The Plastic Hippo

January 6, 2016

Shuffle off

Mortal coil

Mortal coil

In what passes for news in these strange times, it is becoming obvious that Jeremy Corbyn is a malicious, manipulating megalomaniac and a naive incompetent fool. If the UK media is to be believed, and who could not accept the gospel according to Grub Street, Corbyn is uniquely able to be in possession of evil cunning and crass stupidity simultaneously. Even given the strict caveat that every mention of his name must be accompanied by the statement “I do not agree with everything he says”, the reality is that Corbyn is turning out to be something of a genius.

Forget calamitous flooding, doctors voting to strike, woeful economic performance, highway robbery on the railway, people being beheaded without trial, other people being shot in the head by a UK citizen and the Middle East about to explode into utter carnage, Corbyn has dominated the headlines, the sound bites and the in depth political analysis with a masterful PR strategy of not doing very much and saying absolutely nothing. His much anticipated shadow cabinet “re-shuffle” has sent hacks into an orbit of hysterical speculation not witnessed since the Y2K bug threatened the very existence of human civilisation. To dupe the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth and Fifth Estates might be considered as being clever, but to dupe them into duping themselves is the work of genius.

Thus a few whispered words into susceptible ears in the lobbies, pubs and wine bars of Westminster had clairvoyant correspondents predicting carnage, a “revenge purge”, a night of the long knives and named the condemned facing the chop. Serious political journalists laid siege to Corbyn in the manner of paparazzi lying on the pavement as young starlets climb out of limousines and then complained that they were kept waiting in a stairwell and not allowed into Corbyn`s office. The Leader of the Opposition took the highly unusual step of meeting members of his shadow cabinet after the Christmas recess only coming out to shamefully tell the hack pack to go away. This is clearly an attack on press freedom, free speech, the rule of law and an affront to common decency. Corbyn and his politburo were obviously plotting to overthrow the monarchy and by forcing innocent journalists against their will to forego a night in the pub after a long day of stalking is nothing short of a threat to national security.

With more backtracking than a diesel shunter in a railway goods yard, the frustration, anger and the realisation of being fooled was exemplified by a windswept Laura K on the BBC Monday night news. With a knowing smile she told us not to expect the “bloodbath” predicted by “insiders” and “senior Labour figures”. A mere 24 hours earlier, the same windswept Laura K told us to expect a “bloodbath”. Obviously bored with the story, 24 hours later she was in the warmth of the commons lobby to tell us that minor squabbles in the Conservative Party were a minor distraction away from the more important issue of the EU referendum itself. Perhaps Laura is considering a sabbatical at Fox News.

When something actually happened that required reporting, the media stopped bleating about being kept waiting and went into full, shock, horror mode. By his own admission, Michael Dugher is a shadow minister for culture, media and sport that nobody had heard of until 48 hours ago. He certainly understands media as his appearance money for interviews over the last two days must have doubled his salary as an MP. Now described as a “victim” and, more ominously, the “first casualty” of Jeremy – I do not agree with everything he says – Corbyn, Dugher tells us that he was sacked for speaking out in defence of colleagues being rubbished by “people employed by Corbyn”. It might be best to pass on his constant criticism of his new boss and his off the record chats with News International and the Telegraph.

After the initial question “who?” the outrage at the dismissal of Pat McFadden indicated that the terminal decline of the Labour Party was complete and socialism was finally dead. Mr McFadden tells us that he was sacked for his comments after the Paris terrorist attack which rather sensibly suggested that there is no excuse for indiscriminate murder. So far, Jeremy – I do not agree with everything he says – Corbyn has maintained an implacable silence over the sackings in keeping with the long tradition of party leaders not spelling out the failings of the dearly departed. We only have the opinions of Mr Dugher and Mr McFadden which, with the help of the media, are now accepted as the undeniable and absolute truth.

Like Mourinho at Chelsea, Benitez at Real Madrid and even Sir Tom Jones, being sacked brings a boost to a public profile. Both Dugher and McFadden might have been relatively obscure but now they enjoy their five minutes of fame. Their detractors describe them as disloyal, treacherous, self-serving quislings more interested in attacking “I do not agree with” than having a pop at the toffs on the other side of the house. Their supporters compare them with Attlee, Bevan and Kier Hardie as the saviours of the poor, the disadvantaged and the sick. These are good men sacrificed on the political alter of ego and ambition. Neither is true and unless the Labour Party realise this and stop the childish name calling, insults and in-fighting and turn their attention to challenging the creation of a Tory single party state, the UK will slowly morph into a totalitarian nightmare. This is happening in small but incremental steps through TTIP, the Trade Union Bill, constituency boundary gerrymandering, the neutering of the Lords and changes to party funding. Two obscure former shadow ministers are not the issue.

After the Labour bloodbath, hacks went home or to Annabel`s or to the Groucho and did not report on the commons flooding debate, or the latest Home Office failings or a truly pernicious Housing and Planning Bill that the government is sneaking through at three o`clock in the morning. Still, a good old fashioned if completely manufactured “revenge purge” is far more interesting than flooding, national security except when it involves bouncy castles and a non-existent roof over our heads fixed by George Osborne.

The leader of a minor and rather odd political party claimed that he was subject to an assassination attempt prompting a singular and rather odd MP to publicly deny that it was he who loosened the wheel nuts on a Volvo. The Prime Minister has jeopardised the nation`s future by allowing ministers a free vote in the EU referendum because, it seems, he fears the resignation of numbskull Chris Grayling and psychopath Iain Duncan Smith.

Apparently, it is the Labour Party that is in crisis. You ain`t seen nothing yet.



  1. “something of a genius” – as in comedy genius?
    A shadow defence secretary backed by a law firm that made false legal claims against our own armed forces.
    The resignations and squabbles have been much more fun than the sackings.
    I hope Richard Burgon is still in the fold, he must be due another TV interview soon.
    And behind the scenes Seamus Milne is overseeing media strategy or something – bliss!

    Comment by Rob — January 6, 2016 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  2. […] Edited extracts – the complete text was found via The Brummie aggregator: […]

    Pingback by Plastic Hippo: the reality is that Corbyn is turning out to be something of a genius | Watershed 2015 — January 8, 2016 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

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