I have to hand it to Jeremy Corbyn: he never ceases to amaze.
Back in September, he said:
It isn’t migrants that drive down wages, it’s exploitative employers and the politicians who deregulate the labour market and rip up trade union rights.
It isn’t migrants who put a strain on our NHS, it only keeps going because of the migrant nurses and doctors who come here filling the gaps left by politicians who have failed to invest in training.
It isn’t migrants that have caused a housing crisis; it’s a Tory government that has failed to build homes.
This was quite a remarkable position for Corbyn to take as it it managed to be principled, consistent and true.
So, it was probably inevitable that he would abandon it:
Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle.
But nor can we afford to lose full access to the European markets on which so many British businesses and jobs depend. Changes to the way migration rules operate from the EU will be part of the negotiations.
It’s not that he’s trying to weasel his way into an imaginary compromise between the leave and remain factions of his own party that is so impressive, it’s the spectacularly inept manner in which he has attempted to do it.
The best thing that Labour could do now is pack their collective bags and go home in order to leave the way clear for a competent and progressive alternative to emerge.