Jeremy Hardy thinks… about the Labour leadership

'The highlight began when it looked as though Corbyn could win, and continued thereafter'

September 1, 2015 · 2 min read

At the time of writing, I don’t know who the new Labour leader will be. Polling is a disgraced profession and, even if Corbyn wins, there’s a strong chance that Simon Danczuk will finally lose it and storm the announcement with an assault rifle.

So let’s look back at the campaign highlights. Well, highlight. It wasn’t, for me, his decision to run, to which I responded, ‘Oh Christ, what’s he doing that for?’ Nor was it the moment when he hobbled onto the ballot paper, with the support of right-wingers hoping to be able forever to silence the left with the words, ‘Look we had a debate about policy and the poor lost.’

The highlight began when it looked as though he could win, and continued thereafter. There was, of course, an immediate fightback: ‘Corbyn has questions to answer.’ Well, obviously, he’s standing in an election – next. ‘He’s not an anti-semite but he’s met some.’ So have most of us. You can’t always tell. Barbers seldom say, ‘Square neck or natural, sir? God, I hate the Jews.’ I have definitely met people who harbour prejudices about the Palestinians. I have friends who blame them for the conflict. Friendship is complicated.

The more considered attack has been, ‘He’s going to print money.’ I know he looks like someone who’s still got a printing press that he hid during a bitter factional split in a Trotskyist sect in the 1970s. But money isn’t created like that anymore. Banks just click ‘Confirm Payment’.

There has been kindness, Andy Burnham praising JC’s energy, and asking, ‘Can I have your supporters if I win? I mean, you’re not going to be needing them are, you?’ But let’s assume Corbyn has won. How will he graciously and generously state that he wants to harness all the stupefied apathy generated by the other three?


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