“If you refuse to step aside I fear you will go down as the man who broke the Labour party” – Chris Bryant, Labour MP addressing Jeremy Corbyn in his resignation from the shadow cabinet.
Last year Jeremy Corbyn, a homemade jam enthusiast and casual trainspotter, took British politics by storm as he overcame 200/1 odds to become the new Labour leader with an overwhelming 60% of the vote.
Fast-forward to June 2016 and Corbyn is pioneering the Labour party to their worst crisis since 1935.
On Saturday night Hilary Benn (the shadow foreign secretary) put out a call to Labour MPs to resign from the their shadow cabinet positions in protest against a ‘failing’ Corbyn leadership. Inevitably Corbyn sacked Benn within hours, but the subsequent effect of Benn’s statement has unfolded into a disastrous series of events leading to uninterrupted round-the-clock resignations from Labour MPs accompanied with a vote of no confidence.
Angela Eagle is set to announce a challenge to Corbyn’s leadership, but even this has not deterred Corbyn to stand aside. Corbyn remains insistent that he has no plans to resign but you fear for a man who has been stabbed so many times in the back within the last 7 days that it really is remarkable that he is still alive and standing.
Even former Labour leader Ed Miliband has voiced his lack of support to Corbyn by telling Radio 4 that “we are at a time of acute national crisis. Probably the biggest crisis for the country since WW2. I’ve reluctantly reached the conclusion that his position is untenable”.
Where has it all gone wrong for Corbyn?
You cannot ignore the fact that Corbyn had picked up a Labour party that was in mourning. It was reeling from a disastrous general election and was in a state that was almost as inadequate and poor as it was in during 1983. Corbyn took on an underachieving Labour party that had lost much of the working-class vote to the right of British politics through a naivety and ignorance to fail to address the issues of immigration.
While Corbyn has done well in pushing issues of mental-health and the environment and has also won the support of the youth that the Labour party was so desperately in need of, he has not won back the working-class. Alternatively, he has lost even more of the working-class support that the Labour party used to have. His campaigning in the EU referendum was poor, when asked how in-favor of the EU he was on a scale of 1-10 Corbyn answered “7 and a half” – hardly convincing.
Perhaps most importantly, he is absurdly unelectable. If the right-wing press castrated and defamed Ed Miliband until he was hung out to dry purely because of how he ate a bacon sandwich, imagine what they would do to a casual trainspotting vegetarian who makes his own jam, doesn’t drink alcohol and wears his mothers knitted jumpers.
Corbyn is leading a divided and broken party and most of those divisions have come from a direct response to him as a leader.
Corbyn is a principled man, but perhaps he is too principled, perhaps it is time for him to abandon the vote that got him to where he is and to prioritise the party over himself.
Leading a united political party can be difficult enough, but leading a party that is divided and in an alarmingly strong majority against their leader is inconceivably detrimental to the party’s key concepts and foundations that it was built on.
I like Jeremy, a lot. I agree with his ideologies, his perspectives, the changes he wants to see in the world. Jeremy Corbyn is a principled and ethical politician that is an asset to any political movement. I myself wanted him as Labour leader last year. But under the current circumstances Jeremy Corbyn will never be Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn is currently doing more destruction than benefit to the Labour party. Above all I want a Labour government and a Labour Prime Minister and that will not be and cannot be achieved with Jeremy Corbyn as the party leader.
“We need to come together to heal the divisions exposed by the vote. We have to respect the decision that has been made, hold the government to democratic account over its response, and ensure that working people don’t pay the price of exit”. If Jeremy Corbyn sincerely believes in this statement made by him then he will stand aside “to come together to heal the divisions exposed by the vote”.