Corbyn’s stubborn refusal to apologise for the Labour Party’s treatment of Jews (including its own members) despite being asked the question four times by Neil, displays not only an ignorance of basic media training, but more seriously, a total lack of empathy with the victims. Such a situation would never have been allowed to transpire under the watch of former Labour communications guru, Alistair Campbell, ironically fired out of the party.
Corbyn has been accused of not necessarily being the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. According to Wikipedia he achieved two A-Levels at grade E, the lowest-possible passing grade, before leaving school at 18. But this is no excuse. The rules of crisis management are not complicated.
If you cock up, as Labour clearly has in relation to its alleged acceptance of and slow response to antisemitism, then the rules are that a) you apologise immediately and fully, and b) you promise to take every step possible to fix the problem.
"Corbyn has been accused of not necessarily being the brightest bulb
on the Christmas tree."
And it must not be one of those regularly trotted out, mealy mouthed apologies on the lines of “If I did wrong then I’m sorry for any offence I may have caused” which is probably worse than no apology at all as it fails to display any remorse or sincerity.
As Jess Phillips, Labour candidate for Birmingham Yardley, said to The Times, “The only response to the Chief Rabbi that is moral is, I’m sorry and I’ll do whatever I possibly can to win back your community’s trust.”
The great irony is that if Labour at this time had almost any other leader (including by the way, the aforementioned Jess Phillips) they would probably walk the election. Especially as a more centrist, less Communist leaning leader might have been able to tone down some of the excessive spending pledges in the Labour manifesto.
A YouGov/The Times poll found this week that 56% of voters believe that Labour promises are unaffordable. Only 17% have confidence in their affordability. David Smith, economics editor of The Sunday Times, memorably described Labour as “fiscally incontinent”.
Yet since the last election Labour has been ignoring an open goal and happily larruping the ball into the stands. The UK has suffered 10 years of Tory austerity, public sector (including NHS) decimation, been responsible (for selfish party-political reasons) for a disastrous Brexit referendum and has torn itself and the country apart in the process.
During this time the Tories have become “Brexit Party Lite”, abandoned the centre and slung out or alienated reasonable one nation Tories such as Ken Clark, Michael Heseltine, Anna Soubry, Sir Nicholas “bonhomie” Soames and many others.
Any half sensible, half coherent, reasonably left of centre opposition should be chortling all the way to Number 10, rather than the Tories waltzing to a potential 68 seat majority (YouGov-MRP poll for The Times).
Especially as the Government is now led by a Pinocchio type figure who won’t/can’t even admit how many children he has, and who said he would “die in a ditch” if Britain didn’t leave the EU on the 31st October.
Mr Johnson has promised that he will get a deal done and completed by the end of 2020 – a timetable which has been declared unrealistic, not only by international trade experts but by Michel Barnier. If he doesn’t get an agreement, Johnson has pledged that on no account will he will extend the transition period, leaving the only option as a crash out with no deal.
The only positive is that Johnson’s primary personal, party and national objective and motivation from the beginning has been to clamber his way into and stay in Number 10. If his tenure at Downing St is made easier by breaking another promise to the British people (and incidentally to Nigel Farage), is he really going to lose much sleep?
After all, he has form and has “ditched” promises before.