Jeremy Corbyn (Mr Bean?): The Labour party’s new fairy godmother? Now, stay with me here; don’t look at me as if I’ve just suggested we all go bungee jumping off Tower Bridge!
If you’d just landed from planet Zog and picked up a pile of British papers, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s either the party’s saviour or the next candidate for ‘I’m a Catastrophe, Get Me Out of Here!’ or even someone with more U-turns than Nick Clegg (why are we still waiting for Nick Clegg’s favourite recipes? He promises the food will be good, but doesn’t explain how to prepare it and the actual results are hard to swallow).
Fairy godmother or wicked witch, Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour party didn’t go without a hitch. He only put himself up as a candidate for the hard left because nobody else wanted the nomination. He only reached the number of supporters required 10 seconds before nominations closed. You couldn’t make it up. An event altogether funnier than any episode in ‘The Thick Of It!’
What can’t be denied is that, following the Miliband era, a political awakening is now taking place for many. The reality is that, confronted with five more years under one of the other three mainstream Labour leader nominees, supporters presumably said: ‘Enough’s enough: Let’s try something different, rather than letting others speak for us, let’s do this for ourselves.’
Corbyn both helped to make and caught that wave. There’s no future for any party if it simply looks at polls and focus group results, identifies a group of potential voters and simply tweaks its message in a vain attempt to attract them.
Some have compared Corbyn’s election as Labour leader to the mad emperor Caligula making his horse a senator. But there are some historians who say he’s more like Caligula himself who, according to one: “Came to power impatient with a sclerotic and obstructive establishment and reached out to the people over the heads of the senatorial elite.” Admittedly, Corbyn’s yet to turn parliament into a brothel or ride across the Channel on a chariot. But it’s still early days…
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer’ and ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) are available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca.