Go Jerry, Go!

Left-wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn is on track to top the ballot in the Labour leadership contest, a poll has found.

How many Northern seats would that gift Ukip?

30 thoughts on “Go Jerry, Go!”

  1. Quite a few is the answer.

    And he has chosen his expert tax advisor. Can you guess who he’s chosen?

  2. Ah, that explains his comment about the ludicrous yield from his proposed 50% tax rate – “I have been advised by clever people”

  3. I’m old enough to remember Michael Foot and the “longest suicide note in history” nearly destroying the Labour Party. I wonder if anyone else senses shades of similarity here with Corbyn having similar Bennite views and of the same relative age, and with UKIP playing the part of the SDP. Although Cameron is no Thatcher (you can take that as a compliment or otherwise), and Foot at least had a record in standing up to violent fascists rather than taking tea with them.

  4. Giovanni Botulismo

    It worries me slightly that what Corbyn has is something of a talent for sounding reasonable and down-to-earth (I don’t let this get in the way of my firm belief that he’s madder than a rabid fox).

    He’s much more “the bloke next door” than Weird Ed, or Bully Balls, or Shiny Dave or Rabbit Osborne. He has some of the qualities that made the second Viscount Stansgate, er, sorry, Tony Benn, such a well-regarded socialist amongst the hoi-palloi and some of the middle classes even during the days of Foot, Wilson, Kinnock et al. “No harm in the man, just an honest bloke” kind of attitude. Corbyn’s head and shoulders above Burnham, Cooper, and Kendall in that regard – look at them all on TV – BCK each look (are!) desperate for a win and seem to say anything they think will score a point. Corbyn has the gift of managing the impression of just saying what he thinks with no game-playing going on.

    If he makes it in to office, I’m sorry to say it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned out to be the politician that the young and the disaffected former Labour voters would turn out for. Yes, he’ll sink the country given half a chance. Yes, he’s madder than a champion mad thing. But he may be a far bigger risk to the future Tory votes than Burnham with his eye makeup or Cooper with her ee bah goom one minute, RP the next.

    Strange days.

  5. I doubt it would do much in the sort of Northern seats where UKIP came second because they’d love someone like Corbyn promising free ponies.

    But overall, I think it would yield a result that would be worse than 1983. At least they had a lot of Scotland back then.

  6. I don’t think it would cost them Northern seats. I think it would strengthen them, in fact.

    They would haemorrhage seats in the South, however, including all of the marginals.

  7. The poor saps in the Labour Party are reading the election as being an affirmation that they were not lefty enough.

    They were killed off by “patriotism” in Scotland, not only because of the seats it cost them, but also because of the threat of the Lab/SDP axis.

    Well, they won’t get the Jockanese seats back any time soon, so they just need to get the centre ground with someone like Cooper.

  8. Giovanni Botulismo,

    “I’m sorry to say it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned out to be the politician that the young and the disaffected former Labour voters would turn out for.”

    But that’s a tiny number of people, and we pretty much know their numbers because it’s the Green vote. There is this meme going around that Corbyn can get all the young non-voters, but we really have no idea about their profile. I know a few people who say they don’t vote, and their general political perspective is more moderate Conservative.

  9. “It worries me slightly that what Corbyn has is something of a talent for sounding reasonable and down-to-earth”

    But when people see the pictures of him smiling chummily with Gerry Adams then they will think differently of him. Despite the attempted rehabilitation of Adams, most people in Britain still see him as, at best, an apologist for murder and rightly despise him.

    Similarly for Corbyn’s support for Hamas.

    It’s fine to indulge the cuddly bearded geography teacher when he’s not doing any harm. Once voters see the company he keeps then they’ll take a different view.

  10. “Runcie Balspune

    I’m old enough to remember Michael Foot and the “longest suicide note in history””

    Well if Corbyn gets Murphy to help write anything it’ll be even longer. And more suicidal.

  11. GlenDorran

    You are spot on. Few journalists attract more ire from ‘progressives’ than the superb Andrew Gilligan, formerly of the Standard and now of the Telegraph – he did more than anyone else to topple Ken Livingstone (Leading to me celebrating wildly when Johnson was elected by what Polly Toynbee and Yasmin Alibhai -Brown called ‘Terry and Junes’) by exposing his anti-semitism, his corrupt cronyism and his fawning over terrorist groups and Islamic extremists in an attempt o curry favour with certain ‘minority groups’.

    He has an excellent article in the Telegraph this morning highlighting Corbyn’s links with Hamas and the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. Once that gets out you can be sure his goose is cooked. Might go down well with the Twitterati but in the real world he’d be toast, as you say. Combine that with Murphy’s links with ISIS, and the fact that he is Murphy – if he wins Labour will be reduced to a rump….

  12. “Foot at least had a record in standing up to violent fascists rather than taking tea with them.”

    Yeah, but he also had a record of taking KGB money, and of sucking up to an old thug in Beaverbrook.

  13. @Van_Patten:

    Yes, to borrow Ritchie’s favourite phrase: “in the real world” voters recognise the need for welfare reforms, are fed up with bolshie unions and broadly agree with the need to cut back the state. More than anything they hate violent extremists like Hamas and the IRA. As much as the left hate it, Britain is a centre-right leaning country.

    There was an article in the Graun yesterday where a Labourite said “perhaps it’s time that the left realised that people who vote Tory aren’t evil”. The comments under the article showed that the left just aren’t prepared to understand that point.

  14. There is this meme going around that Corbyn can get all the young non-voters

    That’s along the lines of his promise to “cancel student debt”, which is Corbyn language for “making you pay heavily later for other students when you get a nice job”.

    Perhaps there are a few nice-but-dim students who didn’t hear him say he’d be stinging them for another 7% tax later on, or perhaps imagining they’d never be earning that much.

  15. The comments under the article showed that the left just aren’t prepared to understand that point.

    That’s the nasty party and the stupid party for you.

  16. Van_Patten
    The Gruan seems particularly sensitive to calling out Corbyn on his Hamas links at the moment. Three sock puppets down and in premod on C is F as I speak!

  17. I don’t think Corbyn will win the leadership or, if he does, that he would take Labour to power.

    But the most interesting aspect of all of this to me is the way in which it is now laid bare just how deep and nasty are the splits in the Labour Party.

    Splits that we have rarely really heard all that much about, especially via the BBC.

    In the past, two Tory MPs having a disagreement about who has the last bun in the Commons tea shop would be reported as evidence that the Conservative Party was hopelessly divided and all-but unelectable.

    It’s taken Labour’s weird collection of narcissistic loons, stunted students, never-was-never-will-bes, old school socialists and shiny neo-socialists fighting like demented rats in a transparent sack for the BBC even to mention that there might just be some small amount of trouble up at t’ mill.

  18. Interested

    This is the same BBC that Murphy says is ‘fully neoliberal’ of course. I agree entirely – although the usual suspects, many of whom had documented links with the Soviet Union are salivating at Corbyn’s ascent, to quote Murphy ‘ in the Real World’ he would sink without a trace……

  19. I reckon Corbyn could well get the leadership. And then there are two quite different possible scenarios. He could probably strengthen the Labour vote in traditional “I vote Labour like my father and grandfather before me” areas, reversing some of UKIP’s gains. He could even get some of Scotland back. That’s IF he manages to convince people he’s not an antisemite. On the other hand, if the Hamas and Hizb’Allah links are a tad too undeniable, he’s just fucked. Antisemitism plays very well amongst a certain portion of the Left and the chattering classes, but the British public at large tend to reject it.

    Either way, nationwide, he’d lose like no-one’s lost before.

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  21. “He could probably strengthen the Labour vote in traditional “I vote Labour like my father and grandfather before me” areas, reversing some of UKIP’s gains.”

    I doubt it somehow. UKIP could hammer him on immigration and his metropolitan loftiness.

    “He could even get some of Scotland back.”

    Possibly, yes.

    “the British public at large tend to reject it” [anti-Semitism]

    Yes, as a non-Jew, that’s my impression. I remember, in the 1960s in the north-east, my parents would invite the Jewish neighbours in for drinks, while Catholics (particularly the Irish variety) were never invited, though polite and inoffensive relations were maintained with everyone.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If we ignore the vanishingly small likelihood that Corbyn could ever lead Labour back into power, then there is no downside. Let’s say he wins. All of Middle England and a good chunk of the rest will flee headlong from Labour. Result. However, I think it is much more likely the Parliamentary Labour Party will somehow engineer a stitch-up and shove Burnham into the job. That could do a reverse SDP and have the Marxist scum hive themselves off into Real Labour (or Provisional Labour, Continuity Labour etc. as the ever-brilliant Steve, PBUH, observed). Result.

  23. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘[It] worries me slightly that what Corbyn has is something of a talent for sounding reasonable and down-to-earth (I don’t let this get in the way of my firm belief that he’s madder than a rabid fox)’.

    The thing is, Corbyn has never had to do politics outside (a) his constituency in Islington North and (b) the world of CND, the Support Tyrants and War criminals Collective, and all the other shouty protest groups he’s in. The former involves managing a constituency packed with Guardianistas, the latter mixing in a world where everyone violently agrees with him.

    I strongly suspect that if you had him meeting voters in Barnsley or Blaenau Gwent he’d have a less warm reception.

    As for the blue-collar Labour voters, I would strongly expect that support for Hamas/Hezbollah, supporting an Argentinean takeover of the Falklands and being chums with Gerry Adams would be vote-losers all round. Beyond Planet Guardian, Brits are a patriotic bunch, and they’d struggle to see Jezza as PM – except in some alternative reality where the Soviets won the Cold War, and were able to install their own puppet government in Whitehall.

    As for the Labour Party itself, Runcie Balspune is right to see parallels with the 80s, but there is one crucial respect. The Bennites are now winning, and their opponents are either too craven – or too stupid – to fight them.

  24. Yes, on further consideration I think his support for unlimited immigration would sink him in working class constituencies, assuming the public were aware of it. You can guarantee the BBC would be desperate to bury that one deep.

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