October 10, 2016


Reshuffle Proves Corbyn's In A Stand-Off With Labour (John McTernan, October 10, 2016, Heat Street)

Corbyn has taken his re-election as a mandate to be the same as he was before the leadership election - except worse. When the Tory conference was being held Corbyn was on a rambling holiday. He failed to respond to major announcements by Tory ministers - announcements that were so controversial, anti-business and unworkable that they have now been abandoned - because he was missing in action.

The first major political event that Corbyn attended after Labour conference was a "Stand Up To Racism" conference organised by a front for the Trotskyist Socialist Workers' Party (SWP). The SWP are widely condemned on the left for the way that they handled an internal scandal about alleged rape and sexual assault. Corbyn's words at their meeting were revealing: "I consider it an honour to be amongst people I have known for many years".

His appearance at this rally met wide protest, but the most interesting objections were from his supporters on the left. Writers who support Corbyn such as the thoughtful Owen Jones and the new media pioneer Aaron Bastani both condemned him.

Off the back of his leadership election, Corbyn is still master of all he surveys within the Labour Party. But this is a toxic combination - a failure to fight the Tory government, a trench warfare with the PLP and vocal criticism from the left. Not the end of the beginning, let alone the beginning of the end, but the start of something.

The point, for ideologues, is not to oppose the other party but to purify your own. Indeed, to pick a leader who could appeal to the broad electorate is to betray your ideology.

Posted by at October 10, 2016 9:52 AM