Jeremy Corbyn: Labour leader OK, but PM?

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Picture by Antrim Lens

One of the dumbest questions I’ve heard asked (or do I mean responded to?) is: has Jeremy Corbyn got what it takes to be Prime Minister? That’s a bit like saying ‘Do you want a united Ireland?’  It depends on when you’re talking about. If you ask me do I want a united Ireland tomorrow, the answer is No. There are a lot of things that would need to happen before a united Ireland would make sense. But that still doesn’t mean I’m a  partitonist.

Likewise with Corbyn. The guy hasn’t been elected twenty-four hours and already pundits are pronouncing on whether he’ll win in 2020. I mean, gimme a break, guys. For a start, there’s the question of ‘events, dear boy, events’.  Who knows what matters will pop up, within Britain or internationally, that will show what Corbyn is made of. In fact, if any of us are worth a damn, we would hope that in five years’ time, all being well, we would have become better people than we are today. There are people who, instead of being overwhelmed by a job, in time grow into it and display qualities no one ever thought they had. The instance of Pope John XIII comes to mind.

Of course there will be people in Britain who’ll never vote for Jeremy Corbyn, just as there are people here who’ll never vote for Sinn Féin. But there are people voting for Sinn Féin today who never thought of voting for them five years ago.

Some twenty years ago, I remember having a slightly heated debate with Professor John A Murphy. I mentioned the possibility that Sinn Féin might ultimately catch up on the SDLP. The good prof almost had a seizure. “Are you trying to tell me that my friends – doctors, lawyers, architects – are going to turn from the SDLP to the Shinners? That’s a ridiculous notion!”.

And John A was right. At the time it appeared a ridiculous notion, but with the passage of time it stopped being ridiculous, as more and more doctors, lawyers, architects and others began voting for Sinn Féin.

It’s also noteworthy that for a time at least, Sinn Féin advanced electorally without the SDLP diminishing. In other words, Sinn Féin tapped into that huge reservoir of votes from those who normally gave voting booths a wide berth. Jeremy Corbyn has expressed similar ambitions. The people who stay away on election day – and, ironically, have most to gain by getting down to the electoral centre – are hugely important for a healthy democracy as well as being a deep pool of votes.

Mind you, Corbyn will have an uphill battle – as did/do the Shinners. The mainstream press in Britain, for a start, are violently opposed to him – as they are to the Shinners. But he has shown he can draw to him hordes of people, particularly but not exclusively young people, who respond to his fresh message.

In fact, the more you think about it, the more parallels there are between Corbyn and the leadership of Sinn Féin, particularly Gerry Adams. We live in interesting times.

7 Responses to Jeremy Corbyn: Labour leader OK, but PM?

  1. sherdy September 13, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Jude, I thought it ironic when it was reported last night that seven (apparently) prominent Labour Party MPs decided that they would not serve in Jeremy’s shadow cabinet because he is a socialist!
    Did they not realise what ‘Labour Party’ was supposed to mean, or did they believe the Machiavellian Mandelson whose only beliefs centre around money?
    Is there the possibility that Corbyn will be the vanguard of a movement which actually does and will believe that government should be by the people, for the people, and of the people.
    That could start people believing that austerity is inherently bad as it means the megarich get megaricher and they will be prepared to look after the deserving of our world?
    If the idea caught on we might even live in a world we could be proud of!

  2. Perkin Warbeck September 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    There is Jeremy Corbyn and there is Gerry ‘Carbine’ Adams, Esteemed Blogmeister, and each must be doing something not altogether wrong..

    The reason for stating that? Both have attracted the tiresome ire of the Duracell Bunny of Dail Eireann in equal measure. Pat Rabbit, soon to be ex-MP, (for it is he !) looks roughly upon the two party leaders with roughly the same disgust as if they were bona fide carriers of a particularly virulent form of myxomatosis.

    Coming from the eminently clubabble P.Rabbit who is one of the legendary mixers, this is a little rich. .An equally folk-lored joiner this pink anthropomorphic rabbit has spent his public career duracelling from one party to another, parties whose coloured hats went from the darkest red to the palest of pale pink. Nobody better to paint the town a shocking p. than P.Rabbit, ex-MP to be..

    Which doesn’t mean to say the Heffner-like huffer and puffer will go away: once the Playboy Bunny has shed the fluffy cottontail of his constituency he will go directly to the latest and most lucrative stage of his stellar, wine-cellar career, which is a deal larger than a little rich.

    Although a fan of Sunningdale, Pat Rabbit has shown himself to be, amazingly, a slow learner. When growing up in south Mayo the TV made its debut in the sitting rooms of the rural Free Southern Stateen. .And sitting on top on the new box-shaped piece of furniture in the corner was the aerial in the shape of (gulp) a pair of rabbit ears.

    No sooner was it installed than it killed the art of conversation and its corollary, thinking as ‘Shut up , sit down, and look, listen and lipsync ‘ became the new catchphrase of the Free Southern Stateen. Such was its power.

    Who would have thought it would take the power-famished Playboy Bunny well nigh on half a century to twig that his true metier was on the other side, the powerful side of the microphone, not least because the hints were there from the very off (see aerial above).

    His new career path will see him operating full time as the presenter of a wireless programme in the broadcasting wing of the DOBlin monopoly media. At a multiple of his meagre six figure remuneration as a MP.

    Even as one taps one’s lap top his pompous, carrot-chomping tones are to be heard on the programme of the Head Chef in the Kitchen Cabinet that is the manipulative media. Who has just thoughtfully rang him for his latest tuppence worth (metaphorically speaking only) of dishing the dirt on J. Corbyn.

    Like Denis O Brien, Dame Dosh Finucane. (for it is she !) is of the infirm opinion that P.Rabbit is to the Go-to Ego.

    Speaking of Dame Dosh: yesterday’s edition of her four-hour weekend in Dublin 4 which fetches for her from the public purse a curse-of-God six figure sum beginning with 4, she dealt (to use the term loosely) with the latest faultline (?) which has appeared in the coming cosy colour-coded electoral pact between the Pale Pink Labour Party and the true Blueshirts.

    The A-word: Abortion.

    Her guest of honour was one, Roisin Ingle of The Unionist Times, oddly enough. To tell the nation (aka Free Southern Stateen) ‘her story, which was important for her to tell the nation’.

    The red-carpet treatment she got ought not be be confused with the blood-red carpet welcome extended to the Syrian refugees by a particular highkicking media-camera person.from the Land of Magyar.

    The ringletted R. Ingle was there to tell her personal story,i.e., nothing to do with politics, and she proceeded to tell it in a courageous, gutsy, lioness-hearted, daring, spunky, fearless, chin-up kinda way.

    Her story was that of her One Night Stand which resulted in a trip to Abortion-friendly England.

    No detail was left out of her story which was coaxed from her understanding hostess who was in Empathy Emma mode which so becomes Dame Dosh so well.

    Abortion has not (yet) become the default mode of the Free Southern Stateen and there is no doubt that the heart-rending personal tale which the shy, retiring R. Ingle had to tell had approximately the same impact on the shocked listenership as, say, a barrel bomb from Air Force Assad has on an unsuspecting suburb of Aleppo.

    Or, as Dame Dosh, that Mistress of the German Queen’s English. picking her words with her customary forensic skill, put it:

    -You know, Roisin, there are people listening to you right now who have (gulp) SMOKE COMING OUT OF THEIR EARS.

    Thus, was the Trump-card of neutrality played in this neo-classic of compulsory listening,

    Neutrality, not least in a prime-time programme presenter paid for from the public purse, is, indubitably, a priceless commodity.

    PS: It is not just the Broad-casters who wield this power. The morphing of the FSS into a Cahillphate did not originate in the Dail:that was the endgame. It actually originated in the Sunday Endapendent.

    Hardly any need to tell either Jeremy or Gerry that.

  3. ANOTHER JUDE September 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    I think Jeremy Corbyn is the best man for the job, the right wing press will throw all manner of dirt at him, photographs of him sharing a platform with all manner of `nasty` people (that is, nasty in the eyes of the likes of Rupert Murdoch) will appear in the papers, his brave and ultimately prescient meetings with Irish Republicans will be dragged up, as if that is somehow worse than mixing with members of the Unionist fraternity. Jokes about his clothes, his beard, his voice, they will follow. Already a load of Blairite politicians have refused to be in his shadow cabinet, they have thrown their dummies out of the pram.`He is unelectable, Labour is doomed to political failure` they cry, well pardon me while I stop my sides from splitting, but didn`t Gordon Brown and Ed Milliband lose the two most recent British general elections? Jeremy Corbyn has a lot more in common with the average man and woman in Britain than the likes of Cameron, he wants to scrap Trident, GOOD!!!

  4. Iolar September 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Labour arrogance was disposed of in Scotland. Lords Mandelson, Hutton and other slick spin-doctors tried hard and failed miserably to derail Mr Corbyn’s campaign to be elected leader of the Labour Party. Others stated publicly that they would not serve in shadow cabinet, once more displaying contempt for the majority of people who are actively campaigning against Tory austerity policies. Some commentators on RTE Radio today demonstrated similar comments, “Corbyn elected by a three quid a go internet electorate…pariah…lefty…”. The electorate will deliver its assessment of the Irish Labour Party in due course. It was somewhat unusual to say the least, to have today’s opinion polls as a feature during TV3 News last Friday.

    There are a number of things we may be certain about. It was corruption, not Mr Corbyn that led to Tory austerity policies. Mr Corbyn will not promote ‘New Labour’ warfare with death and destruction throughout the Middle East and tens of thousands left without even the basic means of subsistence.

    The debate in this country used to be about Home Rule and Rome Rule. At present we have Gnome Rule courtesy of the Gnomes of Zurich.

  5. Ryan September 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    I don’t agree with all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies but I was happy when I awoke on Saturday morning to learn he had won the Labour Leadership election on the first count. I expected him to win but I thought it would’ve been a tight contest between that other guy or the woman called Cooper. How wrong I was.

    Corbyn to me comes across as very likable and, I don’t know why, but very kind natured too. Almost like an English Father Christmas or, for those that have read the Harry Potter books, an Albus Dumbledore figure, old and wise.

    Could he be British Prime Minister? Of course, he’s the leader of the main opposition party. I find Corbyn more Prime Minister material than the likes of David Cameron, that big baby face of Cameron just makes it hard for me to take him seriously and I will be honest I was shocked he got re-elected in May but that was mainly due to Ed Milibands self defeating policies than Cameron’s. The bitter fighting amongst the left parties (Labour and the SNP) sealed Milibands fate and Scotland was a blood bath for Labour. This enabled Cameron to cruise home to victory on a vicious austerity platform.

    We’re 5 years away from the next British General Election, a lot can happen in a day and there’s a lot of days in 5 years. As Jeremy Corbyn gets more popular and the election is very fast approaching we should expect his opponents and the media to get more vicious and to dig up Corbyn’s past. I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRA and Gerry Adams is repeatedly brought up in the media and the Commons in order to attack Corbyn.

    Of course Cameron said before May’s election that this will be his last term as PM if hes re-elected so if he keeps his word the Tories will have a new leader of their own to contest the 2020 British General Election…

  6. Neill September 13, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    It will end very badly for Labour under Corbyn very badly.

    Corbyn has voted against his party on any number of occasions I presume he will give free reign to his MP`s who disagree with him?

    As for the company Corbyn keeps well he certainly should be judged on that. The Conservative party must be loving this they will throw everything at him!

  7. Pointis September 13, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    What I like about Jeremy Corbyn is that he gives straight answers to questions, not political fudges.