The driving force in British politics today is nostalgia. Both the triumphant Leave campaign and the shambolic Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party are advocating, though they are unlikely to ever tell you this, progression through regression. The giveaway is the ubiquitous rhetoric of their supporters: 'I've got my country/party back' (delete as appropriate).
Nostalgia, even of the gloomy sort, can be unhelpful at any time. It became fashionable on the back of the 2008 financial crisis to compare our own era to the 1930s. Big banking crash? Check. Mass unemployment across Europe? Check? Resurgent nationalist parties? Check. Yet, neat comparisons of this sort usually conceal more than they reveal.
In looking furtively for the 'new' Mussolini or Hitler or the 'Neville Chamberlain moment' of a particular Western politician, it's easy to miss the form that threats to today's global order actually take. Vladimir Putin is neither Stalin nor Hitler, yet his Western admirers span both the far-left and the far-right. Re-enactments of the battle of Cable Street are useless against the Islamist murderer who waltzes into a packed shopping centre with a bomb strapped to his back.
What's strange about the Labour Party's current nostalgia is that it was always traditionally the right which was supposed to be backward looking. When people on the left call themselves 'progressives' the clue is in the name. The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice, as the nineteenth century reforming Unitarian minister Theodore Parker put it.
The campaign to leave the European Union was dominated by people who long to step into a time machine and whoosh back to the 1950s. But the Labour Party in its current incarnation is gripped by the same mania for turning the clock back.
Jeremy Corbyn will hang on until Labour controls little more than the potting shed at the bottom of his garden.
It was always traditionally the right which wanted to 'stand athwart history yelling "stop"', as William F. Buckley famously put it. Today it is the raison d'etre of Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader is praised by his supporters, rather than damned, for not having moved an inch in his politics for 40 years. His wooden demeanour in front of the cameras is, for some reason, interpreted as a sign of 'integrity' and the admirable rejection of spin. There is very little articulation of an alternative economic policy because the true believers naturally assume progression through regression – in this case regression to the 1970s. Labour is firmly trapped in a time warp - and it is heading towards total electoral oblivion as a consequence.
This entire crazy weekend ought to have drummed this final point home. Yesterday I witnessed a small – and extremely weird – protest in Westminster calling for David Cameron to resign. Those protesting had either not turned on a television set for 72 hours or they were unable to break the habit of half a decade. Either way, they might instead have turned their fire on the Labour leader. He is as responsible as David Cameron for the precipice the country is now teetering towards; and unlike his Tory rival he is, amazingly, still the leader of a major political party.
When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader last year, he promised two things: that Labour would win back Scotland and that it would bring disenfranchised working class voters back to Labour from Ukip. It's difficult to give any really detailed breakdown of the referendum result at this stage, but it is clear that Corbyn has failed on both counts.
Labour was wiped out in Scotland in May and failed to win over working class voters for Remain during the referendum campaign. Nearly two-thirds of C2DEs (skilled and unskilled workers and the unemployed) voted to leave the EU, with Corbyn's belief in open borders predictably doing little to quell working class fears over immigration. As a consequence, Britain will leave Europe before potentially abolishing itself in a relatively short period of time.
Indeed, it is hard to see why Scotland should remain a part of the United Kingdom when it so clearly wishes to be a part of Europe (Scotland voted in favour of staying in the EU by 62% to 38%).
In refusing to stand down, Corbyn has said that he is not going to betray 'the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them'. Yet according to one Survation poll, a majority of people (55%) and a majority of Labour voters from 2015 (53%) believe that he should go. Were a General Election to take place tomorrow, Labour would almost certainly be left with a rump of around 100 MPs. And that's before any expected bounce for a new Tory leader is factored in.
Europe is gone and Scotland is probably next. The shock and trepidation of Friday morning may represent nothing less than the beginning of the end of Britain as we know it. Yet still Corbyn hangs on. In the minds of the true believers, the collapsing scenery fades into insignificance when set against possession of the creaking machinery of the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn will hang on until Labour controls little more than the potting shed at the bottom of his garden.
This is the nature of the hard-left. However the future of the Labour Party goes beyond a squabble of left and right. It is about removing as leader someone who has all the dynamism of a wet cardboard box. The results of this sorry experiment are in: Jeremy Corbyn isn't working.