An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn
Well, that was some victory.
After months of wrangling, arguing and both media and internal party panic, you have won by a landslide. There is now the warm glow of fine words and anti-austerity platforms. A fifteen minutes of fame moment or a platform for a different future – only the cruel passage of time can tell. Flawed or floored? Of course it could all go wrong, but let’s enjoy these rare moments of the warm stuff.
Jeremy – the last of the hairy bikers, the last man standing from the squatolitics of the post-hippie / pre punk brave new world before it was dashed by Thatcher and her cabinet full of strange men. Jeremy – the last ember of the counter-culture who kept his beard when the hippies grew up and pre-dated the hipsters hairy hirsute face fuzz by decades. Because of this he is not shackled by looking like/being perceived as a career politician. A warm cardigan covered in dog hair versus the smart suit model of the old politician.
There you are Watson and Corbyn, Tom and Jerry, in by a landslide. We have to feel a bit sorry for Andy Burnham (Wedding Present and 80s indie) — he is one of the good guys and we hope you will place him in your cabinet – the job of shadow health minister seems like a shoo-in for the Lancashire lad. Andy was perhaps too perfect in these post-media perfect politician times, but he’s a key figure in the party and was a key player in the Hillsborough campaign. That stuff matters.
This is the new landscape, that last election Labour collapse to the not exactly loved Tories changed everything. This has been a soul searching campaign to find a party that can operate in a landscape which is quite different from the merged mess that politics had become – a time of living in the shadow of Blairism with people wondering if Tony Blair (Genesis and Rolling Stones when they went crap) was the best leader the Tories never had.
Now it’s very much Labour v Tories again and at least no-one will be saying ‘they are all the same’ any more.
Jeremy (favourite song – Imagine by John Lennon – a song where the sentiment and lyrics do not match – let hope that’s not a sign!) there you are on the podium with our trusty rock ‘n’ roll mate Tom Watson (The Clash and, er, Queen) as your deputy at your side. Tom is the scourge of the Murdochs (no music in their soul to report) and scourge of the establishment and their strange ideas of good times and is a wise selection – Tom – the bruiser – a big figure with an aura about him who also sits more towards the centre of the party but with a big left hook for important issues.
These are strange and thrilling times.
This is the first day of post-Blair labour.
Already Tristam Hunt and Chuka Umunna have sulked off to the back benches along with a few other small hitters which saves you the ugly job of sacking them. It’s all part of a swing back to the values that used to be entwined with Labour before the Ad-men like Tony Blair re-branded the party new Labour and made power more important than core policy.
That shrug of the shoulders, bored with politics atmosphere that has been hanging around the electorate for decades has been swept away in an astonishing victory by you, Jeremy – the 66 year old, last man standing from the sixties counter culture who the media think is weird because he is a ‘vegetarian and never far from his bike…’ because they think meat eating, range rover driving Ad-men are more trustworthy.
They say you can never win the real election, but in these fluid times who knows and, hand on heart, did anyone really think the other candidates were a shoe in for number 10?
And what of the ugly world of the mainstream media? The ‘news’papers?
Aaaah, yes! Murdoch … the media war machine that is about to explode into action – Corbyn / Watson, between them the scourge of the ugly establishment press are about to get it full barrel from the papers, but does that matter any more in the lost print age?
Jeremy, they already say you cannot win and that the electorate will never go for your wide-ranging agenda and they could be right but then we are living in very different times. Post-austerity politics is a strange and very different landscape. Trad former politicians like Tony Blair with their TV friendly, polished sound bites and insider manoeuvring seem like smart-suited dinosaurs with their condescending, sneering attacks on the new era policies. Blair talks about heart but we are still to detect whether he actually has one himself and his name is forever tainted by the Iraq war and the dodgy dossier.
The collapse of capitalism and the end of the post-war politics is not over yet, the expenses scandal, the growing resentment at the ruling classes and the class war executed so cynically by the Tory cads has polarised opinion.
Labour lite was never going to win any elections – barring an official announcement Scotland is already an independent country. Labour may get a mini surge there now but the Scots know what they want and the battle is back on in England, and if that idea about sneaking into power when no-one was watching as some kind of Labourish party with a Tory overcoat on then that was not enough for the rank and file.
Jeremy, they will keep making out that you are some kind of slavering lunatic, throwing words around like ‘radical’ – making out you are a 21st century Michael Foot (trad jazz) – like that’s a bad thing! Caring about humanity is a difficult and messy business and politics is the cruelest of masters, a place where idealism and hope are quickly tainted by the mustard gas of ambition and cynicism of media lies.
What exactly is this radical? we wonder if you are made to look radical by the boots on the face of humanity march of the Tory PR machine? Probably so. The coming months will see how much of your agenda will become policy, will actually work, will make the spirits rise…
This could be a new kind of politics where you can tell which side is which and all that stuff that the left was meant to stand for like nationalisation, being anti-austerity and putting people first – all the stuff that the Tories and the Murdoch dominated billionaire scum press hate, has been thrust to front of the agenda. Of course we expect disappointment. We are British. We are like that. We know that for every sunny day there’s endless rain around the corner. We know the establishment never let go and we know that fine words mean little in the grey grind of reality but…