It’s a very good article and largely articulating why I have become disillusioned with Corbyn.
My real question is that if this is all obvious to you, why is it not obvious to team Corbyn? The utterly maddening thing is that so much of seems totally avoidable… assuming Corbyn wishes to avoid it. Clarity of communication and presentation, talking to your own politicians, saying the right thing at the right time, making yourself a visible presence at key moments; I know you’re a journalist and have a slightly different perspective, but so is Seamus Milne FFS.
It’s been so poorly done that I honestly wonder if they want to fail (in order to reduce Labour to a more manageable party of opposition than a diverse party of government) but don’t want to say at this stage because it might contradict Clause 1. They seem hopeless at government — or shadow government – and yet some things they’re suddenly ruthlessly efficient at. Momentum did nothing that I could tell during the EU campaign, but they’ve been bombarding me by phone, email and text since the leadership challenge was suggested. Corbyn is dire at PMQs and yet the machinery around him – admittedly perhaps largely due to the leftwing echo chamber — has been remarkable at pouncing on his political opponents (Owen Smith is no more likely to flog the NHS off to private pharma than Corbyn is to support terrorism). The two things that have really disturbed me of late: Corbyn banging on about a miniscule win in a single tiny parish byelection — can he really be so politically naive that he honestly sees it as a major win that should have been nationally reported? Or is it in fact a deliberate and cynical whipping up of loyalists and stoking of anti ‘MSM’ paranoia, a deliberate stoking of the us vs them thing? And secondly announcing a policy on pharma tax relief just after Smith enters the leadership race – is it a coincidence? Or is it a Cameron-style piece of political game-playing?
FWIW I think it COULD be turned around if there was the will to do so, but I just don’t see that there is. He could make peace with a chunk of the PLP if he won the leadership election but said ‘look, sorry, I realise a lot of this came from poor communications etc, we’re going to change things immediately’. But I just don’t see there’s any appetite for that. It would be great if Corbyn stepped aside for a Clive Lewis figure, but again, I’m not convinced they want a unifying figure on the left. Anyway, I fully expect this to get worse before it gets better, he ho.