The time for triangulation is over. If Corbyn wants to keep his reputation as a nearly uniquely honest broker, it's time to follow the membership and take a positionby Emma Burnell / January 17, 2019 / Leave a comment
Theresa May put her worst day behind her pretty quickly. Being thumped by a margin of 230 votes would cause most of us to have no confidence in ourselves, never mind asking anyone else to. But by immediately winning a confidence vote the next day May has had a chance—briefly—to change the narrative.
While Labour was right to call that vote (they really had no choice) the pre-briefing of it being just the first of many seems to have fallen flat as all the other opposition parties have refused to countenance it. And Labour may be less keen than their initial bravado suggested to give May repeated and possibly ever more comfortable wins. What may have seemed like a clever strategy to avoid giving Labour members what they desperately desire—i.e. Labour support for a People’s Vote—was quickly exposed as giving Tories exactly what they wanted instead.
Immediately after the vote, Theresa May went on the TV to bemoan the fact that Jeremy Corbyn refuses to hold talks with her until she takes “no deal” off the table. On that point, many of Twitter’s #FBPE crowd agreed with May, rounding on Corbyn for not working with May to agree a deal. (A deal that—let’s face it—the hashtag crowd would reject out of hand anyway; there is no deal that is as good as staying in if you’re an ardent enough Remainer to use a hashtag as part of your identity.)
Corbyn must feel damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He makes a decisive statement against “no deal” and is still getting it in the neck from Remainers. What more do they want?
The truth is, they want a lot more. And many of them are members of his party, and loyal Corbyn-supporting ones at that. They understand—perhaps more than Corbyn does, or at least lets on—that “no deal” is not something that can really come off the table until either a deal is agreed or Article 50 is revoked or extended. “No deal” is the terrifying default towards which the UK is careening. It can stopped only by someone taking action—not by Labour taking their ball home.
If that action is led by someone other than Corbyn he gets all the…