In today’s Leicester Mercury regular letter writer Charles Samuel advertised his political confusion in his unfounded call for Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation (“Could Ashworth step up as leader?” June 14).
Charles has deluded himself into believing that Labour failed to win the general election “because many people had concerns over Jeremy Corbyn being an effective and competent Prime Minister.” After acknowledging that Corbyn was “the person responsible for his party’s spiritual awakening” Charles suggests that Jon Ashworth should be given a chance to take Corbyn’s place.
It seems to have passed Charles by that Labour obtained over 40% of the vote compared to just over 30% in 2015, the biggest increase in the vote share for any party since the Attlee government in 1945. Corbyn is massively popular and as such will remain as the Labour Party’s leader.
To be sure it wouldn’t hurt Labour’s electoral chances if the many Labour MPs who vigorously opposed Corbyn’s principled socialism were replaced by genuine anti-austerity activists. Whether rank-and-file Labour members are able to successfully replace Blairite MPs will be a critical factor in determining Corbyn’s ability to promote socialist policies if he goes on to become the Prime Minster later this year.
But Charles was at least being consistent in his opposition to socialism, as writing in the Mercury during the 2015 Labour leadership contest (“Compassion badly needed,” June 25) he observed that “Chuka Umunna’s withdrawal from the leadership race was regrettable.” Charles continued: “He was, I believe, the candidate most likely to have been able to steer the Labour Party back towards the centre…”?! This of course makes no sense, unless like Charles, you believe that the Labour Party lost the 2015 general election because it was too left-wing!
Nevertheless, the fact that Charles is calling for Corbyn’s resignation also makes perfect sense when you consider that in 2011 Charles wrote to the Mercury to explain that the pro-austerity Coalition government was “what this country needs at the moment.” (“Coalition fits the political bill,” September 30)
The political advice given in Charles’ most recent letter of course chimes well with the anti-socialist message guidance given to Corbyn by all manner of pro-corporate politicians and media commentators. Apparently if Corbyn is to go on to inhabit Downing Street he must become more moderate and harmonise his left-wing politics with those of those very same Blairite who have actively campaigned for his downfall: in effect Corbyn must break with the anti-austerity politics that undergird his popularity. No doubt, Corbyn will also be advised to invite Tony Blair into his Shadow Cabinet… what utter nonsense!