The UK’s current political climate, while not totally responsive to Labour, has been nursed by a crisis on the Left. Here’s a humorous rant on our loyal Opposition.
If Corbyn’s Labour ever needed a symbol of its tumultuous journey, it’s The Red Flag. Since taking the leadership by surprise in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn has transformed a movement into a disappointing collection of politics.
Here’s a hypothetical scene: a new poll has been published responding to the political events of the last few weeks. Listing an Arya Stark style list of names, the big focus is of course on the popularity figures of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. A shocking result for many to weep over.
- Despite Chris Grayling publicly confusing Brittany Ferries with a member of Little Mix.
- Despite Gavin Williamson found in a public toilets giving it good to pictures of Challenger tanks.
- Despite Sajid Javid speaking at a fringe event calling for a wall to be built along the South Coast, and for France to pay for it.
- Despite Liam Fox offering to sell the Isle of Wight in exchange for a trade deal with Japan.
- Despite Theresa May literally punching a baby in the face with a leopard-print stiletto.
Despite all this, Jeremy Corbyn is on 19% popularity. And as a result, the Labour Party is officially less popular than gonorrhoea, and much less commonly accepted.
It would take an enormous erotic spasm to clear Corbyn’s image of its notoriety. On Twitter, there’s little evidence that his leadership is supported outside of anyone who doesn’t have sixteen unique hashtags after their name. Seriously, I don’t even know who I am talking to when they’re named ‘Ramsay St. John #GTTO #JC4PM2019 #JC9 #StanningForStalin’. Hashtags are about topics and sharing, not Scout badges.
“Oh yes I’m anti-Zionist, pro-NHS, and have silver badge in Forest Preservation.”
In the Labour chaos, it’s difficult to tell who the leading group is. At the top is Comrade Premier Corbyn himself, whose influence is felt but not always seen. For such a towering character, we don’t actually see Jeremy do much. You might get an occasional video posted, where he’s visiting a community centre in Derby to be filmed looking engaged but also casual. There’ll be a nice scene where he laughs at a joke, with his voiceover calling for the storming of the Bastille. The best video was recently when Jeremy used his bus pass and chatted with young Labour activists (who didn’t sound at all scripted) about buses.
Apparently, they couldn’t film the ten-foot elephant with ‘People’s Vote’ emblazoned upon it. I’m sure the young activists were gearing for a chat about a referendum, when doddery Jez comes along complaining about when the bus driver suddenly brakes, and you’re catapulted forward like a Universal Credit rollout. Not to say buses aren’t important; they are for many people. I would have liked to have seen that elephant though.
Corbyn’s attitude to Brexit can be typified by a recent nugget of gossip where Keir Starmer was promised a second referendum paragraph on a letter to Theresa May. The letter itself had mixed results for Labour members. To be honest, if you’ve written a letter to someone you hate listing a few things they can do to win your friendship – you’re not going to get a solid response. May’s reply was essentially “Dear Jeremy, thanks for the letter. Piss off. Love Theresa.”
This fabled second referendum paragraph was mysteriously erased, prompting the accomplished lawyer Sir Keir Starmer (who many are still trying to figure out if he’s ‘hot stuff’) to barge into Jeremy’s office demanding answers.
Unfortunately for sexy Starmer, Jeremy was present but not involved. “Oh, we must have forgotten to print it, sorry Keir.”
Meanwhile Seumas Milne shuffles behind the curtains, trying desperately not to laugh.
It’s a credit to Corbyn’s leadership that he has surrounded himself with such devoted politicians, that he doesn’t actually need to say anything. Take Barry Gardiner for instance. In a typical Shadow Cabinet, the International Trade Secretary isn’t exactly A-list material. Even in government, they’re the equivalent of panel show celebrities known for their faces but not their work. But Gardiner’s everywhere! Even now he’s sat in my lounge eating a cheese toastie.
Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary is a similar appearance. He’s not in my lounge though. Ever the fighter Burgon’s at the gym ready to take on anyone who dares criticise his beloved party. It’s insufferable, a person at school desperately trying to get into your social group.
If Corbyn had decided after his leadership election to purify his dodgy political loyalties, I suspect 2019 would be a bit heavier on the opposition. Alas, Corbyn’s personal ideologies have crashed headfirst into respectable frontbench politics. The biggest tell of this is the ongoing anti-Semitism crisis, which is deeper and far more entrenched than anyone thought. I mean, if you’ve got Labour members sending death threats to Jewish MPs, it’s probably worth having a detox weekend.
Spare a sincere thought for Luciana Berger, who has suffered the wrath of her own party’s activism for being Jewish. Seriously, even reading comments on any Twitter post is a minefield of accusations and enmity. Oh, it’s a picture of a dog: better call out Benjamin Netanyahu’s settlement policy. Coffee with local activists: yeah, but does Gaza have a Pret? Berger has worked as an MP to genuinely promote changes in society, for instance mental health and food poverty. I suspect her being Jewish wasn’t an intended fight, but one Berger was forced into.
A Twitter user recently made a long selection of lists detailing Labour MPs who follow other users known for their criticism of Labour. I think going that deep into people’s followers and interests is a wee bit creepy, don’t you think? If this was 1990, this charming chap would have needed to sneak into your house and steal your address book. Luckily we just have Twitter now, it’s saved so much time.
But seriously, calling for deselection of ‘critical’ Labour MPs? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot – more like walking into the sea like Harold Bishop from Neighbours. And it’s never suggested that this discord of Labour activism is the reason for low popularity. Never could it be their fault, not with pious Jeremy holding the golden sceptre. It’s always the fault of ‘so-called moderates’ or ‘centrists’, who are constantly plotting to break away from Labour.
Quite frankly, who the hell would blame them? To be under such a hurricane of harassment online and in constituencies, told they’re the cause for Labour’s woes, and subsequently given shit for trying to leave – it’s maddening. Some soap operas have dramas on this level, you don’t expect it from a political party.
That’s the saddest gripe in this punnet of misery: Labour is supposed to be a party for social justice, diversity, equality, and respect. It’s meant to be the party that I would want to vote for out of genuine loyalty, not just tactical advantage.
Labour’s ranks spit out “Why are you arguing with us, we should be concentrating on the Tories!” Come off it. The Tories are so far in the hole, they could organise a book-burning and it would be seen as typical.
No, I’m sorry Labour. You’re just not working. It would be unfair to push all the blame onto Jeremy Corbyn for this mess. But picture the Brexit crisis with a backbencher such as Hilary Benn or Stella Creasy, and you’re seeing brighter weather. With Corbyn and his piffling Politburo – it’s nowt but rainy days.🔷
Liked this story?
Found it useful?
Here’s what you can do next:
(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)