left for the far-right will only increase by a weak Labour Party. With almost 30 per cent of 2015 Labour voters saying they prefer Theresa May to Jeremy Corbyn as a PM, it becomes clear that those opting to keep Corbyn in are essentially paralysing the party. Beyond threatening the future of Labour, a power vacuum is slowly being created which provides fertile soil for a more vigorous UKIP. Although Corbyn continues to admirably demonstrate lifelong allegiance to his party, he seems blind to the fact that this commitment is sacrificing Labour to the realms of history.

Across the pond, there runs the risk of power slipping into the far-right on a much more global scale. The United States is in perhaps the most groundbreaking and publicised presidential race ever. While a recent CBS poll proclaimed that Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is the second most unpopular candidate for the U.S. presidency. Her Republican rival, speedly took the top spot with his divisive, insensitive and dangerous rhetoric, managing to divide his party and nation.

More centrist Republicans claiming Trump to be too divisive are pledging their support for Clinton, including President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Meg Whitman. On the opposing side of the political spectrum however, you have far-left Democrats staunchly rallying for Bernie Sanders and refusing to vote for Clinton because they feel their nominee was unfairly treated by the establishment — a concern fuelled by a recent WikiLeaks reveal on DNC emails. If this is true, then it is an injustice against Sanders. However, with the election only two months away, a more pressing and central issue at the moment should be the unification of the Democrats. Although Clinton may not be the ideal candidate, without far-left support her campaign could really struggle against Trump’s bulldozing rhetoric.

On both sides of the Atlantic we are therefore witnessing a new haunting parallel: Corbynites and Sanders’ socialists feeling their pride scuppered at having to compromise. What should be of immediate concern though, is that sometimes, swallowing your pride or accepting second best, means avoiding a far worse alternative.

Corbyn followers need to seriously consider their commitment to the future of the Labour Party and whether they want a stronger far-right base in the UK. Meanwhile, Sanders’ backers must genuinely evaluate whether having their pride offended by a Clinton victory, is really worse than a United States threatened by a Trump supremacy.

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