Allegations surfaced this week that the leader of the opposition, Mr. Jeremy Corbyn, met a Czech diplomat who turned out to be a spy during the Cold War years. These allegations have not been fully answered yet by Mr. Corbyn, and have been sensationalised and exaggerated by the Tory party, so it is hard to get to the heart of the matter. But that is fine, because the specifics of the story are not the concern here. Mr. Corbyn is.
The Tories have attempted, with little success, to portray Mr. Corbyn as a steely-eyed traitor, an ideologue bent on tearing down Britain. Labour respond that not only is this nonsense, it also is irrelevant to the concerns of the everyday voter. I am going to suggest that neither of these perspectives are accurate. Mr Corbyn isn’t evil. He’s incompetent.
We may not be able to say with certainty whether Mr. Corbyn took the side of the IRA during the Troubles. We cannot be sure over his motivations when he commended Hugo Chavez, or spared a kind word for Hamas. Was he interested in dialogue and peacemaking, or just trying to tear Britain down? Perhaps it is somewhere in the middle. Either way, for a man seeking to be our next Prime Minister, he has shown woefully dysfunctional critical thinking abilities.
Now, the practical implications have also caused controversy. Whilst the Tories have been spitting mad about this latest scandal, and rather overselling it, if I may say, Labour have been chuckling and patting themselves on the back. Because they know the truth you see. Nobody cares. Venezuela and the IRA didn’t cut through on the doorstep, why would Soviet-era Czechoslovakia?
Let the Daily Mail and the Sun continue to spew their nonsense, Labour seems to say. We will keep talking about the issues that matter. This may be politically savvy, but it is also morally bankrupt. It should not be the policy of any party, let alone a supposed government in waiting, to disregard potential scandals on the basis that nobody really cares about them. They should be guided by the truth and its implications, not the outcome of focus groups. But of course this is Mr Corbyn’s Labour party now. The moderates have been defeated and subsumed by the forces of the Left.
To the powers that be, whether the story is true or not is irrelevant, for they have a mission to complete. Their leader’s incompetence doesn’t bother them. But it should. It should bother us all.