There are lots of questions for the Conservatives which deserve attention. What is Theresa May all about? What’s the economic agenda? Can a leader seemingly so uninterested in the fundamentals of capitalism really be trusted to take the right decisions on tax, innovation and increasing competition? Will she reform public services or noodle about doing not much? Will she undertake serious reform of the House of Lords, as rumoured, because  it is needed, and if so on what model? Why are the Mayites such control freaks and so wary of scrutiny? What are they frightened of? And I haven’t even mentioned Brexit.

But before the 2017 election ‎gets going properly, with plentiful media scrutiny of the Tories, hopefully, it is worth pausing for a second to  gaze in awe and horror at the situation Labour – one of the country’s great parties – finds itself in.

I’m on a long journey (I mean travelling, not a spiritual or emotional journey) and my news is coming mainly from radio bulletins on Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, providing punchy little summaries and snap shots that sound simply devastating for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn. This is not the result of any bias on the part of the BBC. All those radio stations are doing is reporting the position as it stands on the first weekend of the general election in which one poll puts the Tories on 50% of the vote.

Labour has insisted, say the reports, that the party is committed to Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent. They had to do this because Jeremy Corbyn – the party leader – could not say it when interviewed in his first big set-piece of the election campaign on Sunday morning. He couldn’t say his own party policy out loud. He said, instead, that as Prime Minister he would launch an immediate defence review.

Can you think of anyone with worse instincts to run a defence review than Jeremy Corbyn? Other than John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, that is. What would this pair do in power? Drop the Royal from Royal Marines? Leave Nato and invite the Russians to hold exercises on Salisbury Plain? Disband MI5 and MI6? Who in the era of IS, North Korea and Putin needs any defence at all?

I’m exaggerating, but not by much, for effect‎. It is appalling. It is a national tragedy. Through a series of mistakes and accidents, Labour has Jeremy Corbyn as its leader in a general election.

Most candidates for the premiership who get duffed up in an election get it slightly unfair, when their opponents hype up weaknesses and past associations. With this chap there is no hype or caricature needed. Labour’s leader is a man who in the 1980s wanted the IRA to win. Who invited Gerry Adams to the Palace of Westminster weeks after the IRA had almost killed Margaret Thatcher. In the Cold War he was for unilateral nuclear disarmament and took the ideological side of the West’s enemies. He consorted with Stalinists and now employs them.

What is worst of all for Labour moderates is that if they do decide out of tribal loyalty to give him their votes then he might be able afterwards to cling on and say it wasn’t so bad after all. For Labour or the centre-left to rebuild in a fashion that reconnects it with Britain it seems clear that the Corbynistas must first be completely flattened, which means the Tories flattening Labour along with him.

What ‎a dreadful mess. Well done everyone who campaigned for an IRA sympathiser and unilateralist far-left loon to become Labour leader.