I’ve spoken with a number of people on the left of politics who are becoming a little frustrated with Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit – by which they mean supposed non-stance – detecting an absence of leadership. I wonder if that is justified. He made a speech in Wakefield a couple of days ago – I know that because the Guardian had a big picture of him at the venue, albeit without any substantial report of the speech – and it seems he is sticking to his line that what we need is a general election. It is curious how in the eye of the media the idea of a general election seems secondary to another referendum on Brexit. Why we need a general election is daily made clear by the fact that we have a dysfunctional government – look at Universal Credit, the shambolic collapse of decent railway services, the housing crisis (here in Scarborough shop doorways all have their sleeping bag occupants), the ongoing collapse of our military (not I realise an issue that grips the left), the growing challenge of data abuse – we have a so-called government which has the decisiveness of a rabbit with myximatosis caught in the headlights. May has lost control and what’s worse within her own ranks there is no credible replacement. But as I have said before, the Tories (and DUP) consider a Corbyn government worse than no deal, so the actual likelihood of a general election still seems slight.
In these circumstances Corbyn is right to keep on banging on about a general election. A new government would have a mandate to do quite a lot about Brexit – not least to park it for a while and remove the sting. We’re still in a post-referendum period of confusion. Don’t we all know by now that the referendum was only called to try to resolve a Tory infighting problem? Isn’t that obvious by the way they are now behaving? Wouldn’t it better to have a new government unshackled of all that baggage? I think Corbyn is taking the right track – he doesn’t want to be defined by Brexit, but would rather be defined by the culmination of his lifelong political aspirations. That may eventually lead to Brexit of course, but not in a way forced along by the likes of your Rees Moggs. Interesting that Labour doesn’t have any equivalents to him or for that matter the wretched Boris. Corbyn increasingly looks like the adult in the room, but he will sadly get no credit for it.