I’m getting bored of this myself. Seriously, I am. By this stage, I’m really only cataloguing everything so that one day the centre-left can rebuild – think of these article as breadcrumbs back to sanity then – or failing that, as a document to where the Left finally killed itself in Britain for all time.
Anyhow, another day, another reason to be disappointed in Jeremy Corbyn. Even though I was never really a fan in the first place. The setting? The House of Commons. The occasion? Weekly PMQs. I know, I know, questions to the prime minister of a Wednesday doesn’t swing votes in North Warwickshire, the Corbynites shout (but appreciation of Maoism and a desire not to dis Hezbollah is huge in the Midlands these days, on the other hand). Why would I even go there? I will riposte that this one was particularly bad – and thus worth noting for all time.
Cameron dodged every question by continually coming back to internal Labour troubles. This was a ripe field, so there was plenty of room to run here. In a pure debating sense, this wasn’t Jeremy’s fault – what I mean by that is that whatever blame you wish to apportion to Corbyn for this past week’s shenanigans, I’m simply saying that Corbyn the man at the dispatch box was put at an automatic disadvantage, thus one should consider this when looking at the PMQs session in isolation. But even giving him some points to start with for this handicap, Jeremy was dire.
I could go into detail, however there is one exchange that summarises the whole thing perfectly. It has also been immoritalised in the Guardian, but I shall repeat it here for you now. Cameron says of Corbyn: “He referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends”, now he needs to withdraw those remarks.” The prime minister did this all session, by the way, and now that I think about it, at most PMQs for the last who knows how long now. He turned the whole thing around so that it became an Opposition Leader’s Questions by the leader of the government.
And what was Jeremy’s response? Oh God, hide behind the sofa now, anyone who cares about centre-left politics in this country:
“I’ve made it very clear Labour is an anti-racism party and no place for anti-Semitism.”
Just as an aside, I find the whole Hamas worship thing within Corbyn’s inner-circle incredibly awful. You don’t need to be anti-Palestinian to dislike Hamas; in fact, a great deal of Palestinians have a negative viewpoint of the organisation. Why does Jeremy feel so strong a need to avoid criticising them even when it’s a really good idea to do so?
The worst thing about the session – and what makes me really angry about it as opposed to merely resigned to it – is that Cameron was given a free hand to bat Sadiq Khan around the park, trying as hard as possible to bring Sadiq into the whole Hamas lovin’ mess and finding no real resistance, apart from Jeremy’s insincere remarks about Labour being no place for racists. The whole thing was horrifying. I’m starting to think I should just stop watching PMQs for a while.