Jeremy Corbyn is said to be a nice man. The other day he lingered on his own away from the cameras, to watch and pay respects to veterans marching through London. He is sincere and refuses to play the game. Who else would go on ITV, on one of its most popular shows, and discuss his hobby when it is looking at drain covers?
None of that changes the reality today. He has to go before he does any more damage. Labour MPs have a patriotic duty to remove him, or to start a new, sensible opposition party if the Unions and Corbynistas cannot be persuaded to see sense and persuade him to stand aside soon.
Yesterday Corbyn hit a new low, which is quite an achivement when one considers how badly he is performing as Labour leader. At the closed meeting of the PLP he came under pressure, and was shouted down at one point, by furious MPs objecting to his response before the meeting when he had been asked on the BBC about shooting armed terrorists if they rampage on Britain’s streets. Corbyn said he would not favour shooting them, or not to kill, anyway. He burbled on about preventing attacks before the shooting stage, although it is not clear what he favours other than “dialogue.” It also emerged that Corbyn will attend the Christmas party of Stop the War, the odious anti-Western outfit of which Corbyn was once chair.
Wait, Stop the War has a Christmas party? Imagine the secret Santa part of proceedings. What did you get? “Oh poor you, not another copy of Das Kapital. They got me the final volume of Tony Benn’s diaries.”
An unnamed Labour shadow minister emerged from the stormy PLP meeting and told journalists that Corbyn is “a f***ing disgrace.”
My initial view last night was that there is a small consolation for Labour, in that almost no-one out there is paying any attention to what he is saying. Most voters aren’t tuned into Labour. The party is years away from being considered seriously again.
Then you hear the news this morning on the radio. Even on stations that are not driven by current affairs, that exist to cheer up listeners dashing around doing emergency ironing while simultaneously trying to get themselves and others ready for work or school, even on those stations there it is. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under attack for saying that he does not favour shooting terrorists carrying out attacks on Britain’s streets. Many people going about their business will tune into that, for several seconds, and unless they are unusual their response will be along the lines of “that Labour bloke is an idiot.”
The market is vanishingly small in Britain for a potential Prime Minister who is opposed to shooting terrorists wearing suicide vests and trying to shoot people doing nothing more than going out for dinner or enjoying a concert. Perhaps the police and the SAS could tickle the homicidal AK-47-wielding jihadists to make them stop instead?
Corbyn is just an old 1980s leftie, seemingly incapabale of intellectual devolopment or even the application of basic common sense. When he hears “Shoot to kill” he is back thirty years ago thinking of the IRA and the controversies about rules of engement with those terrorists, who were evil but not suicide bombers. It must remind him of those old rows about whether the SAS should have killed that IRA team on their way to set off bombs (yes, they should). That’s all fine, if you like that sort of thing, for left-wing fringe meetings at Labour conference in 1986. It is not fine for someone auditioning for the role of Prime Minister at a time when the West faces ISIS.
This is not merely a question of Corbyn trashing what is left of Labour’s electability. Labour MPs have a patriotic duty to remove Corbyn as soon as possible for a more important reason. Britain needs a serious opposition party and potential alternative government to hold the current administration to account, particularly at a time when worried ministers understandably want to appropriate more power for the State. Corbyn is a bad joke which means democratic oversight is weakened and the country is weaker, because Labour is led by a man who can be justifiably dismissed as an idiot for not understanding why it is right to shoot to kill armed ISIS terrorists engaged in the act of blowing us up.