19 December 2019
Diary of a Corbynista
Looking on the bright side.
By Don Urquhart
On Election Day the volunteers go out knocking on the doors of the faithful. The records aren’t perfect. One very articulate chap had always voted Labour but not this time. He was a hard Brexiteer. A lady psychotherapist spoke at length of her objections to Corbyn and his extreme policies, but at the end of the day I think she objected to her hard earned being showered on the ungrateful shiftless. Most people were charming especially those who had already voted Labour and/or were clearly on the team. The weather was and still is unforgiving and that could be Johnson’s trump card.
A few years ago I spoke at a friend’s funeral. He had devised the order of service and it ended with the immortal crucifixion ditty:
Always look on the bright side of life.
It’s difficult today. People on my side of politics will be apportioning blame and prescribing recipes.
Jeremy recommends a period of reflection and, as ever, he is on the right side of history.
Those looking for the causes of Labour’s election failure would do well to think on this Teesside News analysis from the red wall:
Jeremy Corbyn was also unpopular with many voters on Teesside.
The leader, who said that he will stand down from his role, has been a positive to many – he’s inspired younger voters and brought a new level of engagement from a committed and enthusiastic core of activists and campaigners. Just listen to the ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn!’ chants at the Labour rally in Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
And the depiction of him in the national media can’t have helped voters, who were subjected to a stream of negative stories – and even “illegal” and “distasteful” posters plastered on lamp-posts close to polling stations on Election Day.
But MPs have made no secret of their disagreements with the Labour’s leadership, and the direction in which they have taken the party.
Johnson travelled North today to thank those in the red wall who had “lent” him their votes. Looking for a silver lining I suppose one could say that Corbyn forced him into making commitments which otherwise would never have crossed his mind.
There are long queues of current and past PLP members slavering over the opportunity to blame Corbyn on the media, but soon the party will have to get down to the task of electing a new leader. The majority of members feel that Corbyn has been betrayed by many in the PLP. They will be minded to vote for someone ready to pursue a similar line to Corbyn and to eject from the party any dissenting MPs. There could be quite a few.
Charles Dance has fine chiselled features that condemn him to roles as aristocratic heroes or villains. His role as Earl Mountbatten in The Crown is a bit of both. In one episode he becomes involved in planning a coup d’état against Harold Wilson and has to take instruction in the British Constitution from Her Majesty.
I’m reading A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin. It is a novel that deals with the election of a left wing government and the reaction of a horrified establishment supported by the Americans.
So I was prepared for John McDonnell’s interview with Andrew Marr this morning where he accused the establishment of throwing the kitchen sink at the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn in particular. The millions pouring into Tory coffers and the ruthless unpleasant nature of their campaign give strong support to this view.
What I find heartening is that the Corbyn project continues. The Labour Party members will ensure that this is the case.
The beauty contest for prospective Labour Party leaders is under way. I will give their prospectuses a good look over. Already I have a couple of minimum requirements:
The candidate must commit to:
Disaffiliate the Jewish Labour Movement which did its level best to sabotage us in the election;
Remove the whip from any MPs who have attacked our current party leader.
It’s a long haul to 2024. Sooner rather than later for dealing with rogue elements.
We are a long way from any candidates being mentioned who meet my two minimum requirements.
I’m hoping someone will emerge. Perhaps Ian Lavery or Andy McDonald?
Jess Phillips is buying Facebook ads to advance her cause. Hell will freeze over before I vote for her.
I am looking for a Hercules. One of the Greek hero’s Labours (see what I did there?) was to clean out the Augean Stables.
What prompted this thought was the Newsnight report on a PLP meeting held behind closed doors, but where plenty of people could be found to tell us how comprehensively Corbyn was savaged. Only one of them, Rachel Reeves, was actually at the meeting, but Lord Falconer and Mary Creagh seemed to know all about it and were keen to pile on the misery.
The next Labour Party leader needs to clean this lot out even it means the party has only a small number of MPs left.
What are the chances of a hero or heroine appearing who is up to the task?