Even supporters of the Labour leader are dismayed by the power of his advisers and their mishandling of Brexit and cases of anti-semitism within the party, writes Ayesha Hazarika.
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” according to two of Britain’s greatest lyricists (Shakespeare and Stormzy).
If that’s the case, Jeremy Corbyn must have sustained a serious neck injury and needs a good osteopath – get this man some regulatory alignment pronto.
The Tory leadership has exposed how useless both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are. Both men are making policy on the pro-fox hunting hoof at breakfast and making U-turns by the time they grab a sugar-taxed lunch.
They once derided Labour for having a “magic money tree”, but have found a faraway fiscal forest as they splash the cash and offer tax cuts to the richest – while people in work can’t make ends meet.
Then we have the weapons-grade national embarrassment that is the Brexit Party whose arrival in Strasbourg has been the political equivalent of soiling themselves in public.
Yet despite this all this mayhem, Labour is on a dismal 18 per cent in the polls.
Just to clarify that: Labour is trailing two parties with no leader and one party with no policies or sanity. And it’s doing even worse in Scotland.
I’ve been across the UK over the past couple of months in Bristol, Peterborough and up in Rutherglen in Scotland, and the message from people who should be voting Labour was “not a chance”.
This is mainly because of our absurd position on Brexit. Our lack of coherence on the biggest issue of the day is making us haemorrhage support. And our craven positioning has made us look shifty which has tarnished the hallowed reputation of the Absolute Boy.
“I just can’t trust him now” was the message that came back time and time again. That’s a big blow.
So, who’s to blame for this? Well, Corbyn is the leader, so it’s him. But in politics, the power behind the throne is also very important and responsibility also lies with a small cabal of unelected, overpaid advisers and cronies who are mishandling Brexit and cases of anti-semitism.
Many who are still ardent believers in the Corbyn project are dismayed at the control that Seamus Milne, Karie Murphy and Len McLuskey have over him and over the party. Corbyn feels an increasingly distant, isolated figure who is hard to reach.
One supporter told me that the reason they backed Corbyn right away was that they were sick of the command and control, top-down managerial offices of Blair, Brown and my old boss Miliband.
They wanted a different way of doing politics and influencing policy which wasn’t about old networks or nepotism – yet that is now Corbyn’s office.
Another said that for Milne and Murphy, losing an election or even Corbyn as leader won’t matter as they have had their contracts changed so they get to stay in post or get a big fat payoff to leave – you know, like the ones we criticise in the private sector.
And imagine you’re John McDonnell. You’ve never been so close to power. To becoming the radical, reforming Chancellor you always dreamed of. And these unelected cronies are killing your chances softly but steadily, every single day.
But the buck stops with Corbyn. If he can’t control his team, how can he seek to run this country?