I read the news today – Oh boy…

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What was it the media have been telling us for the past couple of weeks? Yes, of course – bombing Syria is a great idea and Hilary Benn is a demi-god. But apart from that? Well done, Virginia. That the by-election in Oldham would be the first real test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.

So how did he do? Well, the Labour candidate Jim McMahon (sounds like a paddy to me) increased Labour’s share of the vote to 62.27%, which is up 7.49%. Pretty convincing, eh? Clearly Corbyn has more than justified his leadership, then.

Um, not quite. The Guardian, a distinctly liberal newspaper, notes that while Corbynistas will see it as a vindication of their man, those opposed will see it as a win by “a pro-business pragmatist”. (As distinct from an anti-business, pie-in-the-sky-ist, and we all know who that is.)

The Daily Telegraph declares that “winning the Oldham by-election isn’t a triumph for Jeremy Corbyn. It’s the minimum”. It goes on: “So now we know the formula for a Labour win. After Oldham West and Ryton we can see what is needed is a Blairite candidate, a Blairite speech on security in the Commons and total censorship of the leader. Simples”.

The Daily Mail’s headline is “Labour’s great escape: Party shrugs off the Corbyn effect to win Oldham West”.   The Sun notes that “Mr Corbyn visited the seat just once since MP Michael Meacher died in October”.

And there was you, thinking this was going to be the first real test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. When the press decide to kick a political leader, it doesn’t matter what s/he does: There Will Be Kicking. Ask Gerry Adams.

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16 Responses to I read the news today – Oh boy…

  1. Iolar December 4, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    I wonder will the Right Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen feel safer today as they munch their marmalade and toast. What are their views about the most recent loss of life in Cairo? How did they sleep last night in the knowledge that thousands of refugees, many with young children face the elements in Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia? Where does Mr Benn stand in relation to the fact that we have money to purchase 500 lb bombs, riot police to deal with homeless people at border crossings as others go without food and shelter?

    Well fed bureaucrats will meet again in Brussels to consider a partial suspension of the borderless Schengen Zone in order to restrict the number of refugees entering the European Community. Will the plight of refugees feature in the Organization of the Petroleum Countries meeting today in Vienna? Will the cartel cut output and raise the price of oil? Perhaps they may prefer to listen to The Bandit’s Gallop Op. 276 by Strauss II?

    At least we are clear where Mr Corbyn stands.

  2. billy December 4, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    40.per cent turn out,20.per cent postal votes.very convincing.

  3. jessica December 4, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    I like the idea of someone who doesn’t give a toss what the media think and can stick to their principles no matter what.

    Go Jeremy

    • billy December 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      thought you meant tyson fury there,

  4. Jim Neeson December 4, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    A win is a win, Corbyn will win inside real Labour in spite of Hilary`s Blairite stance!!!

  5. Jim.hunter December 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm #


    • Jude Collins December 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm #


  6. Séamus Ó Néill December 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    …..And if Oldham was lost, then complete vindication of their unremitting and scurrilous campaign against Mr Corbyn. The west is lunging dangerously to the extreme right aided and abetted by a compliant and subservient media. As Hermann Goriing ,master of deceit and propaganda , said during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials , ” All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce them,the pacifists, for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. it works the same way in any country ” Does that sound familiar ? Under the guise of combating terrorism our rights, civil and human, are constantly being silently taken from us….The only profitable and growth industry in Britain is the arms trade….a trade in the slaughter and mutilation of millions of fellow human beings….with hopes ,dreams and aspirations just like us. If Cameron et al want slaughter let them lead from the front…let them go and take their sons ,wives and daughters to the front line…..there they can be Gung-Ho with the lives of the innocents…..but it’ll not be with my approval….NOT IN MY NAME !

  7. Wolfe tone December 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    I am sorry but the jury is still out on Corbyn. His idea of allowing his MP’s to follow their morals(lol) and vote against more bombings in the Middle East was truly cowardly. As the leader he should have demanded they follow the leadership line or else they would be deselected in the future. To indulge the filthy blairites is a waste of time. If he keeps pussyfooting about then it will become apparent his only objective is to halt the SNP. Sweaty Betty Windsor and her lik will allow him to do that but nothing else.

  8. Sherdy December 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    The British media have been attacking Jeremy Corbyn relentlessly since he was appointed leader, so the fact that, under his leadership, Labour increased their vote percentage in this election, will not detract them from their vile campaign, sponsored by big business.

  9. giordanobruno December 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Phew I thought for a minute you were not going to manage to get Gerry in there at all Jude.
    Just made it in the last sentence!

    • Jude Collins December 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      Now, now, gio – deal with the issue, not your erratic emotional system…

      • giordanobruno December 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

        Well i have nothing of value to say on the issue, so I went for the cheap shot.
        Now what’s this about erratic emotions? Manplaying if ever I saw it.

        • Jude Collins December 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

          Well gio you did talk about Phew and such…I interpret that as inner turmoil venting…

  10. Ryan December 4, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Can you imagine what the papers would’ve said if Labour had lost the seat? if this is the way they behave when Labour held it and increased its percentage of the vote. If Labour had have lost it then I do think it would’ve maybe been the beginning of the end for Corbyn as Labour Leader, the Labour rebels would’ve been baying for blood.

  11. Perkin Warbeck December 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Your title is very much on song today, Esteemed Blogmeister, and seems to have set the tone for the morally superior Mothers Superior (of both genders) in the monotone monopoly media down here.

    Now that the RAF light entertainment wing has embarked on an early season production of A Christmas Barrel and brought it on an off-Broadway tour in the East End the reaction of the Free Southern Stateen congenital pacifists has been predictable.

    With a chorus of ‘Denunciation Once Again’ when confronted with violence?. Well, no actually. The show stopper this time is ‘The Sound of Silence’, the one that starts ‘Hello, trailer parkness, my old friend’.

    South of the Black Sow’s Dyke the hackles of the Yakkerati have been raised to a, erm, fury pitch rather more by the Traveller called Tyson and his somewhat less than licensed opinions on certain touchy topics, outside the ring.

    The song which came to one’s own echo chamber of a mind was a song which was equally prompted by Jeremy Corbyn and the somewhat inappropriately named Barney Curley. The latter for a different reason was, coincidentally, doing the radio studio circuit today, as it happened.

    The song was ‘The Gambler’ and the relevant line in particular was ‘You’ve got to know how to (gulp) Oldham’.

    One may well ask was there any other reason for the irony curtain of hush which has descended on the FSS since the British embarked On the Blanket Bombing campaign.

    A possibility could be the new movie ‘Black Mass’, featuring Johnny Depp in the role of Whitey Bulger. Despite the black and white nature of the title and title role, it is in fact in full colour. More to the point, it features a talk-on part by a certain Nornevereland character who was once involved in the import-import business with the emphasis on the nocturnal and the nautical.

    This latter role, albeit minor, might well have stoked the ire of a the newest Senator in the Cahillphate. She might even view the lack of a parental supervision certificate attached to the movie as (sigh) a form of potential child abuse. This is sufficient to divert any reasonable pacifist from looking too far afield at killing fields such as Syria. Insularity starts at home.

    Speaking of relations, and finishing on another note from a different song, this one called ‘San Berdoo Sunburn;

    ‘’ I’ve got the South in my veins / And California in my mouth
    And that’s the simple reason / Why I’m leaving the South.
    Me and this girl and she’s so foxy /And we’re heading to San Bernadino’.

    No, and odd as this may sound, but the lyrics are not in fact by Cole Porter but, erm, by a slap, band, wallop outfit called………(gasp)……Eagles of Death Metal.

    One wonders if by any chance, the shootings in San Bernadino and the Bataclan are in any way related?