Yesterday, nominations closed for the contest to become the next leader of the Labour Party. In the last minutes before the deadline, Jeremy Corbyn, who has represented Islington North for 32 years, secured enough backing to get himself on the ballot. So he joins Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall in a contest which will conclude in time for the party conference season in September.
Claims to be a left-winger. Perhaps
Corbyn is not going to win; that much is agreed by most commentators. But then, nor are two of his opponents. But he will bring an authentic left-wing voice to hustings events, something which a grown-up party should have no problem accommodating. Some right-leaning self-promotion artists, though, are attempting to milk Corbyn’s presence as a sign that Labour is in hock to the left. Plus one who is on his way to the right.
Yes, the Telegraph’s less than celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges has observed Corbyn getting on the ballot with dismay, which is interesting, given he flounced out of the Labour Party some time ago, in protest at Mil The Younger declining to support Young Dave’s jolly good chaps in their efforts to go and drop bombs on Syria to show solidarity with the group who would go on to become part of ISIS.
“Jeremy Corbyn proves the lunatic wing of the Labour Party is still calling the shots … It might be good for Labour if he wins. Maybe then the Left will finally get it” whines Hodges, seemingly unaware that any MP backed by at least 35 of his or her colleagues gets on the ballot, and that is the sole criterion governing whether they can stand - it has nothing to do with their being ideologically acceptable to Telegraph pundits.
Dan does not allow this thought to enter: “Labour isn’t going to have a proper debate. Which is why Jeremy Corbyn is on the ballot in the first place … only the Labour Party could have done this. Only the Labour Party could have contrived to greet the close of nominations for its leader with a raft of headlines about a candidate who is to the Left of Karl Marx and guaranteed not to win the contest”. There’s more.
“What it says is that the Labour Party still doesn’t get it. In fact, it raises the question of whether the Labour Party will ever get it … Why is Jeremy Corbyn a candidate for the Labour leadership? Because the parliamentary Labour Party still feels the need to indulge the Labour Left … today Labour has chosen to hold up a giant banner that says ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s politics are our politics’”. What is his problem?
If there is one person who doesn’t get it, it’s Dan Hodges, whose rhetoric smacks of the worst intolerance of the Blair years. The blessed Tone didn’t want Ken Livingstone to stand for Mayor Of London. He failed. He didn’t want Rhodri Morgan to become First Minister of Wales. He failed there, too. And allowing only candidates whose views are deemed acceptable to the punditerati is the worst and cheapest kind of authoritarianism.
Hodges has no place in Labour politics. Nor does his illiberal, intolerant streak.
Woke up this morning feeling the pain
Whingeing Dan Hodges was in the news again
Democracy in action not really his thing
Big Brother Barclays' Torygraph hymn sheet he sing
Apparently, even acknowledging Corbyn's existence is going to send the party into a spiral of failure. It looks to me very much as if Hodges is saying that, given the choice, all the Labour people will definitely choose Corbyn, so they mustn't be allowed to have the choice. Which is an odd thing for someone to say if they don't think Jeremy Corbyn will win elections. Isn't the leadership contest an election?
Hodges really is an ignorant twunt.
Corbyn will stand, will be heard, and will lose. Possibly get a consolation prize of a shadow ministerial brief. His supporters will not be able to argue that he was sidelined or hushed up. Instead, the response will be "He had a viewpoint, it was listened to, it was considered. This time the answer from the majority of the membership was no.".
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