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It may all turn out to be political hogwash but Theresa May’s first few hours in office serve as an object lesson to Jeremy Corbyn. It’s one thing to want to be a unifier but quite another to take a stance and to stand up and be counted.

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My hope for JC was that he would bring a new politics to the Labour Party and then to the country. I am sorry to say that he has – like a rabbit caught in the proverbial headlights – when faced with his divided party not led from the front, in the vain hope that somehow the rabble would come to order.

In this forthcoming leadership battle, I am looking for JC to be clear and forthright in what he really stands for and how he is going to unite and lead his party. I supported him after the debacle of the 2015 election in the hope that he would come to lead a broad coalition the centre left. At that time I was looking more at his character and his social-mindedness than his politics per se.

May’s forthright assumption of leadership is in stark contrast to the manner in which Corbyn has conducted himself since he became leader. In a nutshell, he has wasted his (almost) 1st year. His strategy of saying little may have been dictated by expediency, but it is a flawed strategy as the Labour Party is now more divided than ever – and more pertinently, it would appear, than the Tories.

May’s earliest pronouncements suggest to me that she is making a land-grab for the very political territory that should be occupied by a centrist Labour Party or another centre party in British politics. In supporting JC at the time I said that, for me, supporting him was a win-win strategy. He’d either turn out to be the political ‘breath of fresh air’ that I yearned for or he’d split the Labour Party and that a new centre-left party would arise from the ashes. In this forthcoming leadership race JC has 3 options, he can

  • make it clear that he hasn’t abandoned his extreme positions that he held as an independent member, who voted often against his party’s whip
  • continue as he has done over the last 11 months
  • he can show leadership and enunciate a manifesto for the Centre-left

Any other option than the 3rd and he won’t be getting my vote. As far as I am concerned, and I think this goes for many/most Labour Party members, Jeremy Corbyn is swigging in the Last Chance Saloon.

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