Skip to main content

Why Jexit can't come soon enough

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I was sad when I quit Labour a year ago. Now, I feel a sense of relief.

What motivates decent people to stay as members of the Labour Party?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering intensely over the past year, which I’ve spent in self-imposed exile. I resigned the moment Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected as leader after the contest with Owen Smith.
When I quit, it was with a very heavy heart.
As far back as the late 1980s, I’d served as Labour General Secretary of the London NUS. By the early 90s, I was chairing Frank Dobson’s constituency party in inner London. On two occasions, I stood as a Labour parliamentary candidate.
If you make that kind of commitment, you assume it’s a relationship that will last for life. And even though I hadn’t been an activist in recent years, it never occurred to me that I’d be forced to rip up my party card. 
Today, as Labour’s 2017 conference looms, I wonder how anyone with a moderate viewpoint can kid themselves the party is even worth rescuing.
One group of centre-ground survivors falls into the category of the bloody minded. Like …

What if the whole Corbyn project is based on a lie?

If there’s one thing that scares the Corbyn movement more than anything else, it’s the emergence of a new centre-ground party.
Supporters know very well that once it arrives, the alleged ‘popularity’ of Labour’s far-left leadership would be badly exposed – in just the same way that Michael Foot’s good poll ratings disintegrated with the emergence of the SDP in the early 1980s.
When people are given a choice, many will opt for moderation.
When they lack choice – a particularly stark problem in the UK’s indefensible first-past-the-post electoral system – they tend to polarise to left and right.
For supporters of today’s Labour leadership, it’s therefore critically important to dismiss the centre ground as something which no one wants any more. As a failed ‘neo-liberal’ project, which has no relevance to 2018.
But consider the facts.
A recent BMG Research poll for The Independent found that millions of voters currently find themselves without a political home.
Many feel that the main parties …

Why Momentum's victory in Haringey leaves Corbyn exposed

If you want to see what a Corbyn government might look like, keep an eye on Haringey. The north London borough is set to be taken over by the hard-left Momentum faction, after moderate Labour councillors were deselected in a bitter dispute over housing.
The respected and long-standing council leader, Claire Kober, has said that she won’t be contesting her seat again in May – probably forfeiting her own place on the council to another representative of the Corbyn fan club. She’s also effectively pulled the plug on her £2bn housing initiative – known as the Haringey Development Vehicle or HDV – by saying that the incoming administration can make the final decision on whether it proceeds.
Part of the pressure on Kober came from the extraordinary decision of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee to weigh in on the issue. Thankfully, their intervention provoked a backlash from outraged councillors right around the country. Whatever they thought of the specific model for housing pr…