'They can’t keep doing this to themselves.'
“He’s probably the least charismatic leader of the left. If you think of Tony Benn, or Livingstone in a previous moment, or any of those types, Corbyn’s kind of a sandally, methodist, beardy... just not tub-thumping, not particularly rhetorical brilliant.”
He said Corbyn was not a natural leader of the new movement within Labour: “If you were to cast around and think, ‘Who will we have to lead an insurrection?’ You probably wouldn’t come up with this most unassertive guy.”
He said Corbyn needed to “do something” with the large shows of support the leader receives at rallies: “I’ve been to his meetings, he has a thousand people in Brighton, a thousand people in Chelmsford. I would like to see him do something with those people.
“It’s a big meeting, that’s fine, pass round the brownies and we can all have a good time. [But] I would like to see if he has a different vision for labour, I would like to see it in action.
“I think a lot of the charges about him being ineffective at a leader might be true - I don’t know, I’m not there. In order to give him the chance, then he has to stop taking fire from his own side.
“But it’s painful, and it’s painful because to the central question of [whether he can] win an election - I don’t know. Maybe not. But I think for Britain to have a different conversation about itself, something had to happen, and this is that something.”
Younge, who was the Guardian’s US correspondent and returned to the UK in 2015, picked out transport services as something that was “going wrong” in the UK.
“You get on a train, they are crap and they are crowded. I was just in Stevenage, the bus service is terrible. It’s not like there isn’t something wrong or something going on.