Boris’ Brexit snake oil poisoned Corbyn’s chances

3 mins read

When it came to the crux British voters wanted an oven-ready Brexit prepared by celebrity chef Boris Johnson who proved to be a better bet than Jeremy Corbyn’s fence-sitting exercise.

Corbyn ran away from Brexit, tried to throw money at the NHS and pretended he didn’t have an image problem while Boris gaffed his way to the top.

Labour had a chance to kick a minority government into touch but instead, it opted to re-enact the never to be forgotten 1992 election tragedy of Neil Kinnock snatching humiliation from the jaws of glory.

Jeremy led Labour to a similar embarrassment against his opposite number who lacked compassion or empathy for the working class.

Rubbing sand into Labour’s deep wounds is Corbyn’s reluctance to put his hands up and resign amid the rubble of this self-inflicted election defeat.

He said the Red Wall had fallen because the Conservatives hijacked the campaign by concentrating on Brexit, securing an emphatic 80-seat majority.

It is no secret that Corbyn was unpopular and his failure to take a stand on Brexit only made the electorate trust him less.

He didn’t like Boris’ Brexit deal, so he was going to get a better one that was so good he wasn’t going to support it but chuck it back at the people to decide.

Boris was getting Brexit done – which makes no sense because it is not going to go away but at least he can bulldoze his way through the House of Commons and Brussels.

Remainers had nobody fighting their corner in a coherent manner. In the end, they were outgunned by frustration, anger and people wanting an uncomplicated answer like “Get Brexit Done”.

The electorate wanted to move on but where Boris is going to take Britain over the next five years is a loaded question.

To the victor the spoils of a huge majority in parliament while Corbyn will reflect on went wrong. He will not apologise for a botched election campaign that looked good on twitter but not in the northern heartlands.

At 33%, Labour’s share of the vote was down around eight points on the 2017 general election and is lower than that achieved by hapless Kinnock in 1992.

Boris marched directly into Labour territory to win support from people who had never voted Conservative before.

They swapped traditional party allegiances for Brexit, even though there was enough evidence to suggest Boris was a connoisseur of half-baked truths.

The Conservatives secured the party’s largest majority since under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, making mincemeat of the Labour Party.

Labour Leave voters were seemingly more worried about Brexit than the crumbling NHS or social inequality.

They were unmoved by a campaign agenda that included widespread nationalisation, spending on public services such as education and the NHS.

Corbyn could see the Tories coming for his traditional voters but he was lacking in believers.

Britain is also a much different place after this election with the Scottish nationalists gaining a tighter grip and louder voice for independence while Northern Ireland also moved away from the union.

If the Labour Party can’t beat an old toff called Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, then it has misunderstood British society with a muddled message about Europe and social reform.

Boris convinced the electorate he was moving the country forward even if in reality there is uncertainty over the impact of Brexit while Britain feels like a less inclusive place.

The Tories also owe a debt of gratitude to anti-immigrant Brexit Party eurosceptic Nigel Farage who made a U-turn to fight every seat and stood down in 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the Leave vote.

Thin on policy detail or lacking sympathy for NHS patients – like the little boy who had to wait on a hospital floor – Boris Johnson used his Brexit credentials like a badge honour.
Boris was painted as a jovial chap with bags of charisma who tended to go off script while polls suggested Corbyn was the least popular opposition leader in decades – the anti-Semitism tag didn’t help.

As Labour retreats with its war-wounded it will know that it fought the wrong battle at the wrong time. it tried to avoid Brexit by going beyond it – a step too far in the fractious arena British politics has become.

Brexit has made Britain a deeply divided country, Corbyn tried to close his eyes in the hope it would go away. He sat in the neutral zone while his party was divided into two camps.

In rolled the wagon with the salesman selling Brexit snake oil to remedy any political malady, the people bought it before Corbyn could alert his hired guns drinking at the saloon of complacency.

Bottles of Boris’ magic snake oil are now strewn across Corbyn’s political epitaph where hope used to grow.