Cabinet coup: May to be replaced as PM by Rupert Murdoch’s pet dog

Theresa May could be ousted from No 10 within days after her Cabinet plotted to replace her with Rupert Murdoch’s pet dog as a caretaker Prime Minister.

A senior Downing Street source told The Mail on Sunday last night that even Mrs May’s Chief Whip, Julian Smith, had advised her to set out her departure plans, with Rupert Murdoch’s pet dog emerging as the ‘consensus choice’ to succeed her.

The dog is being championed by Cabinet Brexiteers who are furious about what they see as an attempted ‘coup’ by Remain-backing David Lidington, Mrs May’s de facto deputy.

Last night Henry Newman, one of the Rupert Murdoch’s dog’s closest allies in Parliament, said the Prime Minister’s ‘ill-judged’ speech blaming MPs for the Brexit crisis ‘united Labour and Tory critics against her’

A senior Government source said yesterday that there was now ‘complete unanimity’ in the Cabinet that Mrs May should step down as soon as possible.

Although some have speculated that having a dog as Prime Minister may not be ideal at a time of political crisis, sources within the Government have sought to reassure those concerned. A leading cabinet minister who asked not to be named commented: “Every British government has been in Rupert Murdoch’s pocket for decades. If it weren’t for him, Brexit wouldn’t even be on the cards. It won’t actually be his pet dog making all the decisions, it will be Murdoch himself calling the shots, deciding on a daily basis what best suits his prejudices and interests. Just like normal, basically. I mean, if think of him as being a bit like a British version of Robert Mugabe, it all begins to make a lot more sense. I say, you’re definitely not going to name me in this piece, are you?!”

New ‘Lexit Party’ backed by George Galloway launches

Grassroots Out anti-EU membership campaign event, London, Britain - 19 Feb 2016

A new political party has been launched in an attempt to attract hardline Labour activists unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to forge a compromise Lexit plan.

“The Lexit Party” — which was registered with the Electoral Commission on Thursday — will also pose challenges for Labour, which has drifted sharply to the left since the election of Corbyn as its leader.

George Galloway, one of the most influential figures in modern British politics — despite having only won seventh place with 1.4% of the vote in the 2016 London Mayoral Election — described the new group as a “live vehicle” that could be “mobilised” if Lexit is delayed.

He said the new party had potential donors lined up if there was a snap election. “The engine is running,” he said. “In defence of democracy, we stand ready for battle.”

The former Respect Party leader said the party would spring into action if Lexit does not take place as planned on March 29. Some cabinet ministers have openly speculated that Britain needs to delay Article 50, the mechanism that triggers Britain’s departure from the EU, not least to ensure that all the necessary legislation is enacted.

Mr Galloway told the Daily Telegraph that if the prime minister did not welcome “this new electoral threat” they should “deliver a proper Lexit”. “Our objectives include overthrowing neoliberalism, wiping out illegal immigrants and establishing socialism in one country by sometime in late 2019.”

David Lammy, a Labour MP, said Mr Galloway had taken a salary as an MP for 18 years while complaining about career politicians: “This is all just a George Galloway ego trip,” he said.

The Respect Party was a left-wing to far-left political party active in the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2016. At the height of its success in 2007, the party had one Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons and nineteen councillors in local government.

Catherine Blaiklock, joint leader of the Lexit Party, said hundreds of SWP and Socialist Party members had been in contact saying they wanted to defect to the new party.

Additional reporting courtesy of the Financial Times.

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Let’s be honest: this godawful situation is not *entirely* Theresa May’s fault

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This morning I wrote a piece blaming Theresa May herself for the current deadlock. Hence I didn’t expect much of her evening statement. Like anyone else I half-hoped she’d blow her brains out on camera; there was also a tiny part of me (I won’t say which) that entertained the hope she’d just say fuck you and fuck this whole fucked-up process, I’m revoking this shit as soon as I get back in there (points at door).

Nevertheless, I have to admit that something in her manner and tone convinced and…charmed me. OK that’s obviously not true, but I think I now understand her logic in a way that wasn’t apparent to me before. To explain what I mean (whatever do you mean??) I present here some uncontroversial facts about Brexit. Although Theresa May herself may be in denial about some of them, they may once assembled reveal something about how she makes sense of what she’s trying to do:

1) Whatever May wants to believe, MPs can’t vote for or against the deal again, it’s against parliamentary rules. There are ways around this, but they take more than a week.
2) Emmanuel Macron has already declared that his government will oppose an extension. (UPDATE: These first two facts are no longer facts.)
3) The only people who support No Deal are Nigel Farage (a lifelong fascist whose brand-new party just turned out, and who woulda guessed it, to have yet another fanatical racist for a leader (wherever does ‘e find ’em??)); some Tory megalomaniacs who really don’t need to be named; the noted political philosopher Donald Trump Jr (and we all owe a vote of thanks to the Daily Telegraph newspaper for granting us an insight into his, er, insights); thirty bedraggled ex-BNP morons last seen dawdling half-heartedly towards Berwick; and, last but not least, a dwindling number of football hooligans (the season is after all starting to come to a climax, which is oddly enough the same reason Nigel Farage had to cut short Monday’s photo session and go and sit huddled up on that bus). It would be nice to add the SWP et al to this as a mere joke, but – and they would be delighted to see this acknowledged – their typically opportunistic misreading of the situation is actually (for the very first time in the history of the 38th International!) having an impact on historical events (by helping with the realisation of the consolidation of a global far-right project of the sort that Leon Trotsky might probably on reflection have opposed, but never mind that for the time being).
4) The Kyle/Wilson Amendment would resolve the deadlock, but I refer you to point 1) and point 5).
5) Jeremy Corbyn is as thick and as obstinate as week-old dog shit during a drought. What the fuck was walking out of that meeting all about?! Fucking prick.
6) Anyone looking in from the outside will quite reasonably judge May to be dishonest, stupid, stubborn and arrogant. However, without straying too far into Devil’s Advocate territory, it is useful to consider how she sees herself. For example, it’s unlikely that someone so mendacious would be aware of her duplicity. Similarly, with regard to her stupidity – the Times columnist and former Tory MP Matthew Parris gave a personal account this week of just how dim she really is – it’s worth paying attention to what Messrs Dunning and Kruger have to say about that. Like many stupid people, her ignorance begins with not knowing how stupid she is. As for her stubbornness and arrogance, she almost certainly takes any comments about her inability to (for example) revise her ‘red lines’ as a tribute to her tenacity and steadfastness in the face of others’ weakness and prevarication.
7) May’s deal is the only existing version of Brexit. As she established as soon as she took power in 2016, her Brexit is the only one that matters. That’s how she thinks, and in a way – and it’s important to bear in mind here that she is a) basically psychotic in her devotion to the fortunes of the Conservative Party (an absolutely disgusting institution which only exists to preserve and promote inequality) and b) a ideological authoritarian and racist piece of shit – she’s not wrong. After all, her party allies, Members of Parliament, and the ‘ordinary people’ Rupert Murdoch keeps introducing to her to via Sky News all keep insisting that they really, really want something called ‘Brexit’. She’s now negotiated Brexit and presented it to them, but it turns out they don’t want it. And yet still the same people keep telling her they really, really, really want this thing called ‘Brexit’… Remember that she, unlike any normal person, actually believes that Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Raab et al genuinely have the best interests of the Party (that is to say, the country) at heart; thus is she trapped in a loop, condemned to repeat the whole process until Doomsday. Or next Friday, whichever comes sooner. In the meantime, it’s unfortunate, to say the very least, that she’s far too stupid and arrogant to see that blaming and insulting MPs is not the most effective means of getting them to vote for her deal.
8) Of course May’s dishonesty, stupidity, arrogance and stubbornness have contributed an enormous amount to getting us into this dire mess. But. There’s an emerging narrative that puts all the blame on her and makes out that her Withdrawal Agreement represents a distorted and deficient shadow of the pure, perfect, platonic ‘Brexit’. Those of us who oppose both her proposed deal and any other form of ‘Brexit’ need to resist this tendency, one which will become more pronounced over the next months as the broader consequences of the vote start to be felt in everyone’s daily life. In the end, it’s not Theresa May’s deal that’s the problem, it’s the entire project of leaving the EU that’s at fault. Her deal is Brexit, or to put it in even pithier terms: Another Brexit is not possible. Given that her own deal is universally hated and has no means of being ratified, and given that members of her cabinet are already wanking themselves into a frenzy at the prospect of all those body bags filling up with corpses of the poor, there is only one possible solution: for Parliament to step up and revoke Article 50 immediately.

Everyone needs to come together to tell Theresa May to revoke Brexit and fuck off

So here we are. Eccoci. Parliament has now rejected May’s deal twice and as things stand won’t get a chance to do so a third time. There is no other version of Brexit available and no time, energy or (on the British side) basic wherewithal to devise and negotiate an alternative. Those who ordered this panino alla merda are not going to eat it and in any case the kitchen has now closed.

May used to be admired for her tenacity. An LRB profile from two years ago focused on that quality, making the point that “For her politics is all about following through”. Once given a job to do, she places immense value on carrying it through to the end regardless of any intervening circumstances or potentially regrettable consequences. To take up that metaphor of following through, she is going to shit Brexit out no matter how much strain it takes and how much embarrassment to her reputation it entails. She resembles Trump himself in her psychotic insistence that the buzzing, distorted, out-of-whack reality in her head must prevail despite anything that might be going on on the outside. She triggered Article 50 knowing full well that her party had no plan for an orderly exit and therefore the UK wouldn’t be ready to leave on March 29th 2019. For the last two years she has held to our heads a gun marked in white ink with the words NO DEAL, just so she could fill her gnawing absence of a soul with the sense of herself as someone who gets the job done. It now looks as if she is demented enough to pull the trigger. The country is to be sacrificed for the sake of her self-image.

No one in the country now wants Brexit to take place apart from the Prime Minister herself and a choice selection of ideological fanatics, tax-dodging hedge-fund owners, and outright morons. (We should also include Rupert Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers in that august company – incidentally I see the latter have now brought out the intellectual heavyweights in support of their cause.) The bleating of everyone from government ministers to cowardly Labour MPs to Owen “TELL THEM AGAIN!” Jones to the effect that even a second’s delay to Brexit would provoke widespread revolt and rioting has been emphatically discredited by Farage’s pathetic PR stunt and the total absence of protests outside Parliament in response to MPs voting for an extension*. As someone sagely pointed out, internet bots were never likely to turn out in large numbers to march,sing and bang saucepans together. This lack of popular outrage is tangible evidence that regardless of online bluster the number of actual existing human beings who both understand what a “no deal” Brexit entails and yet still support it is vanishingly small. Eppure, si muove.

As for those Conservative MPs who insist on smashing everything up so that they can play at putting it back together again, this from the New Statesman should help us reflect on just how little they have to lose:

Brexiteers always refer to how much faster countries outside the EU are growing. But this is like giving up your solid 40-hour-a-week day job to work just one-hour-a-week for a rapidly expanding firm for the same hourly pay.

Of course, Raab, Rees-Mogg, Farage and all the rest do not have and have never needed 40-hour-a-week jobs. Corbyn, whose decision to set his alarm for 6am on June 24th so he could go on TV and call for immediate implementation of Article 50 absolutely fucked over the entire country, may not share their access to country estates or offshore hedge funds but he does have an allotment and the most secure job in North London: Official Leader of the Official Opposition. Yet over the last few weeks he seems like someone who barely has enough energy and willpower to water his turnips, let alone oppose the fucking Government and defend democracy against a far-right coup.

Until yesterday I thought the only two remaining options were: a) a referendum to ratify or reject May’s deal or b) revoking Article 50 immediately. Ratify or Revoke, based on the Kyle/Wilson amendment, would have been a good slogan if there were to be another parliamentary vote. Now her deal is beyond reviving and she seems to have finally surrendered to the desire of the British equivalents of Mao and Pol Pot for a Year Zero, for the no deal Endlösung which was their only objective all along. Hence the principle message of Saturday’s march must be: “You have failed. Brexit has failed. Revoke it and resign.” And if Corbyn wants to go down in what’s left of human history as anything other than a witless dupe of international fascism, he will be at the head of that march, rather than spending the afternoon weeding his allotment or making yet another stupid, stupid speech about Brexit being a mere “constitutional question“. Life and death are “constitutional questions”, fffs. Which side is he on?

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* The odd pantomime fascist on Sky News notwithstanding, there is no equivalent to the gilets jaunes in the UK. Brexit was not primarily a result of the immediate economic anxieties that led disaffected French smalltowners to block roads and riot in Paris, Bordeaux and elsewhere, detailed by Jeremy Harding here. It is rather a distinctly unappetising stew of xenophobic resentment and post-imperial self-pity, a dish particular to British cuisine. Alienation from globalisation was one ingredient stirred into the pot by the ultraleftist opportunists of the SWP et al, but it certainly wasn’t the most powerful one. The toxic additives poured in by the Leave campaigns, with their 5.2 gypsies about to arrive from Turkey, their polar bears and NHS lies etc etc etc left a particularly bitter aftertaste. But en fin de compte, while the French are angry because they don’t have jobs and their public services are shit, the British are pissed off because their country isn’t nearly as significant as they think it should be.

Ps. I’m not on Twitter, could someone please post this on there with the hashtag “#lexit”?

Stunning photos show breathtaking scale of Friday’s MASSIVE pro-Brexit protest

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On Thursday evening Nigel Farage tweeted his outrage that Parliament had just voted to extend Article 50. Within seconds his well-oiled party machines were in operation, as word spread, buses were booked, and 17,410,742 people, every single one of whom shares his profound anger at this unconscionable affront to democracy and is ready to put all of his time, energy, livelihoods, personal freedom and physical safety at the disposal of the fight for sovereignty, prepared to march on Westminster for the largest demonstration the country had ever seen.
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I arrived about 1pm, by which point it was very hard to get anywhere near Parliament Square, let alone close to the House of Commons itself.
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At one point I was genuinely concerned for my safety. No one had – no one could have – anticipated such numbers.
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It’s hard to convey in a mere photo just how many ordinary British people had taken to the streets to express their fury at the news that Brexit probably won’t happen as scheduled. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Owen Jones, as I had taken with a pinch of salt his warnings that the country would spontaneously explode in revolt if Brexit were impeded for even a second. This photo shows how my complacency was completely misplaced. And this is on a weekday! Imagine the size of Saturday’s protest!!! Clearly those elements of the pro-Brexit campaigns who suggested they just organise a PR stunt in Royston Vasey because they simply don’t have the numbers for a large national protest, and in any case whenever there has been a demo in London the only people who turn up are football hooligans, which shows that the only argument against calling the whole fucking thing off, which is that there’d be a nationwide breakdown in social order, is wrong, were, er, wrong. I apologise for the previous sentence.
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Fortunately they had quickly arranged a platform so the voices of the popular heroes of the #Lexit movement could be heard by all whom had come from so far and wide, etc. From the left, Kate Hoey (MP); Jennifer Helen Jones, aka Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (FSA); Alexander Theodore Callinicos (SWP/StWC/UAF/LMHR/IS/IRG/KCL/SA/RTR/RAR/ERG), son of Honorable Ædgyth Lyon-Dalberg-Acton; Daniel Hannan (MEP), who gave a very moving speech inspired by the Disney film ‘Dumbo‘; Tommy Robinson (HMP TBC); and on the far-right, the smallest, ugliest, piece of shit, Nigel Farage himself (PBUH).
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These young women were among many schoolchildren who had marched spontaneously out of their classrooms in order to demand that they and their families be restricted for the rest of their lives to a tiny-minded, petty, resentful, alternately arrogant and insecure, shit-fooded, self-pitying, racist island ruled over by either a climate-lying plastic aristocrat who probably believes in FGM or another climate-lying tinpot floppy-haired sociopathic c*nt called Boris.
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By this point the crowds were immense. Some had speculated that potential pro-Brexit protestors may have been put off from expressing allegiance to a far-right cause by news of the mass murder perpetrated in New Zealand by someone whose values are not all that very very different from those of Farage, Rees-Mogg, Trump et al. By the way, it wasn’t me who said that, it was him. Anyway they were wrong, look at the photo
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Small placard, too many words, poor ‘typology’, I was told by someone I subsequently got talking to in the pub. Chiara reckoned the last line is a bit patronising but once I’d mansplained to her that it was supposed to be ironic she calmed down a bit.

UPDATE: This post has now been superseded by “reality”.

UPDATE UPDATE: There is an…explanation (not an excuse!!!) for the low numbers:

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…or alternatively:

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See you next Saturday.

(Ps Although Farage’s photo op was absolutely pitiful and much of the ridicule it was greeted with hilarious, we may be falling into a bit of a trap, in that images of hardy, mud-soaked and rain-sodden ordinary British volk, battling not just the elements but universal opprobrium in their vain pursuit of national destiny, is an emblematic instance of the mythology that Fintan O’Toole pinpoints as the inspiration for Brexit in ‘Heroic Failures’. I’m sure both the Jarrow marchers and Farage’s true political ancestors in 1920s Italy were treated with disdain in their day, so the negative coverage is unlikely to daunt those who, having no idea of or concern for the risks involved, still support a no deal Brexit. So let’s hope the cameras and hashtags move on and the whole thing is swiftly forgotten. As Trump has shown, for the modern far-right movement ridicule is nothing to be scared of, and images of vainglorious victimhood can actually rally people to the cause. It’s quite probable that the organisers knew it would provoke this reaction, and that’s why they decided to do it. #youutterhypocrite #yesIknow)

A “no deal” Brexit is an attempt at a far-right coup

It’s sad that no journalist has ever had the wherewithal or courage to ask Nigel Farage what his favourite Hitler Youth anthem was, back in the halcyon days of his Hitler-worshipping adolescence. Might it have been ‘The Horst Wessel Lied’? ‘Deutschland Erwache!’? Or perhaps gut alt ‘Morgen gehört zu mir’? Maybe somebody, or indeed everybody, should phone him up between 6-7pm on 0345 60 60 973 any day of the week and ask him.

You can bet he’s whistling them all now, in a joyous medley, an overture to the realisation of his wildest fantasies. If Carole Cadwalladr is to be trusted (note to BBC: she is), he and his sugar daddy Arron Banks are cooking up a deal with their far-right ally and fellow Russian gold enthusiast Matteo Salvini (among others) to veto any extension to Article 50. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll succeed. After all, Salvini wanted all his life to get to play at being Il Nuovo Duce, and it’s only now, with the support of the single stupidest collection of stupid individuals outside the United Kingdom, that he’s finally achieved his dream. Now he’s got his sights set on being the new Napoleon, or…well, we’ll see. Even if the whole thing turns out to be bluster, the EU is not going to grant the UK an extension just so Theresa May can piss it up the wall. She’s a problem gambler, a terminal alcoholic and an insatiable powerophile who is going to keep trying and failing to force us to eat her shit sandwich of a deal until, well, round about 11pm on March 29th.

That leaves us leaving without a deal. As it happens, the notion of a sustainable “no deal” solution is a myth, a happy-ever-after fairy tale. It would result in immediate and total supplication, with the UK reduced to renegotiating on every conceivable front from a position of such weakness it would be akin to Joe Louis hoping to be awarded the 2019 Heavyweight World Title on points.

I suspect that Farage and his fellow fascist revivalists know that in the event of a crash-out Endlösung Brexit they will have to move very fast to install a regime based on hard power, with May swiftly overthrown and martial law declared amidst conditions of total social and economic collapse. At the dark heart of Conservative politics there is a sense of burning resentment that it was the Germans, not us, who got to strut around Europe in snazzy uniforms playing kill the jew. After all, as Winston Churchill proudly boasted on several occasions, it was we, not the Krauts, that actually invented concentration camps in the first place.

At least, some will say, we can put our faith in Corbyn. To his credit, Jeremy is not actually (unlike his brother*) an anti-Semite. But he is a turdworm, a species of mini-reptile I’ve just invented. First case in point: the day after the referendum, when he set his alarm for 6.15am just so he could go on live TV and call for an immediate and total absence of national reflection. Second case in point: last week, in a speech in Scotland, when he referred to Brexit as a mere “constitutional question”. Yes, Jezzers. A constitutional question. Just like Pinochet’s coup. They did institute a new constitution, although not immediately, because they first spent several years throwing everyone who thought like you out of a fucking helicopter.

Still, this impending total deadlock will hopefully concentrate minds. Excepting, that is, those who don’t actually possess a mind, or a brain, those who have brown rather than grey matter between their ears, aka the second stupidest collection of stupid individuals who have ever existed (closely followed, obviously, from the Movimento 5 Stelle): Lexiters. They’re still out there, leaping onto any passing far-right lies about WTO/GATT24/MADEUPARTICLE365 Brexits, bleating at anyone dozy enough to speak to them about Greece, kidding themselves they’re to the left of Syriza while supporting a cause even the Golden Dawn would acknowledge may have involved at least some right-wing influence.

Labour so far has completely and conveniently ignored the overwhelming evidence that the referendum was won thanks to various innovative forms of cheating. Well, perhaps it might start to maybe think about starting to possibly pay attention to that uncomfortable collection of facts round about now. Also, the People’s Vote campaign needs to set aside its call for a second pretend referendum and instead start screaming and occupying and smashing lots and lots of shit up in support of the only demand that has any actual verdammte meaning right now: REVOKE ARTICLE 50.

*I don’t really know whether Piers Corbyn officially hates Jewish people, but he makes a lot of money lying about climate change, so it’s reasonable to assume he spends a fair amount of time hanging out with the sort of people who also deny the Holocaust.

Lots of Corbynistas are demanding a new general election. What might that be like?

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(knock on door)

Hello?

Hi! Sorry to bother you. I’m sure you’ve heard there’s a general election coming up. I’m here to encourage you to vote for the Labour candidate. Which is me! Daniel Dongle, aspiring member of Parliament. Nice to meet you! Is that your dog??

It’s a…cat.

Ah! Ok. It looks a bit like…but we mustn’t essentialise! Now, I see you voted for us in 2017, much appreciated! Have you thought about how you might vote this time?

Well, it depends. What’s your position on Brexit?

We think austerity is completely unnec…

But where do you stand on Brexit?

I’m sure you’ll agree that the rise in homelessness is an absolute abom…

But do you still think the UK would be better off outside the EU?

Climate Change is the biggest emergency we have ever faced as a sp…

Should we remain in the Customs Union?

We wholeheartedly oppose the rise in xenophobia around the world in the l…

What alternative do you have to the Withdrawal Agreement?

Like AOC says, we need a Green N…

Is Labour prepared to whip its MPs to support a second referendum?

Trident is a total waste of m…

Isn’t it now pretty much incumbent on whoever’s in government to revoke Article 50?

Er…we believe in a Global Br…

My girlfriend’s from Poland. Will she be able to stay here after Brexit?

Rebuilding the NHS is…

What’s your position on the Irish border situation?

As Jeremy says, valuing the contribution immigrants make to British soc…

What’s Labour’s reaction to all the revelations about illegal practices by both leave campaigns?

Secure homes for..

Are you still in favour of Britain leaving the EU, even with no withdrawal agreement in place?

Err…(triumphantly) For the many, not the few!

OH, FUCK OFF!!!

(door slams)

The problem with Corbyn: he isn’t left-wing enough

Andy Beckett (‘We exclude the Labour left from British politics at our peril‘) makes some valid points about the ‘othering’ of the Labour left, which combined with Corbyn’s haplessness at managing the party and at communicating his agenda has seemingly led Labour to the brink of self-destruction.

It’s not only left-wingers who point out that much written about Corbyn is untrue. But there’s certainly at least one sense in which Corbyn himself is insufficiently left-wing: his inability to think dialectically, as shown by his insistence last week that poverty and the climate are “more important than Brexit”. Actually those three phenomenon are inherently and intimately interlinked. In Marxist terms, there is a section of the ruling class that wants the UK out of the EU so it can escape all forms of regulation, particularly with regard to taxation and the climate. The fact that involves making most people immediately much poorer and, in the medium term, making everybody dead, is a mere and not particularly regrettable side-effect. They know that climate change is real and that austerity and Brexit are economic suicide – their mission is to take advantage of the mounting chaos in order to stamp out democracy and human rights and loot what’s left of the State. Corbyn’s role should have involved exposing and challenging the machinations that underpin this agenda, but tragically, given that in any age the dominant ideas are those that reflect ruling class interests, what dominates in many nominally left-wing fora is a disguised form of extreme conservatism which presents itself as radical, mostly taking the form of conspiracy theorising and railing against whatever scapegoats are made available by any passing troll or bot – witness the ease with which far-right ideas you to and including anti-Semitic tropes are insinuated into Corbyn-supporting Facebook groups, or drop by the Labour List website to see the extent to which arrant nonsense about a “WTO Deal” Brexit has taken hold of those who, like Italian M5S supporters cheering on Salvini, think of themselves as on the left while doing a job for the far-right. (Ecco a shining example of someone doing just that.) Partly due to the loose populism in such slogans as “For the many, not the few” and talk of “elites” and “the Establishment”, Corbyn’s supporters include many who have fallen into the same puerile ideological mentality as much of the Italian (former) left – lazy, easily manipulable populism – and he and his leadership haven’t known how (or have been insufficiently motivated) to challenge that.

That Corbyn himself is unable to recognise that austerity, climate denial and Brexit all form part of a concerted neoneoconservative assault on democracy, social provision and basic human rights, one which is – shock! Horror! – even worse than the braindead neoliberalism of the neo-Blairites suggests that neither does he have the intellectual wherewithal to respond to the myriad challenges that face him and us; while his acknowledgement that climate destruction is a class issue is welcome, his dismissal of Brexit as a mere “constitutional question” displays an idiocy which it’s hard not to conclude is wilful. What Britain needs is a local version of AOC, someone talented at articulating a modern (as in green, intersectional and digitally savvy) left-wing agenda in the face of the opprobrium such a project will inevitably face. Of course, no one can click their fingers and make such a figure magically appear, and Corbyn’s agenda has much to recommend it despite the resistance it faces and despite his apparent inability to communicate it effectively. But some on the left need to stop pretending that he’s doing a great job or that his leadership is our best and only hope.