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Iain Dale is Presenter of LBC Drive, Managing Director of Biteback Publishing, a columnist and broadcaster and a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

I have to say I have immensely enjoyed ‘Virgingate’. Jeremy Corbyn has only got himself to blame for the situation he’s got himself into. Or should I say ‘spun’ himself into. For a man who promised us straight talking, honest politics, it’s been a bit of a boo-boo. His disciples really believe he is a different kind of politician. His antics on the Virgin train show he is no different from any other politician who wants to use a situation to their advantage. He described the train as ‘ram-packed’. It was nothing of the sort, as he well knew as he had walked through most of the train. But now it is Virgin Trains who are coming under fire for releasing the CCTV pictures – apparently they may have breached some sort of data privacy law. What a mad country we have become if a company cannot release pictures which prove its critics are being economical with the truth.

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I don’t know how many of you will have heard my appearance on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ programme last weekend, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quite a right wing audience, which made a nice change, and they clearly had no time for Corbyn. He is a man who clearly polarises opinion. He has his devoted disciples (well, he would, wouldn’t he, given that his initials are JC?) who believe that he is incredibly popular throughout the country. When you point out his actual popularity ratings in the polls and that he is the most unpopular opposition leader since time began, they refuse to accept the validity of any poll. They’ll probably refuse to accept the next general election result as well.

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We know now that Corbyn has a very short fuse. There have been too many examples of it for it to be a coincidence. When my LBC colleague Charlotte Wright tried to grab a word with him one morning on the pavement outside his house he was incredibly rude and aggressive to her. This week Sky’s Darren McCaffery had the temerity to ask a question about the train incident at the launch of his health policy. Corbyn snapped at him that it was a health press conference and he wanted a question on health. Darren replied that he was asking the questions and he’d ask what he damn well liked. If looks could have killed. It came across terribly on TV and Corbyn looked like a bully. The mask is slipping.

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Have you noticed that diehard ‘Remainers’ have started referring to the EU Referendum as an ‘advisory referendum’? They cling to the belief that Parliament could still go against the views of the British people and scupper Brexit. Either that or there should be a second referendum. Will these people never learn? It seems they cannot accept that Brexit supporters actually have brains which are functional. They think they know best and the people are peasants. Constitutionally I suppose they have a point in that strictly speaking Parliament doesn’t have to follow the will of the people, but it would be a pretty brave prime minister who agreed to ignore the people. Indeed, it would fracture trust in politicians even more than it is at present. Probably irreparably. Brexit must mean Brexit. It must mean the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act and it must mean that Article 50 is triggered at some point during 2017. And the latter does not need parliamentary approval. It’s a matter for the Prime Minister, as the courts will no doubt rule in October.

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So Nicolas Sarkozy is back. What an unpleasant little shit he is. His presidential campaign seems to be entirely based on winning back voters from Marine Le Pen’s Front National. This week he wrote an article about how France mustn’t be seduced in going down the route of promoting multiculturalism like Britain has. Tell you what, I think most people would rather live in a tolerant, liberal country like Britain which by and large has very good race relations, rather than a country which sends armed police onto a beach to ask a muslim lady to take off her burkini. And Sarkozy would go much further in demonising and alienating France’s massive muslim population. I hope he gets his just desserts.

79 comments for: Iain Dale: Short-tempered Corbyn’s mask is slipping

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