I was therefore really pleased that, as I predicted, there wasn't an easy walkover for Theresa May and, as I didn't predict, that there was a hung Parliament with a wafer thin majority.
This is the kind of situation which ought to provide plenty of really easy wins for an opposition and help build a momentum for a real change in the way the country is governed for decades to come. It is frustrating to watch some of those opportunities being frittered away so quickly by a Labour Party leadership that seems incapable of grasping of consensus non-tribal politics.
But let's not start on a negative. Let's start with the evidence of how effective a clever opposition can be in the current situation. So all credit to Labour's Stella Creasy who did this with real skill in the first session of the new Parliament. Tabling an amendment to the Queens Speech that allowed women from Northern Ireland access to free abortions via the NHS in England was a brilliant move. Firstly and most importantly it actually helped real people at a difficult time in their lives. Because of this it forced Conservative MPs to look hard at their conscience and make enough of them realise they couldn't live with themselves if they voted against it. It therefore resulted in a victory. Even better it was a victory that was extremely awkward for Theresa May and the DUP hours after they had just agreed to work together. This isn't what DUP thought they would get from collaboration.
Just as I was starting to get excited about how fantastic this was the Labour Party leadership followed it up with a piece of utter stupidity. The first days of a new Parliament are not a great time for a newly resurgent opposition to split and for loyal Shadow Cabinet members to get sacked for disobedience. That is what Corbyn achieved. This wasn't just a case of accidentally seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a case of a conscious decision to do so by provoking a Shadow Cabinet split. Instead of being able to challenge the Conservatives for being deeply divided on the key issue of the day Labour decided to start out by exposing its own divisions on that very same issue.
The issue that divided them was an amendment to the Queen's Speech which called for the UK to stay in the Single Market. This is what the Labour Part Manifesto from a couple of week's back has to say on the topic:
"We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union"
That statement seems pretty clear and unequivocal. Any reasonable person would think it meant that the party could be relied up to vote to stay in the Single Market. Few of us realised that what the words in the manifesto really meant were "Labour will pull out of the Single Market and hope it can negotiate something better." Quite a few of the Shadow Cabinet didn't realise it either.
So imagine their surprise and annoyance when a three line whip was issued requiring all its MPs to vote against the amendment. To their credit around 50 Labour MPs decided to rebel rather than explain to their voters why they had backed pulling out of the Single Market so shortly after promising the exact opposite.
Instead of using the strong election performance to unite the party behind a coherent attack on a weakened Conservative Party the first thing the Leader of the Opposition did was to split his own party and his Shadow Cabinet. Yet again.
This was not a split that got rid of Blairites who were standing in the way of progress. It was a split that got rid of people who stuck with Corbyn when times were really hard. It was not a split based on principled defence of the interests of working people. It was a split that pushed out of Corbyn's leadership team anyone who believes the same thing as most of Labour's voters - that it would be madness to leave the Single Market.
Right now we have an enthusiastic body of young voters passionately interested in politics because of their worries about Brexit. The party which is hoping to lead them has failed so badly to champion their interests that it split its own newly appointed Shadow Cabinet.
Corbyn is a fantastic campaigner. He is a very likeable man. But he is either a very poor tactician or someone who is still convinced that the only way the UK can move towards the socialist paradise is to get out of the EU. That does not bode well for the future.
Theresa May has been claiming that over 80% of the British public voted at the General Election for parties which want Brexit. We now know that she is right. Labour has nailed its colours to the mast of not just Brexit but leaving the Single Market at the very moment when the public is beginning to realise quite how costly and damaging the whole project is going to be.
In these circumstances it is not wise to keep quiet and avoid criticising. We need effective opposition against Theresa May's government. We need an alliance powerful enough to overturn it and to win the next election. We are not going to get it unless the Labour Party leadership starts to build progressive alliances and make deals across party lines. Until the leadership of that party starts working towards that aim instead of focusing on provoking splits even within its own Shadow Cabinet I can no longer see why any progressively minded person would feel the need to hold back from honest criticism.