Corbyn’s competency questioned in crunch talks to avert hard Brexit

As Labour continues to hesitate over Brexit, some are doubting whether Corbyn really understands what is at stake.

In the Observer, Nick Cohen claims that Jeremy Corbyn is happy to see Britain crash into the brick wall of Brexit because, as a revolutionary defeatist, he thinks the ensuring chaos will see voters turn to a far-left led Labour Party.

But what if Cohen is wrong and, in fact, Corbyn is so blasé about Brexit because he just doesn’t understand it?

This last week Corbyn has been meeting other opposition parties, who have been pressing him to swing behind a joint effort to secure a “People’s Vote” – a second referendum on Brexit.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was said to be profoundly shocked by Corbyn’s lack of grasp of even the basic details, while Adam Price, the newly elected leader of Plaid Cymru, was taken aback when the Labour leader used two-thirds of the allotted thirty minutes to reminisce about how he and Price had once run a campaign to impeach Tony Blair.

Both nationalist leaders are acutely aware of the damage Brexit threatens to wreak on their countries but also will, no doubt, sense a political opportunity here too: all the polling shows Labour’s voters (and members) are becoming ever-more hostile to Brexit and ever-more alienated from Labour’s approach of inactivity.

Labour’s poll rating in Scotland is already on the slide, and Scottish leader Richard Leonard’s perceived pro-Lexit position is believed by many to be detrimental (though his real views, like those of Corbyn, remain clouded in a fog of indolence). In Wales Labour have just elected a new leader in Mark Drakeford, a man who even his friends are likely to admit is never going to win a Mr Charisma contest, and he seems unwilling to recognise that simply repeating the formulaic lines supplied to him by LOTO in London are no longer good enough.

There may be a case for extending Article 50 just to give the Labour leadership time to get up to speed.

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