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All shall be well: Iestyn Davies as Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream at Snape Maltings (photograph: Hugo Glendinning)


Well that didn’t go well, did it? Last time I wrote here, in the June issue, I suggested that the UK election was a simple matter of whether people wished Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May to be Prime Minister. A large number of people decided they wanted Mr Corbyn, and more decided they didn’t want Mrs May. All of which, with Brexit still to be negotiated, leaves Britain in the most complicated mess we have been in for decades.

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Speaking to some young friends before the vote, I tried to bridge the gap in history that appears to separate millennials from everyone else. Set your mind back a year to the murder of Jo Cox, I suggested. And imagine that instead of being a neo-Nazi loner with no real network, her murderer had been part of a biggish militant movement. Then imagine the scale of your revulsion if, shortly after the murder, a backbench Conservative MP had invited the associates of Cox’s killer to tea in the House of Commons. The scenario is unimaginable of course, not least because there are no Nazi-sympathising Conservative MPs. But this is the revulsion some of us feel for Mr Corbyn, who invited the murderers of Conservative politicians to the Commons, honoured them and provided moral support for years afterwards.

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The survival of Labour under Corbyn is obviously the worst aspect of the election result. It also confirms that the British Left cannot exercise the most basic moral hygiene. Now that Corbyn has done fairly respectably in an election, what little hygiene was still practised has disappeared. All those “moderates” who thought he would lose are getting behind him and conferring further legitimacy to the man they abhorred until June 8. Is it possible that at some point a countervailing force will be created on the British Right? One must hope not. But it seems possible that a political Left that has sunk so low as to promote Jeremy Corbyn to the position he now holds could at some point provoke a political Right that decides basic moral standards in politics are a needless encumbrance.

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leon noel
July 1st, 2017
12:07 PM
ISIS and other groups are part-funded through Saudi royal networks, and the place is a centre of violent Wahhabism, rehearsed ceaselessly in its state-controlled media. Despite their support for the movement that brings killers to our streets, our leaders bow low to their kings and sell them arms. People dont care that Corbyn met a few provos decades ago. Your wilful hypocrisy blinds you to the reasons why the 'friend of killers' line didnt work against Corbyn

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