Jeremy Hardy thinks… about electability

'MPs are stuck in 1997, waiting for a charismatic, Blair-like messiah, but without the bloodshed'

November 16, 2016
2 min read


Jeremy HardyJeremy Hardy is a comedian and writer who regularly appears on BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.


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Of those Labour MPs who argue that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable, some are worried that he is electable. They would not like to see a Labour government challenge the fetishism with markets and the ‘wealth creation’ of city alchemists. They certainly wouldn’t want to serve in it, as it sounds like a lot of work. There’d barely be time to tweet, let alone pal around with Conservative chums in BBC interviews.

But there are others who genuinely can’t imagine how the electorate might surprise them, despite the fact that the electorate does little else these days. Those MPs are stuck in 1997, waiting for a charismatic, Blair-like messiah, but without the bloodshed. It’s worth remembering that they never accepted Blair’s retirement. Brown was not only a victim of his own temperament and daft faith in an ever-expanding economy built on nothing; he was savaged in the liberal media, briefed-against by his MPs and attacked by his own cabinet.

Then along came poor Ed, who had the temerity not to be his brother, not so mired in the dark excesses of American counter-insurgency as to be unable to question the Downing Street-White House axis. Awkward Ed, with his funny voice and obviously ethnic looks, his father traduced in the Daily Mail in a manner reeking of anti-semitism, before it was fashionable to call-out anti-semitism. Not even Ed felt able to flag it up. He was probably too busy dealing with the disloyalty all around him, and trying to come up with Blair-style re‑brands for the party, as though that would solve its complete breach of trust with its natural supporters, whom Blair nakedly despised.

So who have they got then, the ‘moderates’, if such a word can be used for people who would countenance nuclear annihilation? No one. Absolutely no one.


Jeremy HardyJeremy Hardy is a comedian and writer who regularly appears on BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.