IT is a normal state of affairs for a former leader of any political party to enter into a period of silence immediately after they step down from their post. Of course there are exceptions.
Actually there is only one exception, and that is Jeremy Corbyn. This is not too surprising as Corbyn is an instinctive contrarian; he will always do the opposite of what is expected of a man in his position.
Any normal Leader of the Opposition would not have taken the Russia’s side when Russia deployed a weapon of mass destruction on British soil and murdered a British subject. But Jeremy Corbyn was not a normal Leader of the Opposition.
The normal fate of Leaders of the Opposition who stray outside what is publicly acceptable is electoral disaster. In this respect, Corbyn has been true to form, leading his party to a disaster that recalls the last wayward Labour leader, Michael Foot, whose pacifist socialism was about half a century out of date when he gifted Margaret Thatcher the first of her two landslide victories in the 1980s.
Foot disappeared from public view shortly after and made no significant public interventions while continuing to churn out books and articles for a readership that allegedly did not include Corbyn, who was said by one of his wives to have never so much as read any book on politics, let alone written one.
Despite leading his party to disaster, Corbyn has not gone away. His legacy as leader is in the news, and so he has been busy giving interviews and releasing statements. And this may not be too surprising, as the Right Honourable Member for Islington North seems also to be the focus of a religion as a form of messiah-figure. It’s not just the initials that are the same.
The parallels are striking. JC came to prominence after years of virtual anonymity in a land occupied by capitalists as part of an empire centred on a foreign state. Rather than Imperial Rome, that country is the USA.
Pontius Pilate is whoever happens to be the current Conservative Prime Minister. The Pharisees are the Blairite wing of the Labour Party, the hated ‘centrists’ who have tarnished the purity of the socialist temple through their associations with business.
Corbyn preaches a message of ‘love’ and ‘peace’ that is at variance with the current state philosophy. His Sermon on the Mount was at Glastonbury in 2017. The miracle he performed was to improve Labour’s electoral standing in the 2017 General Election, but this does ignore every other Labour electoral debacle prior to 2019.
However, he and his followers are forever persecuted by a hostile media, despite his utopian vision of a redemptive socialist paradise. In the end, the mass of people ignore his message after being deceived by the mainstream media and call for his execution. In December 2019, Corbyn is crucified at the polls. His followers hope he will rise again, some suggesting he forms his own political party.
There is even a betrayal. Dissident disciples, otherwise known as party staff members, allegedly sabotaged Corbyn’s progress by ignoring his campaign ideas, and have been rewarded with their 30 pieces of silver in the form of the recent court settlement, approved by the newly-dominant Pharisee element of the Labour Party, conveniently forgetting that had Rebecca Long Bailey been leader, she also would have settled.
The betrayal prevented Corbyn from toppling the Conservative government in 2017, where some claim that Labour were fewer than 2,500 votes away from forming a government.
This statistic is part of the creed of faith amongst the true believers, and is provably bogus on several levels. It is based on the aggregation of majorities in certain Conservative marginals over Labour.
There are always close marginal seats in general elections, and these tend to decide close elections. Firstly, if the gap had been 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 votes, Corbynists would have made exactly the same argument, so the number is irrelevant, and thus so is their argument.
Secondly, votes are not counted this way and never have been; this method does not even take account of the relative sizes of the popular vote, which itself is not how governments are elected in this country.
Thirdly, there is no direct correlation between a political party’s campaigning effort and an increase in votes; Labour campaigned heavily in Uxbridge, but Boris Johnson increased his vote by 50 per cent.
Fourthly, the staff accused of not following Team Corbyn’s campaign ideas in 2017 may have actually kept Labour’s vote up, and this is more likely, since the hard Left are notoriously incapable of securing popular support when they campaign directly, as can be seen by the 2019 defeat.
Finally, this ‘2,500’ figure would not have granted Corbyn a Labour majority, and there is no guarantee he would have been able to assemble a rainbow coalition such that he could command the confidence of the Commons.
A Labour-SNP coalition would have led to a landslide defeat for Labour at any subsequent election, and any minor party that joined Corbyn would have been similarly punished, as the Liberal Democrats can attest after their meltdown in 2015.
Corbyn allegedly had an opportunity to become Prime Minister last year in a government of national unity, but he was so toxic that no other opposition party considered joining him at a time when Boris Johnson had lost control of the Commons Order Paper.
And so the gospel seems complete. Corbyn’s followers are able to rely on a coherent, if bogus, belief system to sustain them that Corbyn, with zero ministerial or even front-bench experience, but with a history of quite unsavoury associations, was not a ridiculous choice for a party leader and that he was not personally responsible for Labour’s disaster due to his inability to lead his party over the question of Brexit, amongst his other numerous and well-catalogued failings.
Their man has moved from messiah, via miracle-performer, to martyr. Now all they want is an ascension, and probably a second coming thereafter.