This is why you shouldn’t blame Corbyn for refusing to talk with Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May: He was canny enough to know her offer of cross-party talks was a sham.

After years of ignoring everything apart from her own weird prejudices (think “hostile environment”), it took the biggest loss of a vote in Parliamentary history to bring Theresa May to the negotiating table with other party leaders – we’re told.

She made a great show of opening up to cross-party talks, but all the evidence shows that this is just another delaying tactic.

Even The Sun‘s Tom Newton Dunn thinks so:

If this comment from Richard Burgon is accurate, then it’s clear that Mrs May hasn’t taken the idea of cross-party talks seriously at all:

What is the point of claiming to be prepared to listen to other party leaders if Mrs May has made it clear from the outset that she won’t change anything? None that I can see. How about you?

And that’s why, as Labour Insider states, Mr Corbyn has rejected the offer of talks as a “stunt.” According to that account, he also said “unless the Conservative government removes a no deal Brexit as a possibility then they are not honestly open to working together”.

Mr Corbyn’s demand was echoed by the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, SNP and the Green Party.

And what do we get from the media?

This Sky News interview is typical of the attitude we have seen – and the interviewer’s attitude is atrocious:

And it leads to the kind of nonsense spouted by Hugo Rifkind here:

That will never happen.

It seems clear that Mrs May’s idea of cross-party talks involves her talking to the other parties and them listening. She won’t change a single part of her offer so it seems clear that this is about browbeating other politicians.

And it won’t work for a very simple reason:

The second party of Dave Ward’s tweet raises an interesting question. We know Labour MPs have been talking with the Conservatives – but has it been with an entirely supportive attitude? It seems not:

It seems we have Michael Gove to thank for keeping some Labour MPs on the straight-and-narrow, then!

What about the political leaders who did agree to meet Mrs May?

Here’s Caroline Lucas’s report:

And here’s Nicola Sturgeon:

All of this supports what Steve Howell suggests here:

This rings true. Another Tweeter pointed out that “The last time Jeremy Corbyn had meeting with Theresa May, they agreed timetable for vote on her Brexit deal of Dec 11th. She renegaded on agreement wasting a month. Why should he now believe what she says, not ask for No Deal off the table without which talks have no purpose?”

So we have a situation in which Theresa May has put on a show of being reasonable, when in fact she isn’t being reasonable at all.

And the only reason she was even able to put up this pretence is she was shored up by the DUP. And even this was unreasonable as her deal runs roughshod over Arlene Foster’s red lines. Ian Lavery suggests more realistic rationales for the Northern Irish party’s support:

Gracie Samuels was more blunt:

And Cllr John Edwards wraps the whole situation up in a nice bundle:

How can we have confidence in her? She has delayed democracy in order to present our MPs with an impossible choice; she has bribed another political party to ensure she cannot be ousted; and she has lied to us all about her cross-party talks.

The fault lies with us – the people of the United Kingdom – for allowing a political organisation as venal and corrupt as the Conservative Party to govern us, and for voting in favour of an undefined departure from the European Union in that party’s illegally-influenced referendum.

Have we learned our lesson yet? Or shall we take the lead of the Tories’ media friends and blame Mr Corbyn?

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5 Thoughts to “This is why you shouldn’t blame Corbyn for refusing to talk with Theresa May”

  1. When you have a press that is blatantly on the side of the Tories, NO MATTER WHAT, and you also have that same Tory Party saying “The freedom of the press is sacrosanct!” Then you cannot have democracy. This rubbish with the Corbyn being remodelled to appear to be a founder member of the IRA when in fact, under labour, a peace was achieved in Northern Ireland, a peace which stayed peaceful until May started gifting the DUP with millions of pounds. Now the peace is being rattled and terrorism could be back with us. Is this really the way the right wing want life to be?

  2. Growing Flame

    In the end, I would hope that Labour backbenchers would get down to serious discussions with Tory backbenchers , and others, to come up with a kind of “non-Brexit Brexit” in which the UK and EU retain the closest possible relationship via a Customs Union and trading arrangements. In which it is clear that co-operation between nations is the best approach. If the backbenchers can be frank with each other, it would not be impossible to realise a deal that MOST MPs would actually vote for. Isolating May and her far Right “Brextremist” wing.(My thanks to you, Mike, for letting me use the tag “Brextremist” which you first coined.)

    Did I notice even Chukka Umuna last night beginning to discuss cross party talks as well as just the Peoples Vote as a solution?

    Perhaps I should be a bit ashamed of my unworthy desire to see the Tory(and extra-Parliamentary) far Right, isolated, frustrated and thwarted by a Brexit deal that most MPs support, and which the voting public will accept, if only out of Brexit exhaustion.

    I just want this Brexit poison isolated and “dealt with, out-of-the-way” so that the Labour Party’s true policies can be allowed to shine through.

  3. Pat Sheehan

    The ‘prime minister’, the tory cabinet and the tory party are simply looking around now shiftily for someone, somewhere to lay the blame: I’m sure I would too if I was in their shamble shaping shoes but its not difficult to spot clowns, even in a circus!

  4. The nasty Tory Party are looking to steal ideas and, even more importantly, they are looking for scapegoats upon whom to heap the blame for their own unholy mess they have created. JC is right to keep well away.

  5. Dr. Paul Grayshan

    You will no doubt recall that in the early days of his leadership, May treated Mr. Corbyn with extreme nastiness; in particular I recall the way she used to sneer at him across the ballot box, a disgraceful exhibition by the supposed leader of a supposed democratic country. I wouldn’t blame Mr. Corbyn if he refused to speak to her ever again!

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