The Tory fake video scandal, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “common sense” gaffe and Labour’s populist chant of “snobs, snobs, snobs” have helped Jeremy Corbyn find the magical elixir of political momentum, writes Kevan Christie.
If you can remember the ’90s, you weren’t really there as an old play on an older quote goes.
But, park that for a moment, dear reader, as the spirit of 1997 has been alive and kicking this week and believe me when I say this: “Things can only get better.”
Yes, Labour have finally got their act together, Jeremy’s had his porridge, his slogan game is tight – “Our NHS is not for sale” – and he’s getting ready to rumble.
At this rate, D:Ream will reform and that Brian Cox guy – not the actor – will have to give up the day job and return to the band.
Not since the heady days of Tony B-liar and the People’s Princess (always in our thoughts) has the party enjoyed such a surge, cutting the deficit against the Tories to just eight points as the race for the Premiership title heats up.
Forget Strictly, Love Island and the Bake Off – it’s all about ‘the politics’ now, the best trashy programme on the box. Team Jeremy with ‘Old Wykehamist’ Seumas Milne as project manager trounced Team Boris, led by maverick genius Dominic Cummings, in this week’s political version of The Apprentice.
Both teams were tasked with coming up with a catchy slogan that will resonate with voters and while Dom showed strong early promise with his ‘Get Brexit Done’ rallying call, it’s now starting to look a bit dusty in these post-Halloween times. Yours for 50p in Woolies bargain bin next to the pick ‘n’ mix.
Seumas, on the other hand, is onto a winner with the catchy ‘Coal not Dole’ moniker... sorry I meant ‘Our NHS is not for sale’ in a move that shows Labour IS working, so stick that in yer pipe and smoke it, Saatchi brothers.
Corbyn grasps an ungraspable elixir
The reframing of the debate by Labour to make it a case of the ‘Haves versus the Have-Nuts’ has ensured political discourse on this sodden island has finally sunk to the very bottom.
This is a genius move that has fallen into Labour’s lap – playing the Tories at their own populist game that now resembles comprehensive school pupils in Edinburgh shouting “snobs, snobs, snobs”, at the kids who go to fee-paying George Heriot’s on the number 42 bus.
For JC has momentum, that magic substance that wins elections, a golden elixir that can’t be grasped.
It’s his to lose, all he’s got to do is keep Diane Abbott away from the telly until December 12 and the glorious socialist republic of Britannia is within sight.
A series of Tory gaffes with Jacob Rees-Mogg saying his huge intellect would have saved him in the Grenfell Tower Fire, swiftly followed up by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen defending him has handed Labour an open goal.
The Tories went all in with the Sir Keir Starmer “fake news” scandal, that led Piers Morgan to grill Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly over the doctoring of a video, leaving him floundering in a cathedral of idiocy created by his unruly charges. How would you like your apology marked, sir? “Unreservedly, thanks.”
The Tories are now right back where they don’t want to be, easily labelled as the ‘nasty party’. They never learn, they’ve reignited the left and given the Labour Party back a core identity it appeared to have lost – without them having to explain the trickier stuff like policies n’that. No-one seems to be talking about antisemitism anymore – but it’s early days.
Hope you like jammin’ too
Meanwhile, viewers in Scotland were treated to the bizarre spectacle of Nicola Sturgeon doing her best Singing Nun impression at an event in the Dalkeith Community Hub in Midlothian. Nicola appeared, Ibanez acoustic guitar in hand for a ‘jammin’ session’ with two folky-types who she regaled with tales of learning the John Denver classic ‘I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane’ at school.
The rapscallions then proceeded to go ‘off message’, playing pop standard I’m a Believer leaving oor Nicola to look as awkward as that John Redwood guy trying to sing the Welsh National anthem. Throw them down the well – traitors.
Nicola has been pure ragin’ at the prospect of being left out of Sky’s televised debate and certainly has a point, given the SNP are the third biggest party in Westminster, in case you hadn’t heard. Not taking part might be a blessing in disguise as she won’t get asked tricky questions about the SNP’s record on grown-up stuff like health and education. On the other hand, Nicola has thrived in the televised arena in the past and gone down well with a portion of the English and Welsh electorate who can’t vote for her.
But surely, it’s Ian Blackford who should take part – given his role as heid bummer at Westminster. Obviously there’s a large percentage of voters down south who wouldn’t pay attention to the SNP in a televised debate. “Get the kettle on love – it’s the Scottish bit.”
Oor Nicola also faced a curveball when Sophie Ridge on Sky TV asked the First Minister if she fancied a confirmatory referendum on indyref2, like she supports for Brexit. Sturgeon gave this idea, something of a political conundrum for the SNP, a quick body swerve arguing the original indyref in 2014 was one were “people where very informed about the choices they were making”.
I would dispute this given that her predecessor – ‘He who shall remain nameless’ – was banging on about the price of a barrel of oil being around $110 at the time of the vote in September 2014, but just six months later it had plunged to around half that. A near £30 billion shortfall in predicted oil revenues that followed would have caused real problems with a confirmatory vote had the indyref movement been victorious.
But enough of the shenanigans, I’m off to buy a JC face mask and some red flags. “Oh Jeremy Corbyn…”