It's the political shock wave of Christmas 2017: Jezza has apparently ruled out a second referendum on the terms of our exit from the EU. Some will not be surprised in the slightest, for many of us, it defies logic or belief.
The man that many in the UK see as a 'champion of decency' (including me) bizarrely seems to be supporting a Tory coup only actually voted for by 37% of the electorate - about 27% of the population. And even more bizarrely, a Tory coup opposed by many of his own MPs, and apparently most party members and Labour voters too:
So Corbyn is either playing an incredibly smart game and waiting for the right moment to play his hand, or frankly he's a fool and stubborn old goat, turning his back on what the majority of decent and pragmatic people in his party (and the country) want.
I just wish I could work out which it is.
I've argued the former, for a long time. I thought I understood why Corbyn hadn't come out against Brexit. In fact a niche of Labour supporters seemed to appreciate any definitive intention to stop or reverse Brexit would split the Labour vote entirely, and effectively hand power to the Tories...gift-wrapped with a bow. That doesn't help anyone. And though it sounds cold and 'Machiavellian' to say aloud, 'good intentions' mean nothing in politics if you don't claw your way to power first. To some degree, the end must justify the means.
That ambiguity seemed to be working. Corbyn's turnaround from two years ago could not physically be more apparent. The man ridiculed as a laughing stock from all sides of the establishment, could today feasibly inherit the keys to Downing Street.
But even my faith in him is beginning to crumble now. It's one thing to mediate and to play the ambiguity, keeping options open, but quite another to refuse to acknowledge the wishes of half the nation... to pander to the Brexit mob, throwing fuel on the fire of insanity. I'm not sure I can get on board with the pretence that any of this has been democratic, or that we must now see through this self-harm as a point of principle.
Clinging to that thread of hope
It is still just about possible I guess, that my rather desperate 'hypothesis' has been correct, and continues to be. After all, nothing's changed really. Even now, if Corbyn opposed Brexit and/or argued formally for a second referendum, it would probably still hand power to the Tories. Such is the power of pig-headed nationalism in Britain today.
The risk is that many British citizens desperate to retain their EU guaranteed rights and liberties will be so furious about this, they will abandon him now. Eg: the balance of power will shift any way. Politically speaking, the Tories have played a blinder. Absolutely anything any of the other parties do to combat this madness is virtually falling into a trap deliberately set.
Yes, we all know Corbyn was a Eurosceptic. As was that icon of the left, Tony Benn. But not attending a party is very different from drunkenly crashing out of one, attempting to trash the joint on the way out and humiliate the hosts. I thought Corbyn got that, which was why he supported Remain - at least nominally. And I for one have always argued Benn too might have felt differently about us exiting the EU, had he lived to see the Tory coup intended to take its place, or the blank cheque it would hand them.
Maybe...just maybe Brexit somehow needs to die on its own. We've ludicrously reached a stage where outright opposition to it, is political suicide. Even for the Conservatives, even if they wanted to oppose it! It's a bale of hay that's built up such momentum, it's now accumulated the force of a freight train, and even economic suicide now seems preferable to admitting we cocked everything up royally. (Or risking upsetting the nationalists.)
Lesser of two evils
Jezza will still get my vote over the Tories (testicular cancer would get my vote over the Tories), but I've honestly never felt as politically homeless. I'm pretty disappointed, and on the verge of cancelling my Labour membership. I do not really want to financially support a party that refuses to protect Britain, simply to play politics. Yes, wherever possible you need to be smart and play the long game, but sometimes you just have to stand up and do/say what is right.
My fear is that if vast swathes of people feel the same (which I imagine they might), it could realistically seal our fate: marooning us on a lonely and impoverished Brexit Island, under the iron boot of the Tories. And that really is the worst thing that could possibly happen.
Plus...to be honest...a second referendum? I'm not sure that's the answer any way. As this whole shit-show has proved, as the Minister for Brexit himself so poignantly explained in 2002, referendums are dangerous. A license for mob rule. And if there's one thing I no longer have faith in, it's the sentience of my fellow countrymen and women, or their ability to recognise a pig in a poke when they see one. It's probably why our forefathers ran with Parliamentary Democracy in the first place. Heard the analogy of 'too many cooks'? Yes, well imagine that amplified by about 34 million.
No... enough of the lunatics running the asylum. We're better off putting a sane adult back in charge, with the balls to do right by their country, admit the categorical mistake made by a former Prime Minister, and cancel the whole damned thing.
I still hope against hope that will be Jeremy Corbyn. And even if not, I'm still confident average British people will be better off under him than a Tory government.
I don't have much alternative right now.