If Jeremy Corbyn is right, a Labour government looms. Granted, his domestic offerings seem to be luring people in after a disastrous few months for the Tories.
Alarmingly for a ‘government-in-waiting’, however, Labour’s foreign policy is both impossible to achieve and frighteningly out of touch.
Following the Labour Party Conference last month, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was radiant. Her position in the cabinet of PM Corbyn perfectly polished in her mind.
She told the Guardian:
‘people can really feel that we’re about to touch power, and everyone is very optimistic about it’.
Frighteningly, she may not be wrong.
Labour’s foreign agenda, however, should fill the country with concern. For starters, their position on Brexit is as confused as their counterparts’.
As a recap, Labour’s real opinion on the EU has been fully dictated by the hard-left. Although their position keeps changing to counter the Tories, it is unmistakable by now that Corbyn and his inner circle are fans of EU bureaucracy.
When it comes to the Trump administration, Labour’s stance is comical fantasy.
On Sunday, Thornberry spoke with Sky News’ Niall Paterson. He probed her on her opinion of Trump and her response stuck to Labour’s script: ‘He’s playing games, he’s using temperate and completely inappropriate language’ — concerning North Korea.
Paterson tried on numerous occasions to remind the Shadow Foreign Secretary that Trump is more than a political adversary, he is the President of the United States. Ignoring his reminder, she retorted that ‘this is not the way for the leader of the free world to behave’, before likening him to a ‘bad cop’ in a comparison to Rex Tillerson.
The problem is, Corbyn’s Labour is not a government-in-waiting. In fact in foreign policy they are a million miles away.
It speaks still as a party in opposition. One that seems blind to the constraints and realities of the global arena. One that displays the inexperience of frontline politics offered by the entire cabinet.
When asked by Paterson whether a Labour government would co-operate with the administration, Thornberry rather cringingly declared: ‘I would never change my tone with Donald Trump’.
Her pantomime head-raise indicated that even she knew her answer was absurd.
Trump is the leader of the free world. Love him or hate him. The reality is that our governments must co-operate, especially as we turn our back on European unity.
If Labour offer us nothing but routine condemnation for a ‘bad cop’ president, we should all be scared.
In other areas, Corbyn’s refusal to condemn the violence in Venezuela should sound alarm bells. It frames him clearly as a leader who would put his own political persuasions before the safety and security of others.
On international defence, Labour’s frontbench is almost united on their contempt for renewing Trident. Again, blind to the use of nuclear force as a deterrent to conflict, Corbyn’s cabinet risks the stability of Britain as a global power.
At the Labour conference, Corbyn said that the ‘Labour campaign machine is primed and ready to roll’. He probably isn’t wrong. Another election right now would likely secure a Labour victory.
What should be the concern is that Labour’s policy ‘machine’, especially its foreign outlook, is significantly out-of-touch and requires a realistic reboot. If they want to be taken seriously as a ruling cabinet, something has got to change.