by Rob Marchant
The reshuffle resembled nothing more closely than the careful rearrangement of deckchairs on the Titanic. While it is mildly good news that the Corbynistas do not yet feel confident enough for their own Night of the Long Knives, it is hardly going to change much.
So it is now time to look forward to the year ahead and plot – er, think about – a strategy to bring the party gradually back to some semblance of electability and political normality. 2016 is likely to be critical for the future of the party, in that it will most likely determine whether a Corbyn leadership actually has legs and can stumble on until the general election of 2020, or will fizzle out long before.
While common sense would indicate the latter, there is also a strong correlation between the time taken for that meltdown to happen and the cumulative damage wreaked on the party.
Meanwhile, British politics in general this year is likely to be dominated by two stories: the first half by the Scottish elections and the second by the start of the build-up to the EU In-Out referendum, assuming it does not happen earlier. Sadly, there is very little which Labour can do about either.
The Scottish elections are likely be a terrible story for Labour whatever happens: it is clear from the polls and the general election result that it will lose many tens of Holyrood seats (if not all of them, as nearly happened for the Westminster election).