Were Corbyn’s changes a ‘revenge reshuffle’?

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It has been described as the longest reshuffle in political history, and also as an “unmitigated shambles”.

But was there more to Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet changes than simply a so-called “revenge reshuffle” aimed at those he claims have been disloyal towards him?

He sacked two members of the shadow cabinet – but, strangely, left unscathed and in his existing post as shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, who, in his speech supporting the Government’s proposal to bomb Syria, showed more contempt for, and blatant defiance of, Corbyn than anyone else in Labour’s front ranks.

Isn’t the truth more likely that Corbyn is terrified that if he let the persuasive and influential Benn loose on the back-benches he might become the dangerous ringleader of the growing band of frustrated Labour back-benchers who want to see Corbyn ousted from office? A vote of no confidence on Corbyn from within the Labour Party could have the desired effect.

Rarely has the Labour Party been in such a mess. The Tories are discovering they can save their breath by not criticising Corbyn – Labour MPs are doing it all for them.

Meanwhile, probably the most telling criticism of the Labour leader so far comes from a very old hand, but still as astute as ever. Joe Haines, who was Harold Wilson’s press secretary at 10 Downing Street, had this to say: “Either Jeremy Corbyn goes or the Labour Party itself is a goner.” He could hardly be clearer than that.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has paid a high price for her virtual open-door policy allowing migrants to enter her country in huge numbers.

That price was the dreadful outbreak at Cologne railway station on New Year’s Eve in which a mob indulged in mass sexual assaults on women.

Merkel is considering tougher laws to make it easier to deport. And now it behoves those Britons, largely church dignitaries, to learn from Germany’s experience and Merkel’s folly before they continue to pursue a demand that the UK should open its floodgates to migrants.

These migrants’ appalling conduct was a slap in the face for the over-generous host country. No wonder Merkel wants to row back on her excessive generosity.