THOSE who favour a leftist solution for unlocking human potential won’t easily be reconciled with the emotions loosened by last Thursday’s electoral apocalypse. As the multi-millionaire Tony Blair remarked afterwards this wasn’t just any old Labour defeat. In time, the party will rise once more to become an electoral force but at what cost to its immortal soul? From this remote vantage point, some five years distant from the next Westminster election, only by engaging in the defeated politics of acquiescence and forelock-tugging can it ever find a place in England’s political future.

Socialism and the values it represents fell last Thursday. In successfully portraying these as extremist and unhinged the final triumph of merciless Toryism, after a century of attrition, was complete. When you can persuade those whom Socialism helped most and who have most to fear from Boris Johnson that he is their friend and Jeremy Corbyn their enemy then the game is up.

A heading on a column carried by The Times yesterday encapsulated this neatly in eight words: ‘The hard left has a problem with patriotism’. You are now considered hard left if you favour nationalisation over the practice of selling off our national assets to global billionaires or if you think that affluent people should pay proportionately more in tax than disadvantaged ones. If you want to provide all EU citizens with guarantees about their future within the UK and to welcome children fleeing global terror then you must now be considered extreme and probably dangerous. Workers’ rights, anyone? The maintenance of European basic food standards? Ring-fencing the NHS from the implacable predations of US capitalism? Protecting the independence of the judiciary from a sect that would have it bend the knee to populism? These are all now regarded as belonging to a hard left agenda.

And, of course, when all else fails there’s always ‘patriotism’ to catch the unwary. The left, of course, has never had a problem with patriotism; with that quiet British pride in past achievements and the small role your family might have played in them. This, though, is no longer enough. Now your patriotism is measured in putting out more flags and gathering more poppies: the bigger; the better. It demands that Britain must be considered superior to its neighbours and that it was happiest when it had its boot on someone else’s neck.

It conveniently forgets that the most grievous acts of treachery against the British state were not committed by the ‘hard left’ but by aristocrats who were seduced by Stalinism or who sought to appease Hitler in our darkest hours. On the battlefield Britain’s greatest humiliations were the result of decisions made by generals and commanding officers whose rank stupidity and indifference to the wellbeing of their own soldiers were not considered sufficient to refuse them a place at Sandhurst.

Earlier this week Mr Corbyn was compelled to endure a furious backlash from Labour MPs unhappy with his leadership during this election. Among them will have been several of those who have spent most of the last four years undermining their leader by drip-feeding poison on demand to those newspapers whose owners had most to fear from a real Socialist securing the keys to 10 Downing St. These MPs, who are paid handsomely to represent those with most to fear from an extreme right-wing Tory administration, did as much as anyone else to hand victory to Boris Johnson and thus defile the trust of their communities.

They talked of making Labour electable once more but what’s the point of being ‘electable’ if this doesn’t provide a real alternative to what is already there? You thus simply become like the US Democratic Party whose divergences from the Republican Party can only be viewed through the lens of a very expensive microscope. England is now so much in thrall to the overarching values of Brexit that anyone on the left who doesn’t sign up to its charter is suspected of being an enemy of the state. There’s a reason why Tommy Robinson and others of his ilk are all rushing to sign up to this turbo-charged Toryism. For them it is a means of forming a Praetorian Guard around Mr Johnson and they will be expecting him to deliver that England in all its ugliness that they have long dreamt. This is the party that Tom Harris, a former minister in a Labour government, urged people to support. There are others of his stamp hiding in plain sight within Scottish Labour.

In Scotland, where Labour is now, once more, represented by one MP, the party’s decline seems more spectacular still. The implications of this, though, are not nearly as disturbing as the party’s decline in England. Here, the SNP have offered a left-wing alternative of sorts for Labour voters who saw England’s annexation by the dark forces of Brexit a long time ago. Sadly, for Labour in Scotland, the leadership has chosen to value the Union with this harsher England much more highly than its responsibilities to its members and communities. The feelings I experienced watching England’s working class communities fall into the hands of Boris Johnson last week were akin to witnessing Labour politicians and activists waving Union Jacks with Tories on the night of the 2014 referendum.

Some of those who participated in these celebrations were among the usual suspects calling for Monica Lennon’s dismissal from Scottish Labour’s Holyrood front bench. Ms Lennon’s crime was to abstain on a Scottish Government motion requesting future referendum powers, having signalled her support earlier in the week for a second independence vote. Here, at last was a senior Labour figure in Scotland acknowledging why the party is on permanent life support. A familiar cast of male careerists and show-offs from Labour’s entitled right-wing took to social media to demand action against her and to disparage her.

Ms Lennon has form for upsetting this cadre who are responsible for Labour’s demise and using it merely as a platform to advance their careers. She has been a long-term supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and at a time when her assailants were undertaking the work of the Tories by undermining him.

Ms Lennon is no supporter of Scottish independence. I suspect, though, she understands that an independent Scotland provides an authentic Labour party with the opportunity of ensuring Socialism prevails once more in one part of the British Isles at least.