The kinder and gentler politics didn’t get off to the kindest and gentlest of starts on day two of Corbyn 2.0. Having spent much of the previous day calling for unity, the Labour leader went on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to give his own version of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi. “Where there is hope, let me sow despair; where there is faith, doubt; where there is love, hatred.”
Corbyn ran through his checklist. First off, get back into the antisemitism row. The Jewish peer Lord Mitchell should reflect on his decision to leave Labour, he said. One box ticked. Next up was to alienate those Labour voters who were thinking of voting Tory or Ukip. Sounding less than enthusiastic about Britain’s national security should do it. That just left his party’s MPs to deal with. Telling them that most of them would not be deselected was a masterstroke. It would sound consensual while putting the wind up all of them. Bastards, the lot of them.