My last blog concerned the economic advisory panel established by John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Subsequently, on the 25th November, McDonnell led the response to George Osborne’s autumn statement. He began by making a good case under difficult circumstances but completely blew it by brandishing a copy of Chairman Mao’s little red book in the Chamber. He claims it was intended as a joke, apparently unaware that, given his political reputation, it was a huge hostage to fortune. This image will be reproduced in many Conservative broadcasts and publications up to and including the 2020 election. Apparently he discussed this stunt with his advisers before deploying it– presumably these are his political advisers rather than the economic advisers. One of the hallmarks of a good politician is the ability to surround himself or herself with able people. On this criteria both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have demonstrably failed.
It will always be a struggle for us here in North Norfolk. We cannot win anything locally in this rural area with its high proportion of wealthy Conservative pensioners. Standing a Labour Candidate in the May 2015 North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) elections for my local seat I polled just 78 votes. At the time I thought this would prove to be the lowest NNDC Labour vote this century – at this would be some sort of claim to fame – but in fact I found there were six lower totals recorded in previous elections.
I recognise a lost cause when I see it but, like others, am happy to carry on in the battle for a fairer society. However the current leadership has become a joke and embarrassment rather than a threat. The sooner they depart the better.