There was a large part of me that didn’t want to watch the Andrew Neil interview with Jeremy Corbyn on BBC last night. I knew it would be excruciating so didn’t want to watch it live. But having seen my social media light up with the sheer horror of what people had seen I had to see it for myself on iPlayer. Was it was as bad as everybody claimed. I am afraid it was.
Whilst everybody seemed to concentrate on the inability of Corbyn to get to grips with the anti Semitism issue and to fail to apologise for the consequences, it was the issues around financing Labour’s ambitious manifesto plans that worried me even more.
I don’t understand why Corbyn couldn’t bring himself to apologise for the consequences of the anti Semitism row in the Labour Party. His outriders in defence both say he has nothing to apologise for and that he has already apologised. Both can’t be his defence. It made him look shifty and untrustworthy. It was horrible to watch as he tried to use all his pre-prepared lines. This is a massive problem for him. They have crafted a form of words that he repeats time after time and sounds as though he doesn’t care. His boredom on this issue comes across strongly. There is a problem. But today his defenders keep claiming there isn’t – only reinforcing the problem!
But on Labour’s spending plans and the claim that nobody earning less than £80k will pay more tax he was fully exposed for his lack of knowledge and basic understanding of the tax system and finances of the nation. To claim that the £58bn for the WASPI compensation could come from reserves before admitting he didn’t know the level of reserves – and then having to admit the money would need to be borrowed was painful watching. Although he seemed to claim issuing bonds wasn’t borrowing or did I get that wrong?
Not understanding that the manifesto does introduce taxes on those earning below £80k is unforgiveable and he was easily exposed today in healdines likes these above on the BBC. The front pages won’t make for good reading at campaign HQ today
For local candidates this is so dispiriting. You can work your socks off making small amounts of progress each day, only for the leadership to undo all that hard work with a car crash interview or in my case with Gordon Brown muttering on mike about Gilian Duffy days before coming on a visit to Loughborough. His gaffe dominated the news for days. He did apologise to me though on that visit.
There will be those who defend Corbyn because Andrew Neil is a Tory and was too harsh on their man! He is harsh on everybody he interviews. I have seen him destroy all politicians who think they can come on and trot out their pre-prepared lines without understanding the issues. Lines are produced to avoid answering the difficult questions politicians know they can’t or don’t want to answer. Andrew Neil knows the game and simply won’t accept platitudes. So he was right to pursue the questions about where £58bn will come from. I want to know. As I wrote earlier this week this commitment destroys the fiscal responsibility that the ‘Grey Book’ tries to convey.
On foreign policy there wasn’t enough time to expose some of Corbyn’s worst thoughts and ideas. Another 10 minutes would have been deeply uncomfortable and this section as much as the tax questions explain why there are many former Labour supporters who will never vote Corbyn. This is the
I am assuming that Andrew Neil will equally destroy Boris Johnson if the interview gets organised. He is a known liar and bumbling wreck when asked a straight question. I would urge everybody downhearted by Corbyn’s performance to watch this next car crash.
I have never been a fan of Corbyn leading the Labour Party, there is no hiding that. But it is because from day one I have seen this all coming. He is not a leader and he is far from capable of being a Prime Minister. It hurts that Labour looks like it’s incapable of winning a General Election against the worst Tory government in history and against such an awful Prime Minister as Boris Johnson. Against such a government and leader any decent sensible Labour leader should be talking about Labour majority territory, not hoping to just about deny Boris his majority. I have despaired at Labour over the last 4 years under Corbyn and in one interview all that despair was laid bare!
More than anybody I am desperate to see the Tories defeated. That’s why I have been so passionate about Labour moving on from the grips of Corbyn and his team. It’s now too late. Like so many people this leaves us with a dilemma on 12th December and something I’ll address in a blog later.