The Reshuffle Omnishambles

The omnishambles of the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle has laid bare what many of us have been thinking for a long time; Jeremy Corbyn is completely useless, and is quite out of his depth as Leader of the Opposition. It makes me wonder what proportion of those who voted for him as leader are now themselves wondering what on earth they were thinking at the time.

He’s neither a natural leader nor a deep political thinker. His principled leftism is little more than simplistic dogmatism that’s unable to cope with any kind of out-of-context problem. He is probably an honourable man personally, but he’s nevertheless surrounded himself with awful people like Seamas Milne, doctrinaire Stalinists who behave as though they consider the moderates of their own party rather than the Tories are the real enemy.

As long as this goes on, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a deeply-divided party going down to catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Tories at the next election. For us Liberal Democrats, the only silver lining might be a Liberal revival filling the vacuum left by the disintegrating Labour party. But even then we face the prospect of a Tory administration with a thumping majority, as happened during the 1980s.

There is one thing even worse, though unlikely. It’s Corbyn somehow managing to beat a Tory party that imploded after Cameron’s idiotically ill-advised EU referendum. If you think Corbyn is disastrous as Leader of the Opposition, imagine how bad he’d be as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, while the media focuses of Labour, the Tories can do what they like without opposition or scrutiny.

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7 Responses to The Reshuffle Omnishambles

  1. Ian Redfearn says:

    Sorry cannot agree with a single point in this. So we do have something we disagree on :-)

    The one thing I will concede is that too many times people on the left spend too much energy on trying to be more left than their comrades but I am a strong believer that the labour party does need to move away from the Tory lite of new labour.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    I think the real villain is the first-past-the-post electoral system. Labour is really two parties, and always has been, locked unto an unhappy marriage.

    But until we get some form of electoral reform, something that’s not going to happen under the Tories, they cannot divorce.

  3. David Meadows says:

    The only point I can age with is your last one.

    Cabinet shuffles happen all the time, in all parties. They are no big deal, and this was not an unusual or noteworthy example of one. The only thing that made it a big deal was the media circus, where they have spent the last 100+ days wilfully ignoring the horrors of the Tory government because they think Corbyn will give them better ratings.

    I do agree with your comment, though. If we had something better than first-past-the-post, the right-wing malcontents in the Labour benches could split off into their own party and everybody would be happy it worked for Shirley Williams et al. Except they probably know that if they did, nobody would vote for them. Labour supporters have been pretty clear that they want a return to a left-leaning party (people didn’t overwhelmingly vote for Corbyn because they thought he was just like Tony Blair), so the new “right wing” labour party would be scrabbling for Tory and Lib Dem votes, which realistically they’re not going to get.

  4. Synthetase says:

    Your description of the man himself reminds me of our recently-deposed Prime Minister in Oz, Tony Abbott – just replace left with right. Absolutely hopeless and a complete national embarrassment. If you think it’s really likely to be that bad if this man ever becomes PM of the UK, spare a thought for us. Abbott was sacked by his own party room two thirds into his first term after a continuous stream of poor political decisions and constant media gaffs on both the domestic and world stage.

  5. To Synethase: you have to bear in mind that Tim’s description may be slightly biased.

    Jeremy Corbyn was elected by an overwhelming majority of his party members, and still has the backing of an overwhelming majority of those members. It’s very unlikely that he would be “sacked by his own party”.

    His only real problem is dealing with a handful of sitting Labour MPs whose politics are completely out of step with his own — and therefore, by definition, out of step with the majority of party members who *they are supposed to represent*. And in the eyes of the media he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t — if he tries to work with them, he’s compromising his principles, if he tries to cut them out, he’s a tyrant.

    The national embarrassment are the media, who are feeding this because it makes good television and are letting the Tories get away with murder while the spotlight is off them.

  6. Ian Redfearn says:

    To David, I think the media is choosing to miss the point about the support Corbyn has from the membership. More people have joined the Labour since Corbyn was elected leader than the total membership of the Tory party. The MPs in the Labour Party crying about an unelectable left wing party no longer represent the membership. Mandelson has recently claimed 30,000 members have left since Corbyn elected – but the membership is close to 200,000 members bigger. Corbyn has made the Labour Party relevant for me for the first time in a long, long time, the sad thing is that the media are more interested in the internal disagreements in the labour party and not putting the current government under the microscope.

  7. Synthetase says:

    “To Synethase: you have to bear in mind that Tim’s description may be slightly biased.”

    Well aware of that, which is why I said “your description” rather than Corbyn himself.