Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 13 Jul 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Jeremy sodding Corbyn

When he was elected, I thought Jeremy Corbyn was a breath of fresh air. He’d detoxify Labour after the Iraq fiasco, banish memories of Gordon Brown’s belligerent incompetence and get the party back on track, back to some of its core values. The mood music was promising, the sense of workmanlike dedication to the task was welcome. And now, I’d quite happily see someone put a pillow over the Labour Party’s face in its care home while it kicked ineffectually and shat itself.

So what changed? Corbyn is probably a good man, although with the ideological sense of balance of a Marxist who has lost his left arm and leg and is now lying on the grass having tried to kick a ball. I find his pronouncements about Hamas and Hezbollah worrying, if only because he could have so easily have avoided expressing them. People care what you’re going to do for them, not what you think about a few ragged arsed idiots halfway around the world. And his leadership style, if a title so grandiose could be attached to anything so watery, is appalling.

A leader is visible. He makes pronouncements on things, is available to the media and is there when something needs to be said. He doesn’t, for instance, sod off and talk about Cuba, which is as relevant to the lives of his voters as Kim Kardashian on a scooter and which is also a human rights basket case. You want to see repression? Try being gay in Cuba. You care about women’s rights? Just see the number of women selling themselves in exchange for dollars. That isn’t a revolution, it’s an absolute bloody shambles.

This is why so many of his appearances in support of Remain lacked bite. If you want someone to give a three hour lecture about Ukrainian tractor production in the Russian revolution with no soundbites worth mentioning, then Corbyn is your man. If you want someone to give you short, hard-hitting statements that will fidget away in your memory and make you laugh darkly and see an issue in different terms, he’s as much use as an asbestos hat. The news didn’t feature his speeches because they were dull. Worthy? Well, I’m sure. But they were agonisingly dull.

What you have in Corbyn is a wonk. And wonks can tell you what Lenin’s golf handicap was, all about Stalin’s table tennis technique and are absolutely arse all use if you want to actually frame a policy in terms that we are all going to understand. Yes, we’ve seen the picture of him being arrested at the apartheid demo and the picture of him saying the Iraq War was insane. We agree with both those stances, but those causes are in the past. We want you to campaign on what affects us now, not look at how clever you were in a ridiculous jacket twenty years ago.

And yes, Dennis Skinner likes him, but Dennis Skinner is geriatric and increasingly looks like a diplodocus bellowing across a primordial swamp because his favourite tree has fallen over. If he’s the face of a modern political party, you’re in trouble, because none of the younger voters will have heard of him and he looks like he should be pulling pints in the bar of his local Miners’ Welfare rather than playing an active role in the life of his country’s legislature. The sooner he retires, loses the power of speech or dies, the better off they’ll be.

So you have an ineffectual leader, buttressed, in the case of Dennis Skinner, by a few baffled ideological dinosaurs inside Parliament and, outside, by a load of bullying, pious fools who are ready to hurl abuse at anyone who doesn’t want to wank over St Jeremy’s fair trade shoes. This is not a party I’d want to be downwind of, let alone actually a member of, because it reeks to high heaven of spotless ideological purity and one-eyed zealotry. In an ideal world, Jeremy would take them all out for a nice ramble, they’d get lost and fall into the last crack of doom.

Of course, we don’t get neat endings. We get Theresa May making her accession speech in which she not only steals the Dear Leader’s corduroy hat but leaves a great steaming turd in it and pinches his ideological clothes and voters, while Labour slowly resolve themselves into about a dozen MPs with a matchless record of ideological purity and a list of political achievements which doesn’t actually include anything. The reason why the Labour MPs want him out is that they know their voters think he’s a deranged old fart with zero hope of getting the top job who will take their careers down with him, which he’ll absolutely do, given half a chance. On the strength of what she said on the steps of Downing Street, moderates will be flocking to May’s party, while Jeremy’s, which has a few sausages in sticks poked into half a grapefruit and some vegan sausage rolls, won’t be getting any attention.

Right now, we’re looking at Scottish independence and permanent Tory rule in England. In the end, they’ll start putting up joke candidates because they know they’re always going to win, like a stoat in a hat, a plate of cheese or a puddle of cat’s piss, and they’ll get elected each time, purely by dint of Not Being The Labour Party, which will presumably split into mad and non-mad wings that don’t talk to each other, thus dividing their supporters and guaranteeing eternal Conservatism prevails. This isn’t wholly down to Corbyn, but he shoulders a large part of the blame so, in the great care home of British politics, what we need now is a caring nurse to approach the wizened old Labour Party’s bed and put it beyond all care. No flowers.

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