To date Mr Cameron and Mr Osbourne have been the stand out politicians in promoting the Remain campaign. The majority of Tory voters are in favour of Brexit so the political experts have concluded that young North Eastern Labour voters are a key target for the Remainers.
The chances of the Tory big beasts convincing the group of people who have been the most neglected since 2010 are slim.
The Tories have failed to convince the people of the North East in successive elections and the dynamic duo’s increasingly panicky statements, posh rhetoric and dodgy statistics are unlikely to convince our people.
The Remain campaign needs high profile Labour politicians to send a clear message to the electorate but Labour’s campaign to date has been lack lustre and largely reliant upon ‘has been’ politicians from the Tony Blair era. By repeating the mistakes of the Scottish referendum and playing second fiddle to the Tory campaign, Labour is in real danger of alienating many of its supporters.
In Scotland the SNP moved to the left and was able to wipe Labour out. A similar move to the left by UKIP could cause major problems for Labour in the North East. Given that Labour is committed to the EU then its Remain campaign needs to be high profile and aggressively anti-Tory.
So rather than trotting out garbled mumblings about workers’ rights, we should be hearing that the reason many Tories are in favour of Brexit is so they can reverse the improvement in our working conditions, paternity leave, paid holidays etc. Rather than keeping quiet about the reformed EU, we should be hearing that David Cameron did a bad job in his negotiations and when Labour regains power we will press for a much better deal but we are still better off in the EU.
We should be hearing that the Government has failed the North East and that without the EU the North East economy would be on its knees. In short, Mr Corbyn, needs to grasp the opportunity to display real, forceful leadership qualities to the electorate. The big question is has he got the ability, the desire and the backbone to do that?