I’ve never voted Labour, and probably never will. I’ve also suggested, in the aftermath of the General Election that Labour will disappear as it’ll take too long working out where it’s going. So why am I interested? Because, for the first time in a long, long while the electorate is being confronted by a politician of principle, whose rough edges are yet to be smoothed out, and actually says what he believes. That is refreshing.
Here’s my three things:
1 – stay authentic – Corbyn won his mandate because he was himself. Everyone knows he didn’t want to sing the National Anthem, everyone knows he won’t want to kneel before the Queen when elevated to the Privy Council. Why, because he’s a republican. He was respectful during the singing of the anthem; he didn’t hold a placard, or sing ‘The Red Flag’ in competition. Jeremy should stick to his views, otherwise he’ll find the slippery slope to ‘triangulation’ and ‘plausible deniability’ also become the road to nowhere, and quickly. After all it’s not as though he’ll ever get the Daily Mail or Daily Express supporting him, so worry less about what they’ll write. I’d also be tempted to ignore those from the left leaning papers who are distraught that Corbyn won, and want to encourage the managerial, media-savvy style – it’s as if they’ve forgotten the almost 60% vote Corbyn achieved already.
2 – get hold of the Parliamentary Party – most of those ‘colleagues’ behind Corbyn are quite obviously not supportive of him. Serving as a shadow minister is a privilege – if seasoned politicians like Owen Smith can’t find a way not to completely disagree with their leader at the first opportunity, they should be sacked. The benefit cap is clearly something Corbyn doesn’t agree with; Smith could have said lots to put off Evan Davis in his BBC Newsnight interview, but didn’t. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been chosen to serve in the shadow cabinet, but irrespective, he should go swiftly.
3 – spin won’t win – we know Jeremy isn’t slick so when he’s quite obviously listening to the spin doctors from Millbank, it really shows. They’re wrong; they’re wrong for the electorate who just voted Corbyn in and they’ll eventually be wrong for the rest of the U.K. too. So when Jeremy gives the Member for Pontypridd his marching orders, he should send these doctors of the black arts with him. They’ll make noise, lots of it, but with four and a half years before the next Westminster election, there’s a lot of time for their shrill cries to be forgotten.
If I’m honest, I expect Labour (& Corbyn) to do the exact opposite of these, and my prediction of the demise of the Labour Party as an significant electoral force will become ever more likely.