An interesting aspect of Jeremy Corbyn’s ludicrously inept leadership of the Labour party is the halo effect. One could reasonably suggest that his leadership abilities are so glaringly deficient that the only honourable thing left for him to do now is resign, but he won’t.
As things stand the Labour party seems likely to lose the 2020 general election by a wide margin even though the government has many exploitable difficulties. Brexit is currently top of that list, but as things stand a need to build good relationships with Donald Trump is likely to present opposition parties with lasting opportunities too.
Labour’s missed political opportunities do not matter to those who do not support the party, but we all need a capable opposition for the usual Parliamentary reasons. Not that one should elevate Parliamentary standards beyond their usual forlorn level, but we do need to keep hold of a few shreds of political dignity if we possibly can. Thanks to Corbyn’s inept performance we don’t have even that and are unlikely to see it until he goes, if then.
The damage Jeremy Corbyn is doing to his own party and to Parliamentary dignity is too obvious to need much analysis, but he clearly doesn’t see it like that so one may as well go further and say the guy is either remarkably stupid or remarkably malevolent.
Yet to my mind it isn’t particularly easy to see the man as stupid or malevolent. The interesting question is why not? His behaviour makes it clear enough that he is one or the other and quite possibly both. Behaviour is evidence and in this case, good evidence.
Unfortunately Corbyn seems to derive considerable benefit from the halo effect. With his beard, earnest manner, purported principles, and vaguely untidy appearance he looks and sounds like a college lecturer or an expert on rare books or an atheist clergyman. All stereotypes of course, but stereotypes are difficult or impossible to switch off however misleading they may be.
Jeremy Corbyn has a halo, somewhat tarnished now but still not easy to tune out. In my case, the non-attached part of my mind knows the man is a shit, but I cannot quite switch off his halo and see him that way.