In the past few weeks, it would be no surprise to think that the Conservatives are losing to Labour in the polls and that their leader is in a vulnerable position. The truth of the matter is all of those things are correct but in reverse; Labour are going through a complete nightmare as yet more scandal and incompetence in the party machine is starting to emerge. There are a range of problems with the current leadership, but primarily of all it is the failure to take charge of the current political situation. If Ed Miliband or Neil Kinnock ever had an opportunity as great as this, they would have been on the list of Labour Prime Ministers with a thumping majority. So what are the new challenges which face Mr Corbyn?
The crisis in this South American country is one which should not seem like a political problem in the UK; as almost everyone accepts that the country’s economy is in turmoil and as a result over half of the Venezuelan people are living in poverty. Nevertheless, Corbyn has instead decided to blame the terrible economy on US sanctions rather than the socialist ideology. Furthermore, the current President of Venezuela, Maduro, has a terrible human rights record, and despite Corbyn attempting to find party consensus, he seems more than willing to attack our closest ally on their sanctioning of the country.
On Friday, Corbyn tweeted “The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. Jeremy Hunt’s call for more sanctions on Venezuela is wrong. We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else.” Not only is this a naïve assessment on the crisis in South America, but it is also politically stupid. Corbyn must accept that whilst he may not like what is happening, the last thing he should be doing is defending the socialist ideology and agenda. This further shows how disconnected the Labour leader is from his own parliamentary party, and if he does not change this line then he can expect to stay behind in the polls all the way up to the 2022 General Election.
Every time an article features Labour’s crisis with Anti-Semitism, some background research is done. To highlight the scale of the problem, there is a new scandal released almost twice a day and a whole book could be written on the party’s problem in the last three years. There is absolutely no doubt that Corbyn and his hard-left agenda has seen a rise in Anti-Semitism both in the Labour party and the wider public. In the last week, Labour MP’s have demanded to see data from the party’s head office regarding their efforts to tackle the problem. Jenny Formby, the party’s General Secretary, is at war with Labour MP’s to release data showing the party machine’s strategy. Legendary Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said that Formby had not done enough and said “If you want to get rid of the cancer of anti-Semitism in the Labour party, you need complete transparency, and she’s refusing to do that.”
The fundamental issue here is that if you take a hard-line stance on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, then criticism of the opposing side’s government will very quickly lead to criticism of the opposing side’s faith because of the historical and religious element in the conflict. Therefore, it is difficult for Corbyn to somehow balance his views on Anti-Semitism but his pro-Palestine views. However, aside from the logistics it is clear that Corbyn has behaved and promoted anti-Semitic hints in the past such as saying Jews “don’t understand our humour”, and that will never escape his leadership.
As soon as Jeremy Corbyn lost his no-confidence motion in the government, was anyone else expecting to hear him demand a second referendum? For months, the Labour leadership has said that if they cannot get a General Election through a no-confidence motion, then they will look at other options including a “People’s Vote.” The problem is there is no other option for Labour and they are stuck, and their complete failure of leadership on this issue is unbelievable. Almost 80% of Labour members want the party to endorse a second referendum, but Corbyn is not listening to them. Corbyn faces the dilemma of following his members, or following the 40% of Labour voters that supported Brexit.
There have been rumours spiralling in Westminster this week about half a dozen MP’s who will resign from the party whip and whom could either join the Liberal Democrats or form an anti-Brexit alliance. It is clear that the likes of Chuka Umunna and Margaret Hodge are never going to endorse the socialist agenda. Labour’s failure of leadership over Brexit and other policies is hugely frustrating for the parliamentary party. In the next couple of weeks, don’t be surprised if all of this tension boils over and we see a crisis behind close doors come into full public view!