In many ways, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership ended this week exactly as his enemies always hoped it would. Heavily defeated in a general election, dismissed since as a political irrelevance, and criticised even for questioning the government’s inept handling of the coronavirus crisis, Corbyn probably has a lower reputation now than at any time since he first stood for leader, to much derision, in 2015 – and perhaps even since he became an MP, in 1983. The recent attacks on him for appearing in the House of Commons and working in his Westminster office during the crisis at the age of 70, despite official advice that older people should stay at home, have in a sense taken the years of assaults on his legitimacy to their logical conclusion. To many of his critics, Corbyn has no right to exist as a significant public figure. Yet this drastic shrinking of his status has also coincided, thanks to the crisis, with a huge expansion of what governments do. And expanding the state’s role in society and the economy is what much of Corbyn’s career has been devoted to. Corbynism was – and is – primarily a politics about addressing emergencies: the stark inadequacies… Read full this story
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