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Commentators who lament Corbyn's failure to provide leadership misunderstand the role of the Leader of the Opposition in UK politics. His primary responsibility is to oppose May's policies and her deal, and that he has been doing quite effectively. What he can't do is implement different policies or negotiate a different deal because he doesn't have  Commons majority to do so. So he has to wait for an opportunity to win a confidence vote and fight and win a general election.

The only way he can do that is if Tory Remainers develop a backbone and vote no-confidence in May's government and that they have been unwilling to do until now. So all the outrage that is being hurled at Corbyn really needs to be re-directed at Tory Remainers who talk a good game but who are ultimately not prepared to vote against their party even as it drives the UK over a cliff.

In the meantime the best Corbyn can do is try to keep both Leavers and Remainers in his party united around the common goal of defeating the Tories in a general election. Then he can campaign on the basis of giving the people a vote on whatever deal he can agree with the EU - which will probably end up being very similar to the current deal, but with different priorities for the future relationship.

Then, if the people vote for his deal or remain, he can accept their verdict and govern on the basis of the new dispensation. Whether he is an extreme left winger or not really is beside the point: The point is he is a democrat, and at this point he doesn't have a mandate either to govern or to oppose the referendum result. Without at least a second referendum with a more decisive result, there will never be any change in the dominant anti-EU narrative in UK politics.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 01:42:07 PM EST
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