YP Comment: Corbyn's crisis of credibility

LIKE Theresa May, Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn finds himself in an invidious position over Brexit '“ Labour holds most of the Parliamentary seats which recorded the biggest majorities in favour of Remain, or Leave, during the EU referendum.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Yet, while the Prime Minister is making sure she has a negotiating strategy in place before triggering Article 50 by the end of March, Mr Corbyn’s mixed messages do nothing to inspire confidence in the credibility of his leadership.

In denial about the level of unrest in the North about immigration prior to the historic June 23 vote, Mr Corbyn accused the PM of dither over Article 50 – he would have set the wheels in motion by now – before being accused by his own deputy, Tom Watson, at the weekend of having no clear strategy, the precursor to a speech in which Mr Corbyn said that the country could “be better off” outside the EU.

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The threat of losing the forthcoming Copeland by-election, an outcome which would be disastrous for Labour at this stage of the electoral cycle, must be concentrating Mr Corbyn’s muddled mind.

Yet, while Labour now wants “reasonably managed migration” so British workers are not undercut and priced out of jobs, he also says the country can’t afford to lose access to the single market. Like the Tory leader, Mr Corbyn can’t have it both ways unless the EU makes hitherto unforeseen compromises.

And this is before considering the Opposition’s wider approach. A national wage cap has the potential to discourage entrepreneurship, a trait which needs to underpin Britain’s Brexit plan, while his endorsement of the industrial action currently causing misery for millions of transport users is another reminder that real power in Labour rests with its trade union paymasters.

Far from reasserting his authority, which still remains in doubt after two leadership contests, when will Labour – and an out-of-touch Mr Corbyn – realise that such lacklustre leadership is letting down the country?

Dementia support

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THE statistics on dementia make for sobering reading. There are more than 850,000 people in the UK living with this dreadful condition and, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales after overtaking heart disease last year.

It is a figure that is predicted to reach the million mark in less than a decade as growing numbers of people are diagnosed. Dementia can strike anyone irrespective of where they live or their social standing, but for those living in more isolated communities it can have a particularly devastating effect, as new research reveals.

The study, carried out by a team of UK academics, says those living in the countryside are often reluctant to seek help when someone in their family is diagnosed with dementia. Farmers pride themselves on being self-reliant and this, along with a fear 
about the impact it may have on their livelihoods, can lead to them becoming more isolated.

This is precisely why the work of the Farming Community Network (FCN) and organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society is so important. As is that of the 670,000 dementia carers in the UK without whose sterling efforts we would have an unprecedented care crisis on our hands.

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Finding a cure for dementia, or at least being to able to halt its remorseless march, is the greatest medical challenge of our age. In the meantime, we must ensure that everyone living with dementia has access to the care they need in their communities – no matter how remote.

Best in business?

LIKE the famous Mark Twain adage ‘reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’, the same principle applies to a resurgent Morrisons which has just posted its best Christmas trading results for seven years.

Far from the discounters eating, still further, into the profits of the established high street supermarkets, the Bradford-based institution continues to reinvent itself under chief executive David Potts.

Embracing many of the values of the company’s founding father Sir Ken Morrison, the store’s Best range offers quality meals at affordable prices while there is belated recognition that customer service matters. This is important. As Mr Potts said himself, this is “a colleague-led turnaround”. Too slow to respond to the systemic changes that have taken place in British retail over the past decade, the store is now in a better position to withstand the upheavals that will occur in the future – good news for Morrisons and Yorkshire.