This post is entirely speculative but it is based on a mysterious event: the effective closure of the web blog devoted to propagating the left-wing politics that most people associate with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the British Labour Party.
The blog is called Left Futures and it was founded by Jon Lansman, a long time Labour party activist who ran Tony Benn’s unsuccessful bid for the party’s deputy leadership in 1981, against Denis Healey, and the 1988 bid for party leader against Neil Kinnock, which was also lost.
In 2015, Lansman backed Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race and in the wake of Corbyn’s unexpected victory he founded the Momentum group, a grassroots, left-wing activist movement which later was officially allied to the Labour party. Momentum is estimated by some to have over 30,000 members and is strongly pro-Corbyn and anti-Blairite.
As founder, Lansman owns all the Momentum data, i.e. details of its membership, which places him in a unique position of influence vis-a-vis the Corbynite left.
Lansman also founded the Left Futures website as a forum for debate on the Labour left. The website’s self-description reads:
Left Futures is an independent on-line network which seeks to bring to the web the best writing and the sharpest criticism on the Left, and open debate about shaping the future. It is committed to socialism, sustainability, internationalism and democracy.
However the site appears to have stopped operating. The last post was on October 1st, over three weeks ago.
Suspicious minds have suggested to thebrokenelbow.com that this may be a sign of an impending rightward shift in Corbyn’s political journey, as the prospect of Downing Street looms ever closer.
With Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party in increasing flux and another general election not unlikely in the foreseeable future a shift to the right – which would of course be called a shift to the centre – by Corbyn would be in a long, if less than proud Labour party tradition.
Closing down, or at least silencing Left Futures would not be inconsistent with that.
Time will tell.