Jeremy Corbyn – End Of The Road

They say history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce, which is precisely what the EU Referendum and subsequent Clause 50 vote in the House of Commons has confirmed.

Having failed to take a firm stance during the run-up to the Referendum, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took a firm line for the vote, by employing a three-line whip to vote for the bill.

Obviously, the referendum result has put the Labour leader (and the entire party) in a difficult position, but he is the leader and made the call. It was inevitable that some would ignore the order and vote against, but for so many to do so (including incidentally, all three party whips!) once again demonstrates how little control the leader exerts over the party.

It also demonstrates how few options he actually has. After an initial shock victory, the leader has seen countless resignations, personal attacks, and a full-on mutiny, but is still clinging on, albeit with limited options. That is likely one of the reasons every member of the shadow cabinet who voted against the party line has kept their job. For the reality is, they know there isn’t anyone to replace them!

Jeremy Corbyn
Image source: The Sun

He has no authority in his own party, yet the party cannot remove him. Even if there were another leadership challenge, Corbyn would surely win. He is the leader the party members want, but not the ones they (and the country) need.

Yes, supporters can talk of the constant attacks, a hostile media, the traitors and saboteurs, but the fact of the matter is that he isn’t making any progress. At all.

The Party had a “relaunch” at the start of this year, that was little more than a damp squib. It was, to be polite, a confused, back-tracking mess lacking any of the requisite passion or clarity that was vital to cut through the noise. As a result, it may as well not have happened, and in some sense, it didn’t happen at all.

No-one is expecting perfection, but mere organised competence would be a start. A strong, clear message to win over the electorate is what is needed, after which the party would begin to fall in line. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but the party isn’t even edging in the right direction, and so, a change has to be forthcoming.

Jeremy Corbyn
Image source:

Corbyn has failed as a leader. There is no shame in that, particularly when all the odds are stacked against you (as they clearly were). But a time has to come when you must put your pride aside and realise this. The reality is, Corbyn is doing unparalleled damage to the party, and with every day he continues to cling onto power, it is only getting worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Corbyn rise, Lazarus-like, and ride a tide of left-wing populism (driven by sound, clear policy declarations) into power in 2020. I just don’t see that happening, and based on past evidence I’m not sure why anyone else would either. After more than a year in opposition, nothing has improved. Corbyn is still not seen by the electorate as Prime Ministerial, the party is more divided than ever and shows no signs of coming together, and policy (regardless of quality) is scatter-gun and unclear (at least as far as the electorate is concerned).

The question isn’t if Corbyn goes, it is when: before or after the Conservatives win the 2020 election?

If he goes sooner rather than later, that might give Labour an opportunity to repair some of the damage done to the party (by Corbyn and his opponents, alike), and avoid total meltdown. Even if they don’t win (which seems increasingly likely), they can at least be a more forceful opposition.

Jeremy Corbyn
Image source:

The Corbyn-era has been a dream for the Tories. Not only has the Party torn itself asunder over the last near year and a half, but it has left the Government off the hook, repeatedly. Time and again the Tories have been in a state of disarray, only for Labour to let it go unnoticed, or to overshadow it with a crisis of it’s own. The Conservatives couldn’t hope for a more supportive team across the aisle if they removed the seats and installed a full-length mirror!

Time is running out for Corbyn (some would argue it ran out long ago), and unless he can turn things around in very short order, he must face the inevitable and stand down, for the good of the party, and the good of the country.

Supporters would argue that he has a mandate from the party members, and at is obviously true. But what does that matter if you can’t get a mandate from the country? At what point does remaining leader go from being a point of principle, to completely unprincipled?

I’m certainly not suggesting the party once-again adopt the ways of (*shudder*) New Labour, but whatever the answer is, it isn’t Corbyn.

Moral actions are not based on ideal principles, but on what the predictable and likely outcome of those actions are. Many of Corbyn’s supporters are driven by a sense of fairness and equality. They want the world to be a better place, which is great. Except that by accepting a leader that shows no signs of being able to win a General Election (or indeed, make any progress towards doing so), they are damning the country to another five years of Conservative government, which is the exact opposite of what they want.

Yes, it was nice to dream that a left-wing rebel could rise from political obscurity and lead the Labour Party to victory (even if it took more than one election cycle), but that hasn’t happened, and it isn’t happening. The Party has imploded and hasn’t looked this far from power for decades.

I’m not saying those who want a fairer and more equitable system for all should stop fighting, far from it. But they need to channel their energies into battles that can, at least potentially, be won. There is no moral righteousness in being the principled opposition (although even that is becoming an increasingly optimistic vision of the future), just as there is none in unprincipled Governance.

Corbyn needs to step down and the Labour Party needs to elect a leader who might actually, dare I say it, win. There might yet be a left-wing Labour rebel who can lead the Party to victory in the General Election, but unfortunately, Corbyn isn’t it, and the longer he stays, the further away any such victory seems to be.

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