Corbyn lessons

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader, there is much he can learn from Nicola Sturgeon about achieving general election success.

They share a common challenge in that their core supporters are more radical than the electorate. Mr Corbyn’s “traditional Labour” stance plays well with Labour Party faithful though seems too left-wing for most UK voters.

SNP members demand another independence referendum but most Scots are tired of constitutional arguments – plus opinion polls show we’ll again reject separation.

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Ms Sturgeon walks on water while Labour is in the doldrums – so what can she teach Mr Corbyn, were he elected leader?

Firstly Mr Corbyn, running up to the next general election, must abandon fundamental principles and campaign on whatever platform will most appeal to the electorate. Ms Sturgeon demonstrated this tactic perfectly in the recent general election, campaigning on an emphatically non-constitutional, exclusively anti-austerity platform – and secured 95 per cent of Scottish Westminster seats.

But, once Mr Corbyn wins, it’s imperative he immediately reassures party members with soothing radical rhetoric, following Ms Sturgeon’s example when, promptly after her success in May, she threatened another referendum if Westminster didn’t cave into her every demand.

Then, over subsequent months, Mr Corbyn needs to dispense carefully choreographed contradictory messages, to appease both party faithful and the wider electorate.

Ms Sturgeon again reliably provides a precedent: supposedly renegade Nationalist MPs daily inform us another referendum is imminent whereas Ms Sturgeon now vaguely implies a post-2020 date is more realistic.

Finally, Mr Corbyn must woo wealthy lottery winners, 
appoint numerous taxpayer-funded spin-doctors and regularly employ silver bullet soundbites – only then will he truly emulate Ms Sturgeon’s success.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus