Two interesting things in the British press today. Firstly Rory Stewart’s resignation from the Tory Party: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/04/rory-stewart-resigns-from-conservative-party. Stewart has impressed me for some time as one of the more thoughtful and reasonable sorts of Conservative, in the mould of those I used to tolerate – if not actually support – in the now rather distant past: https://bernardjporter.com/2019/06/18/eton-mess-3/. Stewart is another Etonian, but young enough, perhaps, to have avoided the ethos of the school in Cameron’s and Johnson’s time, so recently disowned – it appears – by its present Head: https://bernardjporter.com/2019/09/24/more-eton-mess.
The second is this piece in the Guardian by the excellent Gary Younge: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/04/jeremy-corbyn-mps-labour-leader-legitimacy. (Yes, the Guardian: an implacable opponent of Corbyn normally.) Young argues here – as I’ve been doing too (pats himself on the back) – that Corbyn’s way is the only hope for those of us who would much prefer the UK to stay in the EU, but, failing that, and in the spirit of genuine compromise, who even more desperately wish to avoid the ‘hard’ Brexit that the Tory ‘Spartans’, as they’re now called, seem to be dead-set on driving us towards. Whatever the ‘people’s will’ was at the time of the referendum (and is today: all the polls suggest it has shifted towards ‘Remain’ over the last few years), it was never that. In 2016 many Brexiteers used to assure us that we could remain in the Customs Union – with all its safeguards for labour rights and the environment – even if we left the political union. This of course would solve the ‘Irish problem’ at a stroke. It should also prevent civil war in the UK. And it is, as I understand it, Corbyn’s plan, which he has already apparently negotiated – albeit informally – with European leaders; suggesting that it might be a goer. It must be the way forward now.
Surely, even for Corbyn-haters, this – plus the second referendum he’s also promised – is worth giving him just a few weeks in No.10 to try to achieve? I despair of the Lib-Dems’ trying to block this on narrow party-political grounds. (And in the case of their new leader, trotting out again that vile ‘antisemitic’ lie to justify her position.)