Saturday, 25 February 2017

Post-Copeland post

So the by-elections have been and gone, and as Labour managed to win one and lose one, I suppose we're in for another round of leadership self-smiting by Labour.

I don't think Corbyn was the real problem. But note the tense. Before the Brexit referendum, Labour's vote share was increasing - they were starting to show parity with the Conservatives in polls. Two things happened. First, the chicken coup. Second, the elevation of Theresa May. Labours ratings immediately plunged.  The combination of Labour's public self mutilation and the Conservatives managing to look unified and vaguely competent in the face of a completely unnecessary disaster they precipitated, was potent.

I think May's boost will fade - she's a horrible person leading a horrible party and people will come to loathe her.  But the constant schisming in the Labour Party looks like it will continue. As long as significant, experienced MPs are refusing to serve, or grandees like Mandelson are bragging about how they try to undermine Corbyn on a daily basis, and as long as MPs are merrily briefing against him and leaking, then they are going to look like a seething mess of worms with delusions of being vipers, unworthy of power, or even being in parliament.

I think that Corbyn may have been irredeemably damaged by the constant smears and poor poll ratings. Perceptions can become reality.

But I doubt he's got the strength of character, or the resources or support, to overcome the public's perception that he's a useless loser.

Unfortunately, there are about 229 other useless people in the Labour Party, not one of whom has the charisma, competence or popularity of Gordon Brown.

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