For the first time in a long time, here was a serious person, running for a serious job, in what was once a serious party, not entirely out of her depth, not contriving to lower the occasion to meet her own towering inadequacies.
It is one of life’s ironies that Mr Corbyn has made Labour a more middle-class party than Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson managed to do.
So let’s get something straight: if someone has actually done something, reporting that action is not “a smear”, it’s “reporting”. And suggesting Jews always have an ulterior motive, even when reacting to antisemitism, is really not the best way to prove that you’re not antisemitic.
Real radicals draw up programmes with a view to implementing them; phoney radicals make promises they know they will never have to keep because the pledges are merely designed to shore up the core vote.
By going along with hard Brexit now, Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer have torpedoed Labour’s ability to oppose the government’s approach when it fails later on. This is not acting in the national interest.
Nobody would claim that Brexit is easy to navigate politically, but Labour has rendered itself impotent on the most important set of issues facing Britain in most peoples’ lifetime. Setting a series of belated “tests” for the government will hardly reverse the damage.
Corbyn and Eagle are wrestling on the bridge of the Titanic, fighting for control of the wheel. Neither has noticed that the ship hit the iceberg long ago – and that it’s already sinking.
John Mann makes an interesting observation:
Hidden from the discussion of Labour’s big increase in membership is any analysis of who has joined as fee paying individual members, but a deeper examination will show that it is overwhelmingly the middle classes who are joining. One street in Islington North, with owner-occupiers living in multi-million pound properties, had 40 people over a 12 week period join the Party.
Allow me to refer you to something I linked to earlier.
The applause was for a man who had been clear in his arguments. The applause was for a man who had never hidden from his colleagues in the PLP in the run up to the vote. The applause was for a man being true to Labour’s social democratic and internationalist traditions. The applause was for a man who demonstrated, not just during his speech but over the weeks that preceded it, what leadership should look like. For many, the applause was a response to an old feeling: that of being led. Hilary Benn made the Labour benches – for the most part – feel proud. As an accountable, honest, transparent medium, Hillary Benn amplified the power of his message.
While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore… the rigours which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.
Some of [Jeremy Corbyn’s] friends say that they understand a “big tent” approach has to be adopted. But finding a modus vivendi will require a capacity for compromise that has not been the notable feature of a political career lived in a leftwing bubble. And he can’t make too many concessions to make his leadership more palatable to parliamentary colleagues without risking the alienation of the people who have just made him leader on the basis that he keeps his principles unpolluted by pragmatism.