As an escape from the plethora of mind numbing Christmas movies that are almost everywhere on TV land at this time of year I've been spending quite a lot of time watching the BBC Politics channel. There are a couple of series of short lectures that are interesting. One is called The Reith Lectures. There are five half hour programs where Jonathan Sumption looks at aspects of Parliament and the Law.
Another series is called Reflections: When Parties Split. Again in five half hour parts, Steve Richards looks at party splits starting with Peel and the Corn Laws, Joseph Camberlain, Ramsey Macdonald, Labour and the SDP and finally Brexit.
Both of these series look cheap as chips, A single camera on a single speaker with or without a lectern. In one of them there is a Radio 4 logo and all of these would have done as well as radio programs. The Radio 4 logo suggests that they were. If you can find them, they are all on again tomorrow, they are worth a listen.
Another surprising gem amongst all of this is a program called Briefings. Tony Blair, speaking less than a week after the election, reflects on the state of the Labour party and it's defeat. He looks at the history of the Labour Party and predicts alternate futures. He points out that before the Labour party the Whigs and Liberals were the long time opposition to the Tories. Before the Labour party existed the Liberal Whig coalition spent more time in government than the Tories.
After The Labour Party overtook the Liberals the Tories spent more time in Government than Labour. Although he didn't put it like this himself, this suggested to me that the existence of Labour split the left wing radical vote and weakened it for good. He went on to suggest that if Momentum do not relinquish their hold on the party, the party itself will be replaced. Surely a third left wing party would increase the divide even further.
Tony Blair did not suggest this, but I wonder if the solution would be an amalgam of Lib Dems and center Labour outcasts to form a New Liberal Party. That could be an effective opposition.
Not, of course, that I want one, or do I?