Politics

Jeremy Corbyn is too weak for government

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Credit: BBC News

When Jeremy Corbyn first became leader of the Labour Party his progressive stance seemed like a breath of fresh air.

But the longer his leadership lasts, the less Labour look like an opposition to the Conservatives.

He had a turbulent first few months as leader, having to fight off competition from his own MPs. His backbench MPs scrutinised the electability of his left leaning stance  – although it is this which was particularly appealing to Labour voters.

The leadership contest portrayed Corbyn favourably against his Blairite challengers but now it’s looking like he really is starting to struggle.

Earlier this month, Jeremy Corbyn spoke out on Scottish independence. He said that it would be “absolutely fine” for Scotland to hold another referendum.

Problem is, this defies everything Scottish Labour have been saying for the past few years and was bound to cause major issues. So what do you do when you find you’ve made a massive hiccup like this?

Blame the media of course.

In a fake-news type of backtrack, Corbyn has now reverted Labour back to categorically opposing Scottish independence and probably confusing everyone in the process.

One of the biggest flaws of his leadership comes from Labour’s stance on Brexit. It is particularly shocking because Corbyn cannot really hold the government accountable if he favours leaving the European Union.

Corbyn announced in January that the party would not oppose triggering Article 50. Labour MPs were urged to vote for in favour of Brexit after the government lost its case in the supreme court.

At the time, he said: “It is very clear. The referendum made a decision that Britain was to leave the European Union.

“I’ve made it very clear the Labour Party accepts and respects the decision of the British people. We will not block article 50.”

It is easy to see how this would cause problems. Many of the constituencies Labour MPs represent voted remain and may feel they are no longer being represented.

On the other hand though, Corbyn is supporting the wishes of the majority of the British public who voted to leave the European Union in the referendum last June.

But in doing so, the lines have been blurred and it can definitely seem like Labour are no longer fit to be the main opposition party to the Westminster government.

Labour’s stance on Brexit will no doubt have alienated many voters on the left and they’ll have to really work to gain this trust.

Notably, former supporter of Corbyn, columnist and author, Owen Jones recently condemned Corbyn for his Article 50 ruling.

So how can a weak opposition expect to form a strong government?

YouGov released figures showing that if there was an election tomorrow, only 25% would vote for Labour while the Conservatives look far stronger at 44%.

Whatever he’s been doing, it’s not working.

Even Stephen Hawking criticised Corbyn’s leadership earlier this month and if the physicist can take time out of his busy schedule to call you a “disaster” you’re probably doing something wrong.

The general election in 2015 saw the Labour suffer its worst defeat since 1987, winning only 232 seats.

In selecting a leader to replace Ed Miliband, Labour needed someone who could bring the Labour Party back from the dead. Corbyn might have been that guy at the time, but he’s looking less like that now.

If Corbyn remains Labour leader for the next general election in 2020 we should just look forward to another five years of Tory rule.

 

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