[…] Yes, Jeremy Corbyn is disappointing. Yes, his leadership has been marked by missed opportunities, weakness in opposition and (until recently) incoherence in proposition, as well as strategic and organisational failure. It would be foolish to deny or minimise these flaws. But it would be more foolish still to use them as a reason for granting May a mandate to destroy what remains of British decency and moderation, or for refusing to see the good that a government implementing Corbyn’s policies could do.
Of course I fear a repeat of 1983. But the popularity of Corbyn’s recent policy announcements emboldens me to believe he has a chance, albeit slight, of turning this around. His pledge to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour is supported by 71% of people, according to a ComRes poll; raising the top rate of tax is endorsed by 62%.
Labour’s 10 pledges could, if they formed the core of its manifesto, appeal to almost everyone. They promote a theme that should resonate widely in these precarious times: security. They promise secure employment rights, secure access to housing, secure public services, a secure living world. Contrast this to what the Conservatives offer: the “fantastic insecurity” anticipated by the major funder of the Brexit campaign, the billionaire Peter Hargreaves.
Could people be induced to see past the ineptitudes of Labour leadership to the underlying policies? I would argue that the record of recent decades suggests that the quality of competence in politics is overrated.