How do you solve a problem like Corbyn?
Ellie Mae O'Hagan
6316

I agree with much of this, but I see a glaring incompatibility in the middle of it, and in a lot of the commentary coming from many metropolitan left-liberal types (a group in which I would place myself). The article says:

“Copeland remained Labour because of antipathy towards the Tories and because constituents voted out of a sense of tradition. Then Brexit came along and upended all political convention — people voted for other reasons, and found they had very few reasons to vote Labour. And so Labour was rejected.”

Then it says:

“And for God’s sake, [Labour] needs to chase the Remain vote which is currently going to the Liberal Democrats.”

These two pieces of analysis do not, and cannot, work together. It is a generalisation of course, but the traditional working class Labour base in general strongly supports Brexit, and will massively resent any attempt to undermine it. To “chase the remain vote” will simply further entrench this voting block’s move away from Labour, and Labour is not a viable party without it. On the other hand, the metropolitan left-liberal part of Labour support is in general (to generalise again) vehemently opposed to Brexit, and threatens leaving Labour if Labour does not “chase the remain vote”. Labour also needs this group to win. And this issue is so important right now that it overshadows everything else.

Labour is screwed on this, whether Corbyn or anyone else is leader. Personally, I think Corbyn needs to hang on until Brexit is firmly under-way so that the remainers stop demanding Labour find an off ramp, and Corbyn can take the blame for it. Then the issue becomes how brexit is implemented, and then Corbyn should get out of the way for someone who (hopefully) can build a vision that appeals to both groups, and stops the post-Brexit settlement (which is coming) being one that screws over the most vulnerable in our society.

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