Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Trouble With Jeremy Corbyn

Since becoming the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has succumbed too much to those within his party who will never accept his Leadership. He has overlooked his supporters by appointing his enemies to frontbench and other positions. He has allowed some of them to worm their way back in, despite their having resigned in an attempt to force him from office.

He has allowed a free vote on Syria, yet no one remembers a free vote on Iraq. He has whipped an abstention on Trident. He has acted against the social and ethnic cleansing of Labour Haringey, but not to secure justice for the 472 Teaching Assistants in Labour Durham. He is supporting the Government’s indulgence of the ludicrous theory of gender self-identification. He is hinting at support for the Customs Union.

And he has gone too far in accepting what was always Theresa May’s and Boris Johnson’s totally unproven attempt to blame the Russian State for the attack in Salisbury. That attempt collapsed completely yesterday, when Porton Down itself denied Johnson’s repeated and public insistence that it had traced the offensive chemical to Russia. That claim had also been tweeted by the Foreign Office on 22nd March, but it was deleted from Twitter today.

Alas, while Corbyn’s relative caution has been vindicated, he had nevertheless conceded too much ground to demand last night, and then insistently throughout today, that Johnson either resign or be sacked. Even the BBC might have had to have paid attention to that. As it is, while the reporting of this story on Sky News has been and remains excellent, the BBC’s reporting, or lack of it, is a national disgrace.

The same applies to the BBC’s saturation coverage of the noisiest and the most politicised among the self-appointed voices of British Jews, or at least of Jews in Britain, since one of those voices is the embassy of a foreign state. But again, Corbyn had already conceded the right of that embassy, of the not very representative Board of Deputies, and of the simply made up “Jewish Leadership Council”, which is a piece of astroturfing by what remains of the Conservative Party in London, to speak on behalf of a community that was in any case smaller than the number of people who had voted to re-elect him as Leader of the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is the most culturally significant British politician in living memory, the most agenda-setting Leader of the Opposition ever, and the global leader of the opposition to neoliberal economic policy and to neoconservative foreign policy. The Corbyn Government will lead Britain and the world out of politically chosen austerity, and away from wars of political choice. But only if it is backed up by enough MPs to cancel out his enemies within his own party, since there is going to be either another hung Parliament or a tiny overall majority.

You know what you have to do, brothers and sisters. You know what you have to do.

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