The news that a motion of no confidence has been tabled against Jeremy Corbyn gives me some heart. There must be Labour parliamentarians who actually want the party to survive. It’s the only glimmer of hope to come out of the Brexit debacle.
There is always a tipping point in a mutiny. It comes when the consequences of inaction are clearly worse than the consequences of action. As the captain steers the ship aimlessly around in choppy waters, the crew members tolerate their sea sickness. But when he claims he can’t see the rocks that obviously hover just a few nautical miles away, sheer determination overcomes inertia.
I don’t actually care if there’s a blood bath in the Labour Party right now. If that’s the price which has to be paid to have a credible opposition to the charlatans and Little Englanders who will soon be running the Tory Party, then so be it.
Corbyn is hopelessly out of touch with the concerns of traditional voters and unable to connect with them. He is also a man who has been promoted way beyond his ability and lacks the communication skills, gravitas and common sense to lead a major political party.
His performance during the EU Referendum was truly extraordinary in both its pettiness and lack of impact.
It was petty because he felt that tribal loyalties were more important than becoming part of the campaign proper. He refused to share a platform with Cameron and felt that he could plough his own furrow with promises of a fantasy EU. Most of his colleagues felt obliged to follow his lead, with the brave and notable exceptions of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and former acting leader Harriet Harman.
What a crazily mixed message he sent from the Remain side when he claimed he wouldn’t sign the very trade deal President Obama had said was one of the rewards of a vote to stay.
Corbyn’s performance lacked impact because he is a man who inherently lacks impact. He has a monotone delivery which provides the same level of passion to a discussion of the future of Europe or terrorist outrages in Paris as is applied to a review of the standing orders of Labour’s National Executive Committee.
As someone who opposed the EU and its predecessor organisations – and who is known never to have changed his mind on any significant issue since 1975 – his Damascene conversion to 7-or-7.5-enthusiasm for Europe had zero credibility.
He must have known that he was not the man for such a momentous job and should have stepped aside. But if the Parliamentary Labour Party had shown any bottle, he would have been helped in that decision at the start of the year. Or at the very latest after his disastrous performance in the May council elections.
They are already talking about Jexit. For me, it can’t come soon enough.