Corbyn’s brief time at the helm of Labour is already disastrous

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party has already failed comprehensively.

There is not a chance of him being elected prime minister and there never was.

It seems improbable he can sustain the job until the next election, still almost five years away, although technically it will be hard to remove him.

It is possible that he is preparing to resign from a job that some observers say he never wanted, and which is panning out as disastrously as was predicted – if not more so.

Weeks into his leadership, he is experiencing a fate without precedent in modern British politics for the leader of a major party – open insubordination by his senior team.

He was contradicted one by one by his shadow cabinet over his foolish assertion that he would never use the nuclear deterrent. This, note, is a quite different point from whether or not he opposes Trident. A prime minister could oppose Trident but still deploy nuclear weapons on the unthinkable, but possible, day that they need to be used.

He was contradicted one by one by his shadow cabinet over his foolish response to shooting terrorists in a Paris-style attack. This is separate to whether shoot to kill is appropriate in non threatening situations – of course it is not. But when fanatics are killing a theatre audience, they must be stopped with immediate force. Mr Corbyn could not say this.

He has appointed John McDonnell to his key cabinet post, a radical leftist and clear supporter of IRA terror (his denials were unconvincing even before yesterday’s revelations).

Mr Corbyn has the possible excuse that he is naive, rather than a callous supporter of murder. But Britain will not tolerate someone of such bad judgement in Downing Street.

This sorry episode shows the problem with mass support for unconventional candidates. In America, many Republican Party voters back the erratic tycoon Donald Trump.

Western countries urgently need firm, but wise, leadership, and Mr Corbyn does not even come close to providing it.