jeremy corbyn

also read this ‘Is Corbyn’s victory a sign of the end of the mainstream media?

and Kerry McCarthy MP top 10 eighties industrial dance songs

Dear Jeremy,

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…

Previous articleThe Primary: Arctic Roar – album review
Next articleFairport’s Cropredy Convention 2015 – live review
Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Excellent piece Mr Robb – the fightback had begun – hope not hate, compassion not self-obsession, fairness over Blairness – the Murdoch machine will be relentless but people will see policy overcome spin – I can now go join the Labour Party and be proud of its leadership!

  2. I’m in complete agreement with everything you said, John.

    Here’s to the future and a party that people can believe in and get behind…. For the first time since Blair (war criminal).

  3. Great stuff, John. ‘Tom and Jerry’ is excellent – though a gift to tory (m)admen.
    Would like to encourage you (and JC) to read Paul Mason’s brilliant book ‘Postcapitalism’ – some really useful analysis there for forward moving leftists to use in formulating modern policies that are less about fighting the class wars of the 20th Century, and more about doing an end-run around the soggily collapsing shit-pile that is global capital.

  4. I fear there will be no fightback, only a longer Tory rule whilst Corbyn is leader. Wanting something different in opposition isn’t the same as wanting him as PM. His comments on the death of Bin Laden and coments/friendships with other terrorists will be highly damaging in the current political climate considering ISIL.

  5. I applaud Corbyn’s victory and sincerely hope he can drag Labour to the left.

    Unfortunately that is not enough in the current political environment. The skullduggery we have already begun to see in the Blairite wing of the party will undoubtably lead to schism in the labour party. This will do little to repair trust in politics.

    The fact that Corbyn struggled to find 36 MP’s to even allow him to be on the ballot paper shows how divorced the party are from the grass roots. Labour have probably kissed goodbye to the Scottish vote forever and without that they can never win a majority.

    I hope that Corbyn will have the courage to kill off two party politics forever. The system is rotten to the core and fails everyone but the elite of whichever party. There are far too many “Champagne Socialists” for the left to be able to set the agenda for Labour much less for the Country.

    If Corbyn is serious about a new kind of politics then he must fight tooth and nail to kill off the current system, abolish the Lords and introduce proportional representation thereby ensuring every vote counts and hopefully a politics that fights for the best interests of everyone in the country.

  6. Ah, someone who knows how to breathe the new air. Such a refreshing change from all the hyperventilating from people who are desperate to air their pessimism, cynicism or just plain hatred. It takes courage to enter a new cultural climate.

  7. come post 2020 this wont seem quite such a good idea …& post 2020 the Tories will be able to do whatever the feck they like, so bye bye NHS

  8. Declaration of interest – I’m a Labour Party member, albeit in a constituency that cannot currently field Labour candidates, although I’m hopeful that will change soon. I voted for JC.

    Will JC be PM one day? One can hope but the snide establishment press are already going to town on him without even giving consideration to his ideas. However, if not destined for government, if he can drag our party back to being the proper Labour Party of the people as it should be in the meantime, that will be something special and a lasting legacy and success.

  9. Sorry to correct you, Brother John:
    Burnham is The Stone Roses.
    Creasy is The Wedding Present.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here