Corbyn is effective in pootering around like a politics professor but sometime he will have to answer the question,'do you know what is being done in your name'?

27 Sep 2015 at 10:14

I have warned from the outset just how dangerous Jeremy Corbyn could be to the Tories. And his appearance on Marr today should have the alarm bells ringing at Number 10. Some of you will now be shaking your head in despair and and sadly conclude that I have finally lost my marbles. But bear with me. People hate the shallowness, artifice and triangulation that is involved in modern politics. They despise ‘on message’ interviews. The charm of Corbyn is that he is on message in terms of his beliefs and can afford to be unspecific about his policies because in theory they haven’t yet been determined by party members. So this is all mood music to to try and cast off his image as a dangerous leftie who would put national security at risk, clobber the middle classes and bring the country to its knees with industrial action. The truth is he can throw all the real policy decisions into the long grass. And the lawn mowers won’t be clanking into operation until Corbyn’s mob have total control of the party machine. And what a ghastly bunch they are.

What was fascinating about his outing on Marr today that he gave a very good impression of enjoying the political discussion, which he did with wit and a disarming charm. A sort of Nigel Farage with a brain a heart and a soul. The idea that all the big issues like Trident would effectively be a free vote in the Commons is superficially very attractive. That comrades would have intense and brotherly/sisterly discussions and then with their hearts on their sleeves vote in a way that their conscience’s dictate, has punter appeal. Why should the whips force people to vote in a way that they fundamentally disagree with? After all he never did. Go into any pub and ask if that was not profound common sense and the answer would be a resounding thumbs up. It is of course nonsense, but attractive nonsense. A free for all in the division lobbies means that nothing would ever be achieved. In opposition the government would clean up, in government the legislative programme would be a shambles. The whole point of collective responsibility is to ensure that the front bench speak as one.

If Steve Hilton has been reported correctly he is right to say that although the Corbynistas have the wrong answers they certainly have the right questions. The bedroom tax is something that in a policy paper looks like a great idea. In practice it is causing hardship. How can we keep the principle and protect the weak? The weening of working people off of tax credits is profoundly the right thing to do. But if the living wage doesn’t offset income losses then we go back to the old problem of there being a disincentive to go out and work. It is absolutely right that we have tougher trade union laws to stop the manipulation of trade union members who don’t want to strike. It is an abuse that London will be paralysed because just three people on the City Line voted to strike. Most people would support a law change. But most people would also feel very uncomfortable about some of the more Eastern European flavoured proposals such as strikers having to give their names and addresses to the police.

So in many ways all this helps Cameron. He can now water down some of the less compassionate policies that are floating around.

The best approach is to attack Corbyn’s supporters and aides most of whom are an authoritarian and deeply unpleasant bunch. The punishment beatings, smearings and deselections are just beginning. No sensible MPs will be safe. If Neil Kinnock decides not to attend his first party conference in forty eight years there is a clear and very worrying warning. The left are on the march.

So Jeremy Corbyn can pooter around like a benign politics professor enjoying stimulating intellectual arguments while his henchmen ruthlessly cleanse the party of impurity, but the time will come when he will have to be asked, ‘do you know what is being said and done in your name?’ And the answer cannot be cast into the long grass.

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