THE Labour Party is nearly dead. It may, to some eyes, still resemble a living, breathing thing but we are witnessing a deathbed scene, the last twitchings of a diseased almost-corpse. It has been killed by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and by everyone who has given them support. It has been killed by the moderate MPs and members who have either gone along with the hard-left takeover or slunk away and left them to it.

To collaborate has been to legitimise. To fail to condemn and ceaselessly oppose has been to wield the knife on the thing you claim to love. It is the saddest and most curious of endings. Labour is dying because, by the next general election, it will no longer exist; at least, not in its traditional form as a broad-based movement for social democracy.

By then I believe there will be a new party that will have hoovered up a significant chunk of the decent, sensible people who sit tearing their hair out on the opposition benches, as well as those activists who have been forced from their constituency parties and councillors who have been deselected by the entryist thugs of Momentum. These people need somewhere to go, because they are never getting Labour back. As Mr McDonnell said in an interview last week, “no matter how bad it gets, determination is what you need. We’re doing something we’ve been working for for 30, 40 years of our lives. And this opportunity has come. We didn’t expect it. But now it’s come we’re making the most of it”.

If determination is what you need, that cuts both ways. And so the Trots keep Labour, a shrunken gang of angry oddballs, talking to themselves and shouting at people on social media, and a new party will be home to the rest: to those who see that the false joviality of the McDonnell chatshow appearance and the occasional policy accommodation with the real world disguise a political intention that is sinister, rigid and long-term and to those who refuse to accept the normalisation of extremists.

In the new party (for the purposes of this column, let’s set aside Scotland’s constitutional diversions), they will find themselves among friends – open, liberal types who believe, as they do, that society has become too unequal and that the free-market economy is not working the way it should; that solutions to these problems can be found but they will not come from the pages of Marx or through mass nationalisation or penurious taxes. They will be people who have struggled to make their peace with Brexit, and who have watched the cynical contortions of left and right in recent months with dripping contempt.

It will be a community of souls who agree that the state has an active role to play in delivering the common good and protecting the vulnerable but who understand that personal responsibility and individual freedom are equally important. They will not buy into the Utopian plans of middle-class, middle-aged revolutionaries and their ignorant young helpers, or magic money-trees, or a brazier politics that obsesses over the struggle, the unions, the comrades.

They will not look fondly on Russia and its grotesque global games or make excuses for Venezuela, where the equivalent of Corbynites are banning opposition parties, abolishing democracy and creating a dictatorship. They will be the kind of people who do not look at Britain’s enemies and see friends, or vice versa. They will be people who believe in people, rather than in a theoretical political and economic system that operates like an ever-tightening vice and has brought misery, violence and impoverishment wherever it has been tried. They will understand that, sometimes, dropping bombs is the lesser evil and a painful cost of global good citizenship. They will understand compromise, coalition-building and that politicians must and should take hard decisions.

The thing is, there are lots of these people; they are perhaps a majority in the country. If you’ve managed to read this far without throwing the newspaper or your laptop across the room you are probably one. You needn’t be a Labour person. You might be of the centre-right and have come to the conclusion you shouldn’t really be sharing house space with Boris Johnson or the world view of Jacob Rees-Mogg. You may be a non-tribal, floating voter who understands that the fast-flowing currents of the 21st century require us to rethink and modernise our political structures: from the embarrassing flummery of Westminster, to the relationship between the centre and the peripheries, to a ludicrously inflexible voting system, to a collection of parties that no longer makes intellectual sense. You may see that Brexit only makes these changes more essential.

When you think about it, there will be a new party. Its lack is unsustainable. If you’re not sure whether it’s for you, here are the sort of people it should include: David Miliband, John Major, Ruth Davidson, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Yvette Cooper, Nick Clegg, Anna Soubry, George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Ken Clarke, Peter Mandelson, Paddy Ashdown, Chuka Umunna, Jack McConnell, Alistair Darling, David Willetts, Dominic Grieve, Amber Rudd. If you look at this list, appreciate the connections, share the sensibility and the desire to pull our politics back from the edge, you’re in.

Even if some names give you pause, each would be an improvement on what is available at present.

You should also know that conversations are taking place and that, with each passing month, determination is growing. The funding is available, the brainpower is being deployed, the policies worked up, the potential leaders being sounded out. If the next general election is held in 2022, my best bet is that the new party will launch about a year before. It’s unlikely that it would win that first election; the first-past-the-post voting system is a major block to a Macron-style moment. But it would certainly stop Mr Corbyn and begin to lay the groundwork for the new politics that poor old Britain needs. To those in a position to make it happen, I wish courage, conviction and tenacity. And to those of you who would support it: keep the faith.