Corbyn’s car crash interview exposed the Labour Party for what it’s become
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BY TIM DAWSON
In a way, what Corbyn and McDonnell have achieved is remarkable. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected, he vowed to fundamentally change the Labour Party. The old, moderate centre-left party which all of us had become used to would be entirely reformed. Centrists would be muzzled or removed. Dissent would be crushed. Under the guise of being “kind and gentle”, a snarling beast would be created – cruel, nasty, intolerant.
Most of us didn’t think the project would get this far. Corbyn, McDonnell and Milne were simply too extreme, too incompetent. In the end, I assumed “moderate” Labour MPs would cut the project off at its knees – how could Lucy Powell be complicit in a radical Marxist leadership? Or Jess Phillips? Or Wes Streeting? All still in the Party have flaked. The frog was boiled. The metamorphosis is complete. The Labour Party of old is gone.
British politics has moved into a twilight zone, where wealthy, crusty old fringe-commies are deified and ordinary small ‘c’ conservatives are treated like pariahs. It is telling that the working classes don’t seem to be buying it – Conservative support amongst C2DE voters is markedly up, and Labour seats we never dreamt of winning just a few years are in play.
But amongst the middle classes – particularly the under 40s – the picture is different. It seems it doesn’t matter what Corbyn, McDonnell or their followers say or do, a substantial proportion of this group are determined to give this Labour Party’s sour Marxist recipe a go.
Perhaps the most shockingly cold response from Corbyn’s white-walkers came yesterday, with their reaction to the intervention of the Chief Rabbi. Anti-Semitic tropes were dredged up. Suggestions were made the Chief Rabbi was being paid for his words. And then, of course, there were the glib rejections of him as just another “Tory stooge”.
The acrid Corbynite cloud of disinformation belched across the internet. But they didn’t account for Andrew Neil.
At 7pm on BBC One yesterday, Britain’s most forensic political journalist hung, drew and quartered The Absolute Boy.
Corbyn refused to apologise to the Jewish community. He had no position on Brexit. He accidentally admitted a Labour government would slap a £400 tax bill on the lowest earners. He couldn’t say how much “the rich” – his pet hate – are charged in tax, nor how much they contribute. He had no idea how he would pay for anything. He was unable, even, to confirm he’d sanction the killing of an ISIS fanatic.
I have never seen an interview like it. To describe it as a nadir for the Labour Party is to undersell how poor it was. Corbyn was crotchety, limited, evasive, ill-informed. This was not the “lovely kind man” his supporters still want to pretend he is. This was an alarming exposure of somebody totally unfit for office.
Of course, the “moderates” are still campaigning for him. Jess Phillips’ hot take was that the whole format seemed a bit formal. David Lammy is wittering on about the horrible Tories.
But yesterday the British people got to see Corbyn for what he actually is. Surely – finally – his reactionary Marxist experiment is finished.
Tim Dawson is a writer and journalist and the Editor of Free Market Conservatives. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson