Humble pie on the menu as Mrs Maybe bakes a dodgy cake…

THE other day my head went in the washing machine in the hope of removing all those political stains, but perhaps there is something wrong with that machine. Here, then, are a few thoughts that refuse to be washed out.

Since last Friday morning, political commentators have been queuing up to eat humble pie as served in big slices from the Corbyn Canteen. I am uncertain about the nature of that pie, although it seems to contain more than an ounce or two of penitence.

The political writers and columnists who dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as hopeless have crumbs on their faces and bellies full of sour pie. Hats have been eaten as well.

In my small way, I belong to that class of sceptic now having to swallow the pie. Fair enough, although it is still worth repeating that although Jeremy Corbyn out-performed expectations, running an exemplary election campaign, Labour didn’t win the election – for the third time in a row, and that is worrying.

If another election is held soon, perhaps Corbyn can seal the deal and shift more humble pie from his canteen.

Labour did well, although not well enough, thanks to Corbyn’s campaigning leadership and because of a manifesto that addressed the concerns of many.

I think my favourite comment on this comes from The Economist, which isn’t on my usual reading list. In an article shared on line, the magazine said: “Mr Corbyn has redefined the parameters of the possible” – a nice phrase and a good aim.

Now he must turn that hopefulness into something, and be a better, more combative leader of the opposition, and a leader of his whole party, not just that part which makes up his faithful congregation.

One of the silliest comments I’ve read is from shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is quoted in the Observer as saying: “If the campaign had been a few weeks longer, we would have won a majority, given the narrow voting.”

Oh, come on – that’s like a football managing moaning: “If we’d had another ten minutes of extra time, and scored two more goals we’d have won by a goal.”

But what can he said with confidence is that Labour’s resurgence under Corbyn pushed Theresa May into a tight corner, and caused just the sort of chaos she kept advertising would arise if Labour won.

Instead, she is holed up in a dark room talking to the reactionary forces of the DUP, whose ten MPs have only been voted for in Northern Ireland.

This hasty marriage of electoral convenience sees Mrs Maybe climbing into bed with a party whose views include being anti-gay marriage, anti-climate change and anti-abortion – anti just about anything that passes for normal in mainland Britain.

Oh, and according to assorted reports, the DUP may insist on Nigel Farage being included as a Brexit deal-maker – and say the BBC should lose the licence fee.

Which of these dark desires end up being included in whatever shabby deal Mrs Maybe comes to is at yet uncertain.

This morning, it is being reported that David Cameron has said something sensible, and it’s not often that you wake up to trip over such a thing. The former prime minister who got us into this toxic Brexit muddle tells the Financial Times that Theresa May will have to “listen to other parties” as she reviews her Brexit strategy in the wake of the election.

As Brexit affects everyone, including the 48 per cent who voted no, this is common sense: whatever deal is signed in the end, it should appeal to as many people as possible, and not only the rabid crowds of Europe haters and their cheerleaders in the usual suspect newspapers.

I’ve got this far without mention the return to government of Michael Gove. And I think that’s how we shall leave matters. Some twists in this torrid tale are just too gruesome to dwell upon.

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