It would appear that the only thing saving the Tories from imploding in on themselves is Jeremy Corbyn. From his stubbornness on adopting the IHRA’s definition on antisemitism to the Palestinian wreath-laying fiasco he has found himself embroiled in (quite innocently, apparently), the Labour Leader continues to excel in a certain speciality: diverting attention away from one Government cock-up after the next.
His failure to make good his promise of a kinder, gentler politics, and refusal to stamp out the vile, antisemitic abuse peddled by many of his comrades in arms, has quite rightly been met with criticism, and lots of it. It is a sad indictment of the current state of British politics that we’ve grown accustomed to the well-rehearsed defence manoeuvre that has followed from the hard Left. Vitriol of the very worst kind.
Much of this can be dismissed as the usual offensive ramblings of that doughty band of Team Corbyn worshippers. From “Zionist pig” to “Tory scum” (or if you’re of a particular demographic, the more euphemistic “Gammon”), we have, through sheer bombardment, become desensitised to these venomous slurs that continue to toxify our political discourse.
But more alarming is the response from the wider Labour Party, or in some cases, complete lack thereof. Other than the increasingly desperate pleas from known Corbyn opponents, where’s the uproar you’d expect from this once great political movement? There seems to be little anger at the direction that has been set, and no shame at the events that have transpired. Coupled with the tacit knowledge that nothing will change all the while Jeremy Corbyn remains Leader, the Labour Party finds itself in a very dark place. Quiet as mice, too many of its supporters scuttle along, undeterred, or perhaps oblivious, to the furore that surrounds Mr Corbyn, and by association, them.
Worse still, the Owen Jones’ of this world. Eyes shut, fingers in ears, they shout about austerity, the NHS, Saudi Arabia, as if these broad strokes of criticism levied against the Government somehow whitewash the very evident failings of those who lead them. Such lines of argument are little more than disingenuous, confabulated waffle, and often, morally vacuous attempts to protect at any cost their long-awaited saviour.
The obvious, decent route would be to admit error and attempt to understand the hurt that has been caused. Based on the responses of Corbyn’s office so far, which, quite patently, are devoid of empathy and regret, there’s little chance of that happening any time soon.