I can understand why so many people find it hard to take Jeremy Corbyn seriously. I don’t. Here’s the bloke whose only experience in power was head of Haringey’s Housing Committee back in the 1970s. Yet Shameless, shifty (Baroness) Shami Chakrabarti says – and I am not making this up – that Magic Grandpa himself could negotiate a better Brexit deal than Theresa May. In all likelihood, it will be next to impossible to negotiate a worse Brexit deal, but you couldn’t be entirely certain Corbyn wouldn’t manage just that. Today, May and her utterly useless government front bench were laughing at Corbyn but for all the wrong reasons.
It was simply beyond belief that, with the government in meltdown, having been defeated three times the previous day, that Corbyn didn’t lead prime ministers questions on Brexit. Instead, he read out a series of questions about poverty in the UK. I suppose I should be the last to complain since I have been moaning for ages that Brexit is dominating our politics to the exclusion of almost everything else, but there is a time and a place and this was not it.
It is a crime, in moral terms, that over four million children live in poverty. I might have excused Corbyn his diversion if he had used his six questions with great skill, but he hasn’t got any. This is not a man who can think on his feet, or if today is anything to go by, who can think about anything at all. May probably couldn’t believe her luck. But then she started laughing, as did much of the Tory benches, populated largely by seriously rich people, a decent percentage of whom are in her cabinet. This was not a good look. In fact, it was a very bad look.
May revealed that she has little or no idea how ordinary folk live their lives. The vicar’s daughter has never known poverty, almost certainly never seen it. As a christian, you might have thought she had an ounce of empathy and compassion for the poorest people but not this prime minister, who displays none of the qualities you might expect from, say, Jesus Christ, who, if he ever lived, probably did not travel around telling lies. However, there is a message in all this for Corbyn.
The old boy is a quiet hard Brexiter. That’s his true position. His view on the EU is no different from the late Tony Benn, whose empty slogans and vacuous rhetoric became the bedrock on which Corbyn’s opinions were created. Whilst the hard right want Brexit to strip this country bare with a small government, low tax nation, without the costly bits like the NHS and schools, the hard left, under Corbyn, wants a hard Brexit that will bring about the collapse of capitalism in one country and he will ride into town on his white steed to save us all. Except the steed is more likely to be a unicorn. And the worst affected, in any form of Brexit, will be the poorest.
Both May and Corbyn are down there with the worst political leaders we have seen in our history. May cooks up a Brexit deal that unites the nation only in how bad it is and then laughs out loud when the issue of child poverty is raised in parliament. And Corbyn would have trouble locating his arse with both hands and a map. Some say we deserve better than this, but after voting to set the country on fire in 2016, I’m not sure they are right.