Once you’ve had a taste of Mayor Bullock’s firm leadership, anyone else is going to seem second rate.
Having helped to kickstart the Parliamentary Labour Party’s revolt against Corbyn’s leadership, Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander is doubling down, with a column in the Guardian criticising Jezza's leadership as "shoddy and unprofessional".
The former Deputy Mayor of Lewisham writes:
I hated being a member of Jeremy’s shadow cabinet – because it was entirely dysfunctional.
It wasn’t good enough for Corbyn to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision
It wasn’t good enough for the leader to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision – a shadow chancellor who on three separate occasions undermined my efforts to agree collective positions on health matters.
It wasn’t good enough for the leader to say one thing to me, only for his political secretary to phone a day later and say: “He may have said that, but I know what he really thinks.”
It wasn’t good enough for the leader to read his position from a typed up script at shadow cabinet meetings discussing the prospect of military action against Isis in Syria or the EU referendum.
And it wasn’t good enough that whenever he appeared on TV, his description of a process, or his analysis of a problem, ended in confusion or despair on the party’s position – article 50, counterterrorism, “7.5 out of 10” on Brexit.
You can read the full charge sheet in her article here.
Owen Smith's strategy, which this attack is part of, has been to promise to be as left-wing as Corbyn, with but without all the accompanying uselessness. That seems to me to be a strategy doomed to fail.
Firstly, because his chest thumping love of socialism seems deeply inauthentic (and he got caught out by suggesting he might get ISIS round the negotiating table, only to find that was one position Corbyn was happy to take a more moderate line on).
And secondly, because no-one voting Corbyn really wants effective leadership. That all sounds a bit right wing and Tony Bliar to a Corbynite. You establishment types can keep your "organisational effectiveness" for your establishment types, a movement doesn't need effectiveness, it will carry all before it in a tide of virtue.