Kevin Maguire: Labour must remain united to beat incompetent liar Boris Johnson

Refreshed and speaking with rediscovered passion, Jeremy Corbyn’s energised message to north east England’s working class masses at the weekend was simple: “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

The demand is sensible on the eve of the Tories foisting on a sceptical Britain poisonous bumbler Alexander Boris de Piffle Johnson – a lazy, incompetent liar, uniquely unsuitable to be PM.

United political parties do better than divided ones.

And with a general election potentially around the corner, Corbyn’s rallying cry was embraced at a huge brass-bands-and-banners Durham Miners’ gala, dwarfing the crowds at royal weddings or Glastonbury.

Yet until the Labour leader devises a way to pull his party together, should a unity strategy be possible under Corbyn, vicious backbiting throws a lifeline to Johnson.

Jeremy Corbyn at the Durham Miners Gala

Len McCluskey, leader of Unite addresses the crowd during the 135th Durham Miners Gala on July 13, 2019 in Durham

Even though voters view him as a self-serving, irresponsible, untrustworthy buffoon, rather than the Churchillian figure that this vain, preposterous huckster admires in his mirror.

Labour’s European injuries are temporarily patched until any election.

By belatedly embracing a fresh referendum, the party committed to demanding a people’s vote to block a damaging Tory Brexit shambles or the catastrophic no-deal nightmare of Johnson’s fevered fantasies.

Anti-Semitism is the gaping wound still to be cauterised. Bitter disputes over how deep the poison runs and the action to cleanse Labour of the racist stain is pitting one-time allies against each other.

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Boris Johnson

Unite leader Len McCluskey launched a loudly cheered assault in Durham on Tom Watson.

Mr McCluskey did not mince his words in branding the Deputy Leader an effing disgrace for publicly criticising a party general secretary, Jennie Formby, enduring chemotherapy for breast cancer. It is a confrontation coming to the boil.

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Islamophobia runs far deeper in the Conservatives than anti-Semitism does in Labour isn’t a get-out-of-jail free card for Corbyn or his party.

In fact, one of the tragedies of the running sore is that it deflects attention from a Tory opponent who is guilty of crass racism. Johnson description of Africans as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” and veiled Muslim women as “bank robbers” and “letter boxes” leaves no room for doubt.

Demanding eyes be kept on the prize is easy. Achieving it remains harder.


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