There’s a peculiar weirdness to the Labour leadership candidates. Have you noticed they all seem a bit off-kilter? There’s a gaucheness, an unnatural, almost forced style. They look like they’ve been to drama school. All except the red hot favourite, Jeremy Corbyn who has his own idiosyncratic look and approach. He has accidentally stumbled upon the trick of making ordinariness look fashionable.
By being himself and consistently passionate about his beliefs and principles, Corbyn appears to be untarnished by the vagaries of modern presentation techniques, making his style direct, effective and unambiguous. This allows him to connect far more readily with people. Crucially, despite batting off desperate attacks to discredit him, he has stuck rigidly to the method of getting out there and engaging with an ever growing band of like-minded Labour supporters.
It took a while to work it out, then it hit me. They are like children’s TV presenters. The main contender, Yvette Cooper? She performs interviews like a children’s TV presenter. Creepy eyes, part chastising, part pleading, thinks she’s a primary teacher who passed the audition for Blue Peter. Speaks to you like you’re a seven year-old child. Cooper tried to incorporate the importance of women leading, fine by me. She called it feminomics. As soon as you point the flaws and highlight weaknesses they claim ‘yes you’re sexist it’s because we’re women.’ No it’s because you’re not a capable enough candidate and would be crap in charge of a party. I’d love a woman in charge but because she’s good not because of quotas.
Liz Kendall is the same, no substance, ready to ingratiate middle England. Cooper and Kendall look like they should be working through the complexities of making a Tracy Island model out of cereal boxes. Feminomics? Forget it, work out how to use sticky back plastic and make cakes out of defecated (desiccated) coconut. Here’s one we made earlier. For all their faults, at least Cooper and Kendall are trying to keep in the race, Andy Burnham looks like he’s a manager from the Co-op on the glue, waiting for the moment to jump aboard the winning band wagon, but too scared to make the leap.
Politics has changed dramatically in the last few years. It became apparent in Scotland, leading up to the referendum that the actual political process as well as the process of politics, was changing. Politics was about serious debate and discussion at a local level, then percolating from the grassroots before merging with social media. Voters started realising they had power. Now there was a feeling that you could change things, people thought it doesn’t need to be this way. Those involved spoke in church halls and community centres and it became tangible. If this was harnessed in the correct way, then there was a real appetite for change, you could play an active part in it. This shook off the lethargy and sluggishness. Suddenly a vote was a powerful thing which could generate change. There was more thought, more debate, more discussion, more appearances and things started to pick up momentum.
Unless Labour (by Labour I mean Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alan Johnson, Mandelson, Big Labour, The Guardian and Newsnight) all of those wheeled in to keep Corbyn at bay have the will to change and quickly modify the message, they are done for good. When voters are told what to do, especially if Tony Blair is the preacher, they ignore it and do the opposite. I always remind people of my mantra, ‘nobody knows anything’. It’s strange but once you understand that, in politics, life, the arts, in an office, everything makes sense.
It’s practically impossible for Tony Blair to suggest that with a different kind of socialist/leftist/Labour model and Corbyn in charge Labour will wither and die on the vine and never have power. He doesn’t know that, he’s just preying on your fears of change. He’s as likely to know that will be the outcome as he would’ve known that the SNP would gain 56 out of 59 seats at the 2015 General Election and that Labour in Scotland would be annihilated, losing 40 seats.
The moment they write off the millions of socialists who believe that Trident is wrong, involvement in illegal wars is wrong, and stringent austerity cuts which hit society’s most vulnerable are wrong, they are finished. The approach shouldn’t be don’t do this, we’ll have the Tories in power forever if we go with Corbyn’s lefty crap. They should be saying what if Labour torched any semblance of New Labour, even by going as far as re-branding themselves as Old Labour and stood for something which cared for their brother and sister? A party of compassion and equality and fairness. They should maybe watch the classic 1970s movie, Network and realise people are mad as hell and aren’t going to take this anymore…Politics has redefined itself and evolved in to a different beast, it’s time they did the same or it’s genuinely over for them. Unless they quickly get to grips with the fluency of 2015’s political zeitgeist, they will fast become the political equivalent of Beta Max or My Space.
Just a brief thought on Benedict Cumberbatch complaining about fans filming him in Hamlet? Surely there’s worse things than people filming you when you’re at the theatre? Farting? Bursting a bubblegum bubble, or pulling out the ragman’s trumpet and blowing out ‘Sing Sing Sing’ by Benny Goodman….