Owen Jones writes “Corbyn’s opponents .. are, by turns, bewildered, infuriated, aghast, miserable about the rise of Corbynism. But they should take ownership of it, because it is their creation.” I have argued the same in the past, but I would go further. If this crisis within Labour does prove as destructive as I fear it will be, it will be a result of the behaviour of many of Corbyn’s opponents. It is their actions and words which make compromise between the membership and the PLP so elusive.
As I argued in my post on the future of the Labour party (the gist is in the title: Mutually Assured Destruction) those who tried to undermine Corbyn’s leadership from the start in a very public way (I called them the anti-Corbynistas) became in the eyes of most Corbyn supporters their opposition. As a result, they see the vote of no confidence as just an extension of this anti-Corbynista activity, and therefore believe they must defend their original choice at all costs.
While this characterisation of all of the PLP is wide of the mark, the way the anti-Corbynistas characterise Corbyn supporters is far more bizarre. Their model is Trotsky style entryism. This was very real in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, and my one and only experience of standing for election when I was a student involved defeating them. They were always small in number.  Their modus operandi was taking over other organisations through a mixture of subterfuge, strategy and persistence, targeting in particular groups where more traditional support had become moribund.
What has actually happened over the last few year to the Labour party in the UK is very different. Labour’s increased membership is similar to the support for Sanders in the US and the rise of the ‘new left’ in other European countries. Of course those who were previously in far left fringe groups will be getting involved, but in this case they are a tiny minority in an organisation that has become rejuvenated as a result of Corbyn (as his opponent in the forthcoming elections, Owen Smith, has acknowledged). If you really want to know who these new Labour party members are, read this post from the Very Public Sociologist, or this article by Ellie Mae O'Hagan or this from Helen Lewis. These accounts chime with my own experience. Militant entryists they are not. Of course this wave of new support contains a fringe of entryists as well as a fringe of intolerant twitter trolls, but to characterise the whole by this fringe is to wilfully misunderstand it.
As Ellie Mae O'Hagan describes, Corbyn supporters are also a group with few representatives in the media (and I’m talking Guardian not Mail), which allows too many in the Westminster-centric media to dismiss them as Socialist Worker fodder. Of course for those journalists in the right wing press who are not sympathetic to Labour, entryism is an attractive story to tell. For those on the right of the party who know this membership will never support their side, the myth of entryism provides a convenient excuse to pursue measures to exclude them. But if you are neither of those and want to influence this new membership, the last thing you do is go on about entryism. Which is the trap Tom Watson fell into earlier this week. 
Just as the anti-Corbynistas are happy to falsely characterise Labour party members who support Corbyn as either entryists or being under their sway, so they also claim that Corbyn and McDonnell never intended to try and work with the PLP. Instead it was always an entryist plot. I am called naive when I have suggested otherwise in the past. What I have actually said is that cooperation with the PLP was the only path that offered the new leadership any chance of success, which is what my MAD post is all about. But of course the anti-Corbynista claim about the leaderships real motives is unprovable: the leadership trying to work with the PLP (as it did) can be put down to pretence, and when the leadership failed it could be put down to deliberate intention rather than lack of ability.
The group whose motives are really suspect are the anti-Corbynistas. With Corbyn’s election in 2015 they saw their ability to influence the party slipping away, and have subsequently done everything they can to ensure it disappeared out of sight. They have publicly undermined the leadership, giving Corbyn supporters a clear excuse to ignore the polls. They have attempted to exclude Corbyn from this new election, allowing Corbyn’s supporters to say that by voting for Corbyn they are standing up for democracy. They have called Corbyn supporters entryists when most are clearly not. If they really wanted to win hearts and minds they have been utterly useless, and as a byproduct have probably destroyed hopes of any kind of compromise. (I have lost count of the number of times I have been told by Corbyn supporters that Owen Smith is bound to come under the sway of the anti-Corbynistas.) It is not clear to me yet whether this behaviour is just incompetence, or whether it is they who really have an undeclared objective, which is to split the left.
 Colin Talbot argues that because these organisations had high churn, there are a lot of ‘ex-Trots’ out there. “It is this mass of vaguely ‘socialist’ middle-aged ex-Trots – and there are an awful lot more of them than they or anyone else probably realized until recently – that might explain a lot of the ‘Corbyn’ phenomena. Disillusioned with Blair (mainly over one single issue – Iraq), despondent of Labour ever winning again anyway, they have turned to Corbyn as the political equivalent of going out and buying a Harley.”
But maybe these ‘ex-Trots’ are ‘ex’ because they went off the concept of entryism - like the author himself. Being disillusioned by Iraq and despondent at Labour losing in 2015 are virtues. The implication that by supporting Corbyn they somehow have not grown out of their youthful behaviour is nothing more than an opinion.
 He said “There are Trots that have come back to the party, and they certainly don’t have the best interests of the Labour party at heart. They see the Labour party as a vehicle for revolutionary socialism, and they’re not remotely interested in winning elections, and that’s a problem. But I don’t think the vast majority of people that have joined the Labour party and have been mobilised by the people that are in Momentum are all Trots and Bolsheviks.” My italics, suggesting his analysis is similar to mine. But then he went on about “old hands twisting young arms”, which is really not a good way to persuade those with young arms!