Stopping things happening can be as important as making them happen. Throughout the referendum campaign, there was pro-Remain pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to do more for the cause to which he was formally committed.
To what degree the Labour leader really wanted Remain to win – if at all – is matter for historians to keep digging away at. What is certain is that one of his closest aides did a lot to make sure the Labour leader did very little.
Tim Shipman’s All Out War shows Seumas Milne using every trick in the bureaucratic book, and then some, to stop Corbyn upping the ante for Remain. Speeches were watered down, e-mails queried, press releases blocked or delayed, meetings rearranged or cancelled – or simply not turned up to.
You want detail? Try pages 351-353, with its blow-by-blow account of how Milne thwarted the appearance of a pro-Remain letter signed by Labour MPs from appearing in the Sunday Mirror.
Milne is clearly a master of the brutalist arts of desk Stalinism. He also received an extremely expensive Wykehamist education. It takes a combination like that to get results like those. Take a bow, comrade.