Last week, Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected leader of the Labour Party with a huge, yet predictable, 61.8 per cent of the votes cast, increasing his mandate from 2015. A staggering result really, considering that Corbyn is widely considered to be unelectable. Not only that, but this is a man who has supported the IRA, believes in negotiating with ISIL and supports proponents of the abolition of Israel. I will, therefore, argue that his re-election is a danger to Great Britain.
The confirmation of the result was very much a pivotal moment in British politics. Whilst it may have been inevitable that Corbyn would win (YouGov actually got the numbers spot on), there was always the slightest bit of hope that Owen Smith might prevail. However, he didn’t, and so we now look on Jeremy Corbyn as the only real alternative Prime Minister to Theresa May – a frightening thought.
A frightening thought because there is no conceivable way that he can win a general election. I mean, if you want to debate this with me I’ll be more than happy to. But come on, if ‘don’t know’ scores higher than him in an opinion poll then there is surely no hope for the guy.
Yet equally, it is about time the media changes the way it writes about Corbyn, because he is no longer a joke. His 10 point plan may have brought back memories of Ed Miliband’s political tombstone (which ended up in a warehouse in Woolwich rather than in installation), and likewise, his first year in politics may have been littered with laughable mishaps including ‘traingate’ and the mass-resignation of his front bench, but now it’s serious because Jezza could potentially be our next PM.
So why am I concerned? In October last year The Telegraph revealed that between 1986 and 1992 – the height of the IRA’s “armed struggle” – Jeremy Corbyn attended and spoke at official republican commemorations to honour dead IRA terrorists. It also revealed that John McDonnell received a special award from the republican movement and Sinn Fein for his “unfailing political and personal support,” this was presented to him by Gerry Kelly, the Old Bailey bomber.
Labour Briefing, the hard-left magazine of which Jeremy Corbyn sat on the editorial board, also praised the Brighton bombing. The Labour leader has also called terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas “friends” in a speech made to the Stop the War Coalition on 2009, he has also advocated back-channel talks with ISIL whilst speaking on the Andrew Marr Show back in January. Corbyn seems to have a singular talent for extending a warm welcome to anti-Semites, and so it is no wonder that his party, or his supporters at least, seem to tolerate the hatred of Jews in a way no other form of hatred is. Hassan Nasrallah, also known as the chief of Hezbollah, says of Jews: “If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” It is therefore despicable, and deeply troubling, that Corbyn would describe the members of this organisation as “friends”.
Likewise, Hamas is committed by charter to the “struggle against the Jews” until the “obliteration” of the State of Israel. It seems to me that if the Labour leader was to win in 2020 (or earlier depending on the wishes of Theresa May) then it would mean a total collapse of the UK’s diplomatic relations with Israel.
Even with all this aside, consider Jeremy Corbyn’s position in politics. For over 30 years, Corbyn has been a rebel, he has always been in opposition – whether that be to the Tories or to Blair. It is this very fact which explains his popularity. As long as there is someone else to blame then all will be okay. So if, heaven forbid, Corbyn is elected to office, then it is likely that he will have no idea what to do with himself. For the past 30 years he has blamed the establishment for all our problems, and now he will be the establishment. What’s more, I suspect he has promised such utopian ideas on the hope that he will never win an election (surely he can’t believe they will work in practice?) and so he will probably never be able to fulfil his promises – thus branding him the same as almost every politician he has attacked in the past.
In his first year as leader, perhaps the most memorable mishap was the refusal to stand down after the mass resignation of his front bench. The departures of many of his shadow cabinet members, prompted by the sacking of Hilary Benn, was for me – for want of a better word – baffling. Surely Corbyn must have chosen his shadow cabinet based on the belief that their skill and judgement was superior to their fellow MPs? Yet he did not trust their skill and judgement when they turned round, en masse, and told him to resign. Defending his refusal to leave, Corbyn claimed that to do so would be to betray all his supporters. Yet by staying on as leader, hence dooming the party to a heavy defeat in the next general election, he is betraying the interests of the working classes of this country, who rely on a government that stands up for them.
It is difficult to imagine what Corbyn’s legacy will be. On one hand I find myself sympathising with the Labour leader – he has certainly brought some difficult questions to the fore and prompted important debates. Yet somehow I suspect he will be remembered as the man who fatally wounded the Labour party, the overseer of an appalling anti-Semitism epidemic and as the man who handed the Tories electoral victory on a plate. Meaning many more years of austerity, further cuts to public services, and perpetuation of the gross inequality of incomes. I fear this will be a disaster for politics and a disaster for the country.