The blunt truth is that Jeremy Corbyn is not a leader of men

What the Labour Party desperately needs '“ and certainly does not have at the moment '“ is a breast-beating charismatic leader, who will shout from the rooftops, deliver clarion-call speeches, and generally make an impact on the political scene.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th April 2016, 7:58 pm

Instead, they have a waffler at the helm, someone from the ‘daren’t say boo to a goose’ school of politics, or so it seems.

It is not Jeremy Corbyn’s fault that he is not a charismatic, swashbuckling rabble-rouser. It is the fault of other Labour Party bigwigs who devised a leadership election system so ludicrous that it actually allowed Labour’s political enemies to vote, on payment of a mere £3.

Needless to say, these enemies of Labour forked out their £3 and voted for the man they thought most likely to lead Labour to defeat at the next general election.

And this hard-line left-wing anti-Trident pacifist, Jeremy Corbyn who was their obvious choice.

His victory at the leadership election after Labour’s general election defeat last May shocked “legitimate” party members, some of whom refused to work alongside the new leader, and plunged the party into disarray.

The blunt truth is that Corbyn is simply not a leader of men. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that if he has had greatness thrust upon him, it has inspired him to great deeds.

This was exemplified by the long-awaited and scarcely passionate speech he delivered, saying that Labour was overwhelmingly in favour of staying in Europe - a claim I tend to doubt.

Labour need to get a move-on if they are to restore the party to an efficient political fighting force once more. The local elections will soon be upon us and the crucial in-out EU referendum is not far behind.

Of course, we could all be wrong, but in general the great British electorate tends to vote for middle-of-the-road political forces rather than those on the extremities.

But the signs are the great hordes of Labour party moderates and grass-roots workers are far from enamoured with the present situation, which seriously weakens the party’s ability to win vital votes.

Just as well for Labour that the Tories are in a shambles as well.

Tory big-hitter, Kenneth Clarke, who has held a multiplicity of Cabinet posts in his long political career, has, by accident or otherwise, actually turned the EU referendum into a Conservative leadership battleground.

Clarke said at the weekend that if Brexit won the referendum, David Cameron would not last seconds at 10, Downing Street. He argued it would be ludicrous to expect the Prime Minister, who had been campaigning with fervour for the UK to stay in Europe, to then conduct negotiations with Brussels about Britain’s departure from Europe.

Boris Johnson in particular has wasted no time in launching withering attacks against Europhiles, and has even fired rockets at President Obama who wants Britain to remain in the EU.

No doubt, before long we will see Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary, and another reported contender for the key of Number 10, do the same. In the end it will be more about the battle for Cameron’s crown than about the virtues or otherwise of Britain’s status, in or out of Europe.

All this is very entertaining, but it is exerting damaging blows on the unity of the Conservative Party.

But these big egos are certainly giving the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the fate of the Tory Party comes second to their own personal ambitions at Westminster.

By the end of it all, both main parties could be drained of much of their political vigour.

I am finding it hard to build up any enthusiasm for any of the leading candidates battling to become Mayor of London in succession to Boris Johnson.

None of them, Sadiq Khan, Labour, Zac Goldsmith, Conservative, and Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats, are out of the top drawer of politics. Hence, the campaign is a humdrum affair, creating barely a ripple of excitement.

Some of the “promises” have seemed fanciful in the extreme, including one to provide 200 new parks for London. I will believe that when I see it.

Equally, Caroline Pidgeon seems to have been tutored by Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader. She has been saying she was in politics “not to be something, but to do something”. Those were precisely the words Ashdown regularly used when he was fighting for one office or another.

Perhaps George Galloway, the Respect candidate, will inject some fire and brimstone into the campaign. It certainly needs a booster rocket.