Corbyn’s incompetence almost makes you feel sorry for the hard left

by Samuel Dale

Last month, George Osborne delivered one of the most shambolic budgets in years.

Just days before he announced it, he pulled a massive u-turn on his headline policy by scrapping long held plans to reform pensions tax relief.

He didn’t want to risk the ire of Tory MPs during the EU referendum campaign.

It left a massive hole in the budget that was quickly filled with large cuts to disability benefits. A shocking cut that would have affected thousands of the most vulnerable people in Britain.

Just hours later he U-turned on the disability cuts too.

Then Iain Duncan Smith resigned as DWP secretary blasting government cuts and Osborne personally.

The disability cuts u-turn has left a giant hole in the budget. The Red Book does not add up for the first time in living memory.

Only Gordon Brown’s 10p income tax disaster comes close and that shambles scarred him forever.

Unbelievable budget incompetence comes as the Tories are involved in vicious splits over Europe with minister pitted against minister. Cameron v Boris. And every MP attacking everyone else.

In the midst of this chaos, Tata Steel announced they are planning to close their UK steel plants with as many as 40,000 jobs at risk.

The move comes as a direct result of UK policy to ignore the pleas of steel companies to punish Chinese dumping of cheap steel and cut taxes. Osborne did neither.

After such a shambolic month, Corbyn should have sat back and reaped the rewards.

So what has he done?

On 21 March, Jeremy Corbyn called on George Osborne to resign as Chancellor after the shambolic budget. He didn’t.

Corbyn has failed to mention IDS’ resignation or Tory splits over the EU. Not at all.

On Tata, Corbyn launched a petition for Cameron to recall parliament. Cameron has not recalled parliament.

And Team Corbyn saw a list of Labour MPs leaked that erroneously ranked the PLP in terms of loyalty to the leadership. It highlighted the party division at a time the Tories were on the ropes.

Overall, Corbyn hasn’t laid a glove on the government during this terrible period.

His parliamentary performances have been abysmal and let Cameron off the hook again and again. More than that, Cameron has been enhanced by his encounters with the Labour leader.

Corbyn’s demands and responses to crises have been unrealistic and unfulfilled. Or he has simply ignored simple lines of attack.

If Jeremy Corbyn cannot succeed against a Tory party in abject disarray then when will he?

This isn’t about ideology or policy, it is about basic competence.

All Labour members are broadly united this month in opposing disability cuts, criticising government steel policy and looking aghast at EU splits across the aisle.

But the leadership are incapable of making political capital from it.

The Labour members who revelled in Corbyn’s lack of professionalism and scruffy appearance during the leadership contest are getting what they wanted.

He is incompetent. He’s not up to the job of scrutinising and pressurising the government.

During Cameron’s worst month in office, Corbyn has managed to actually re-enforce his own biggest weaknesses.

It’s not the first time. Every time this government is in trouble they are let off the hook.

The Syria vote, the Tax Credits U-turn, the pension tax reforms.

Every time, Corbyn shoots himself in the foot and actually damages Labour further.

He is the most ineffective leader of any major political party probably anywhere in the world.

And this is just the day to day stuff. What about the long-term strategy?

How are Team Corbyn going to win back Scotland? How will they convince millions of Tory voters across? Which seats are they targeting in 2020?

Are they ready for an early election if there is Brexit and Tory leadership change?

Somehow I doubt there is an answer to any of those questions.

The disaster of Corbyn’s leadership isn’t his unpopular hard left politics but his utter incompetence.

It makes you actually feel sorry for the hard left. They wait decades to get their man in charge and this is what they have to work with.

Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist

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37 Responses to “Corbyn’s incompetence almost makes you feel sorry for the hard left”

  1. john P Reid says:

    but,but he got 59%of the vote

    if he loses it’ll be the Blairites fault

    hes playing politics by another game,teh Tories are not ,the Tories rules are more effectual ,so they should play by Corbyns game,that way they’d not be as Good as the PR as they are ,and he’d appear better

    it’s amoral victory for Corybn to be unpopular

  2. cooke says:

    See where you’re going with this, but in Corbyn’s defence, he’s the best chance the ‘Hard Left’ have had since the sixties (ok, I’ll accept ‘the seventies’ with reservations) and wants Labour (and the Tories) to judge him on his terms. I’ll accept he’s no Thatcher but what do yoiu want? I’d give him a chance ( and support) just to see IF anything changes and then take a view on ‘the Corbyn effect’. Otherwise I’d just be sniping fron the undergrowth…

  3. cooke says:

    Or, to put it simply, if you ain’t got Corbyn, what have you got? Seriously? Something that has party-wide (or national) support?…

    Didn’t think so.

  4. Tafia says:

    Always remember, as incompetent as you think Corbyn is, he thrashed his challengers and is virtually unassailable.

    Which doesn’t say much for the rest of the dross does it

  5. Linda Vaux says:

    Go away you silly boy.

  6. Langdon Jones says:

    What you call the ‘hard left’ actually represents Labours core values.

  7. Sheila Scoular says:

    What hope does Labour have with treacherous, anti-democracy right wingers in the party, stabbing our leader Corbyn in the back at every opportunity? Fair enough from Tories, but when Labour members are doing this I just want to break something! There are thousands of poor, vulnerable and disabled people who NEED a Labour government, and these betrayals will prevent that happening! Shame on you.

  8. CG says:

    I am not hard-left. Articles like yours which patently misunderstand the feeling that I hear and see everywhere, and which is borne out by the increasing proportion of the electorate who are not voting, year on year, that politicians are not listening, pretend as they might, and that they have only their own interests at heart. Articules like this are encouraging me to travel further left.
    I would rather have a party leader with the courage and honesty to admit mistakes or changes of mind. We have had plenty of politicians of all flavours who lack integrity and bravery enough to do what they believe to be right. Everyone makes mistakes – but politicians are often fools enough to pretend to the public that they don’t. I believe that the electorate are fed up of this ridiculous posturing and pretence which is why Mr Corbyn is popular. Mr Corbyn’s an evidently honest and honourable man.

  9. Denise Ireland says:

    It’s precisely commentary like this that undermines the gains being made by Labour right now. It’s incredibly disloyal, flies in the face of Labours own democratic process and it’s destructive. I don’t vote labour on that basis of how good they look in an argument, how low they can go blow to blow with the Tories, they are not my entertainment, they are there to do a very serious job of representing our interests. It’s actions I vote for, deeds and the ability to lead Labour based on Labour Party principles, oh and how dare you call me ‘hard left’, it really is like the arguments you get in the school playground these days!!!

  10. Pauline Vernon says:

    It’s hard for people interested in politics not to get caught up in a political bubble. We read the heavy papers; we read political blogs; we not only watch Question Time but PMQs as well. We start to believe that it all matters. Oh, how we admired (whatever our political persuasion) how William Haig ‘won’ PMQs against Tony Blair, time and time again. How we chuckle when the Tory benches erupt in jeers and catcalls when their leader criticises Jeremy Corbyn’s dress sense.

    You know what? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. What matters is my hairdresser, who voted Tory last time because ‘Labour can’t be trusted – look at all that money they spent!’ Yesterday, as she cut my hair, she was singing a different tune. ‘He’s a really nice man, that what’s-his-name? The one with the jacket and beard? I’d trust him to look after my handbag.’ ‘So do you think Jeremy Corbyn could look after the country?’ ‘Oh yes! He’d do a better job than this lot – all they’re doing is feathering their own nests.’

    Jeremy Corbyn is doing a different kind of politics; it’s taken us by surprise because we’re just not used to it. He’s not sniping and scoring points against the Tories because they’re doing a fine job of that all by themselves, scoring spectacular own goals with a shambolic budget and a fine old mess with Port Talbot. No, he’s promoting Labour policies, being positive about what he’d do differently, and showing us a man of passion, integrity and honesty. I’d trust him to look after my handbag.

  11. peter gibson says:

    Shameful article from allegedly Labour, and can’t believe the way he dresses is important enough to mention. Jeremy Corbyn is the best labour leader we have had. It might be an idea to listen to him and not believe msm!

  12. Isobel says:

    What a load of absolute tosh, did anyone pay to have this load of crap written, or was it dictated by Woodcock, Dugher, Reed or the another pratt… no wonder Right Wing of Labour have become a laughing stock… as Corbyn gains more and more momentum RW losing support by the day…. is this a comic by the way..

  13. Mike Fowler says:

    This so called Labour newssheet is an utterley spitefull and vindictive right wing attack on Corbyn.
    Talk about nit-picking and destructive comment, this is utterly pathetique.
    As you are not happy with the Leader that we the membership chose, why dont you take your verbose rhetoric and join an undemocratic party of your choice.
    You obviously dont have anything in common with democracy.
    By trying to bring Corbyn into disrepute you are doing the same to our membership.
    In reality you re affirm our choice in getting rid of the failed right wing who were just a tory echo.
    Let it be known, if you undermine the Labour vote in the forthcoming elections,

  14. Kathryn Gordon says:

    what Sheila said

  15. Elaine says:

    Utter rubbish Jeremy Corbyn has done more than milliband ever did……

  16. Anne McMenemy says:

    Are you watching the same Jeremy Corbyn as I am? People, real people, actual voters, like him. They think he’s genuine and honest. They like the fact that he can actually do politics without it degenerating into a slanging match. That he doesn’t behave like a 14yr old public schoolboy at PMQ. And can I remind you that the “moderate” Labour Party have now lost 2 elections. Nobody wants your Tory lite politics. The Overton window may have moved the right in the last 30 years. It’s time to move it back nearer the centre. It’s time to actually think about family friendly policies, about making sure everyone is looked after, whatever their income, and not just pay lip service to “hard working families” like our Tory friends have. And the only way we’re going to do that is if we get behind our elected leader and work together.

  17. Joe Kaliszczak says:

    Which Political Party does the author of this article support?

  18. Kathy Roper says:

    I love you guys and whatever alternative universe it is you live in. Corbyn has the support of the majority of the Labour members and his popularity grows and grows. The ONLY thing that holds him back is back-biting right-wingers and their press, both in the Tory and Labour Parties. You can’t keep living in denial forever, sweethearts. He’s here to stay and the only question worth asking now is how long right-wing Labour MPs are going to last before they get de-selected by their constituencies. Go join the Tory Party – it’s where you belong, really.

  19. Kathy Roper says:

    Actually, you only need to look at how many comments you get (allow through) to see how out of step you are. You used to regularly get over 100, now you don’t make it to 30.

  20. miles fielding says:

    Get off Corbyns back and support him like the majority of Labour Party supporters are doing……….

  21. steve says:

    “Corbyn has failed to mention IDS’ resignation”

    The Blairites just don’t get it. Have they swallowed the Establishment position hook, linke and sinker?

    Why on earth should Corbyn enhance the credibility of one Tory in order to discredit another Tory.

    Labour, if it is to be successful in the 2020 election, must offer the electorate an alternative to the Tories. Not a Tory-lite substitute.

  22. martin sutton says:

    This is ridiculous right wing tosh.
    The problems the tories are currently facing are a direct result of Corbyn actually OPPOSING their policies. He does not really do “PR” but a lot of us think that is a good thing.

  23. Jim Butler-Daulby says:

    I notice the lack of support for your argument. Maybe that’s because it holds no water. At present there is no alternative to Corbyn. None. This has nothing to do with “hard left” politics. Everything to do with bringing Labour back to the centre left. Ground we completely abandoned under Blair. There is an alternative to neoliberalism. Take the corporates out of government! The levels of corruption within the government has increased year on year since 1979. The neoliberal narrative not only allows it, it actively encourages it! We need change. We need to claim back our country. There IS an alternative!

  24. Jo Oldale says:

    Just spent day at a policy making event. He was amazing and got 2 standing ovations

  25. Ade B says:

    I was wondering how long it was going to take someone to blame “red Tories” (i.e. anyone to the right of Tony Benn) for Corbyns incompetence. Who was to blame for the shambles of the reshuffle, who was to blame for Chairman Mao being thrown in the commons, who was to blame for suggesting armed terrorists should not be shot as they rampaged through London, who sent Momentum to Scotland to praise the SNP and suggest independence might be a good idea, who put together the “hostile list”. Sorry, Corbyns overwhelming mandate gave him the right to be the leader of the PLP and leader of the Opposition. He is unable to do either job. He has failed to connect, taken the party backwards and is less popular than Foot. We can not afford to let this nightmare go on much longer otherwise we will have 10 years of Boris, Gove, Osborne et al.

  26. B. L. says:

    Jeremy Corbyn is the perfect antidote to the organised spivery we’re suffering and no amount of spite from the Labour right will change that. The right made a fateful mistake when they abstained on the Tories welfare bill. That isn’t opposition, it’s capitulation, and Jeremy Corbyn would not capitulate in similar circumstances which is why he enjoys such massive support. More power to his elbow.

  27. CG says:

    Really, Ade B? You think the general public can’t see what a shambles the Government is? I don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn pointing out the blindingly obvious to the rest of the people in parliament is the sign of a good leader or polititian.

    I don’t think he’s letting anyone off the hook – he’s just letting them shoot themselves in the foot, which they are doing splendidly, sadly for the country. If he participates in the yar-boo side of the chamber, I for one would think less of him and I feel it would weaken and detract from the mess the Tories are making. Yar-boo politics is NOT popular with the electorate, only with political writers, I would say.

  28. Just a couple of months ago Sam was saying this:

    I have a confession to make. If David Cameron was Conservative leader in 2020 fighting an election against a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour then I would have no choice. I’d vote Conservative for the first time in my life.

    I have to admit I feel sorry for poor old Sam.

  29. TNL says:

    The classic rejoinder to this, of course, is that Corbyn won a massive victory in the leadership contest and has the largest mandate of any Labour leader of all time. Which, of course, does not (a) make him competent (he isn’t) or (b) mean that mandate is transferable to the parts of the country that Labour urgently needs support in if it is to return to power.

    In a sense the size of the Corbyn victory is protecting him when a leader with a smaller margin of victory would probably have been deposed by now. And it is therefore holding Labour back. The Tories are incredibly vulnerable at the moment but by the time 2020 rolls around they will have regrouped and be ready to fight – just as they dragged themselves back from the omnishambles budget in the last Parliament. With the best will in the world, Corbyn looks less likely to be able to deal with a Tory party like that than Ed Miliband, and Ed Miliband helped the Tories to their first majority since 1992.

  30. John R says:

    Five stages of being a Corbynista.

    1. Denial. The diagnosis is mistaken. “Why doesn’t everyone else see what a great Leader Jeremy is?”

    2. Anger. “It’s all the (media/PLP/false consciousness)’s fault, that’s what it is!”

    3. Bargaining. “Look, we won’t deselect you all, just the ones who said nasty things about Jeremy!”

    4. Depression. “Christ, Labour will be slaughtered in 2020 if Jeremy is still Leader.”

    5. Acceptance. “Ok, we’ll be slaughtered in 2020 but I’ll be alright and I’ll use my networking abilities to make sure the kids are too. And I can keep my principles!”

  31. paul barker says:

    As a Libdem I dont see incompetence, I see Revolutionary Left Politicians who have a different worldview, different aims from Traditional Labourites; in their terms the strategy is working. If Labour Centrists & Right Wingers want to understand the people who are now in control they have to use thir imaginations. Suppose you wanted to re-run the Russian “Revolution” in Britain; what would you do ? If your imagination cant handle that then you just have to accept that The Left are incomprehensible, in your terms.
    All this talk of incompetence is just comforting yourselves with delusions. The Left beat you in September, they are beating you now – accept your defeat & look at what you can do now.

  32. Dave Rees says:

    What Ade B said.

  33. dada says:

    Twisting the knife into Camborne by supporting IDS following the 2016 budget shambles may have been an “open goal”, but it would have given massive support to the “leave” campaign by encouraging an “anti-Camborne” vote on 23/6/16. Given that Labour wishes the UK to remain in the EU, that would have been very unwise.

  34. John P Reid says:

    Danny Spieght,Mike Fowler, how many people read this, this idea that if labour do bad in May it’ll be this blog fault rather than the leadership is silly.

  35. Len Stevens says:

    Incredible isn’t it? Without resorting to the usual shouty politics The Labour leader still manages to be making his points, increasing his polling and inflicting damage on the reputation of the tories. Suits me just fine. Bollox article. WTF are you?

  36. Andy Coombes says:

    Samuel Dale’s mistaken belief in his own competence to comment makes one embarrassed for him.

  37. Andy T says:

    Wow. What makes me laugh is how bitter this author is and the best thing is there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. It’s ironic is that the more people who call themselves Labour supporters write stuff like this, the more they dig themselves a hole. They would actually do way more damage to Corbyn if they stayed quiet and let the right wing press tear Corbyn apart because by constantly speaking out they are splitting the party and giving the “hard left” as some like to call us an excuse if Corbyn fails. If they just kept quiet we wouldn’t have that. Also… this piece is factually inaccurate. Corbyn did mention IDS’ resignation and do so during PMQs so it’s worth fact checking before posting before you embarrass yourself. Thanks for the “support” because it will be people like you who will make sure Labour is dominated by “hard left” leaders for decades to come 🙂

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