Sunday, 19 August 2018

On the "Magic Grandpa"

I see John Rentoul has peered into the crystal ball and has predicted that a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party would not do as well in the next election compared to 2017. Does he have a point or will his forecasts, just like those for last year's general election, prove as useless as Mystic Meg's? Let's examine his reasoning.

There are three strings to John's bow. In reverse order, the Tories will not be led by Theresa May, the press are going to subject Labour's manifesto to greater scrutiny, but most importantly - and the main angle of the piece - Corbyn isn't the "magic grandpa" we thought him to be. John concedes that Labour ran a brilliant campaign and what the Blairites thought was an albatross (i.e. Corbyn) turned out to be a secret weapon. His affable, friendly, no-frills style encouraged voters to take another look and that's what they saw. The terrorist-loving ogre of Tory propaganda fame was nowhere to be seen. He was refreshing. However, the surprise factor won't be there next time. Jeremy Corbyn's presence is familiar, he's not the great unknown. And most damaging, at least according to John, is that Corbyn has become tetchy. The Labour leader is no longer endearing. More roll eye interviews, more visible shows of annoyance and his personality will sink Labour's campaign before it has started.

Now, looking ahead to the next election is interesting. Things will be different and worth considering in more depth in due course. But please. Is John's take what passes for cutting analysis in bourgeois politics? Evgeny Lebedev actually pays for these banalities? I mean, even if you think about it in the ridiculous terms John sets himself his argument falls apart. If Corbyn is more sour puss than Bagpuss, that's not going to change the minds of those who aren't going to vote Labour. And for those who are it's more evidence of the appalling treatment he gets from the media. This is something even floating voters of the self-defined centre have woken up to, at least if the theatrics of the Follow Back Pro Europe folks on Twitter are anything to go by. In short, people outside the hallowed halls of Westminster aren't thick and they are media savvy, and are increasingly so as older people pass on and younger, heavily mediatised folks enter the electoral fray. Indeed, you might say they have more of a clue than those who use the papers and the TV studios to push their politics. Including well remunerated, professional commentators.

Many things will impact on the result of the next election, but Corbyn getting short with a reporter for asking another stupid question won't be one of them.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rentoul predicted a 158 seat majority for the tories in his own on-line twitter poll (still have a chuckle to myself when I look at the likes oF lillco and several centrist internet loudmouths predictions in that poll)

HM Queen Elizabeth II said...

Rentoul teaches a pisspoor MSc course on Blairism and it seems a small number of intelligent young people are somehow minded to pay lots of good money to go on it and learn all about "muscular centrism" and internal market wonkery. What a waste. Talk about a course that leads absolutely bloody nowhere.

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

“Tories will not be led by Theresa May”

Typical obsession with leaders and personality over actual policies! Now you may call this practical in that unfortunetaley people are swayed by leaders but even so leaders is a central plank of Blairism, after all at the centre of Blairism was the idea to increase manager pay relative to workers pay, because managers and not workers are the wealth creators, higher management especially so. By changing its leader the Tories will put someone in her place who will literally make everything better.

“the press are going to subject Labour's manifesto to greater scrutiny”

Like the press can be objective! All we will hear from them is magic money tree, old fashioned policies and Venezuela. Though given we have record numbers of homelessness, crime figures exploding, Councils going bust, making plans for medical and food shortages and 30,000 people dying a year due to Tory austerity and Venezuela would actually be an improvement!

Incidentally 30,000 brits dead a year from Tory policies, this has to be the most relentless, concerted and successful terrorist campaign ever directed at the people of this nation. The Tories are using an austerity truck to mow down literally tens of thousands.

“Corbyn isn't the "magic grandpa" we thought him to be”

Of course no one ever thought this and his popularity is merely symbolic of a need to fundamentally change among a significant part of the population. And this section of the population knows all too well that a vote for Theresa May equates very closely with a vote for Yvette Cooper. In currency terms the exchange rate between these 2 political ideologies is about as close to 1:1 as you can get! It should be noted that given Corbyn’s capitulation over anti Semitism then in all likelihood Corbyn will not be able to implement anything that really speaks to this need, and his supporters will end up disappointed and feeling betrayed. And who knows where we will go next! But I hope he gets the chance to prove me wrong, though I suspect some sort of coup if Corbyn does win, a coup that will have every Blairite cheering from the rafters!

Daniel said...

He is also undermines his own argument by stating poeple didn't care about his "IRA past", yet will care about his attachment to the palestinian liberation/terrorism for some reason.

Tmb said...

Just my tuppence worth. The Tories assault on the poor, the disabled, the low waged, people with long term health conditions, the attack on the majority, aided by a weak snivelling and compliant MSM including the incorrigible BBC is now almost beyond politics. We are beginning to talk about a moral issue.

We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a stable and strong economy, yet more and more of the wealth is going to fewer and fewer people whilst jobs are being cut and when money is desperately needed there are a plethora of hard luck stories. No such hard luck stories for the wealthy, many of the affluent Tory voting middle class, and the magic money tree seems well able to keep MPs and vast swathes of middle class middle management and the wealthy in affluent lifestyles they've all grown accustomed to, under both the Labour Party and the Conservatives. The growing and even chilling economic divisions are utterly artificial because the money and wealth is there, it is now just being distributed very unfairly.

It is simply time to keep pointing this out. The fact that many thousands of pensioners die each year in this country because they can't afford to heat their homes should be enough to shame the greedy amoral people who run this country, but obviously doesn't.

Johny Conspiranoid. said...

Rentatool's job is to devise a narative which ignores the failure of the NuLabour/Tory/neo-liberal project and the millions of people who are pissed off with it. This is very hard to do and the results are not very good.

Anonymous said...

This piece claims that people are '... media savvy, and are increasingly so as older people pass on and younger, heavily mediatised folks enter the electoral fray'. How much more patronising to older people like me (I'm 70) can the writer of this piece get? What would he/she think if I was equally patronising and said that younger people are so thick that they can't even spell or write in grammatically correct sentences? Doesn't he/she know that older people use Facebook more than younger people now anyway?

Phil said...

Get that chip off your shoulder. Are all younger people more technologically savvy than all older people? Obviously not. But are younger people more likely to know this stuff than older people? Yes. There's no need to get so defensive over banal observations about generational differences.

Jason said...

Someone had an extra sugar in their cocoa, didn't they?

Blissex said...

«“Tories will not be led by Theresa May”
Typical obsession with leaders and personality over actual policies!
»

Same as their obsession with J Corbyn's role as a leader, when most voters had not even heard that "strong and stable" slogan from the Conservatives.

The opposite flaw from many on the left is thinking that "politics" matters a lot (our very public sociologist often sins that way), while most likely whether Labour gets a majority depends on when the next southern house price crash happens and floating voters throw out the bums that deprived them of that £10,000-£40,000 of work-free gains they feel entitled to.

«The Tories are using an austerity truck to mow down literally
tens of thousands.
»

That is ridiculous over-exxxagggeration -- by the same argument literally every UK government has mowed down hundreds of millions in the third world by not raising taxes on all incomes above minimum wage to 90% and not using the proceeds to save the lives of those hundreds of millions in the third world.
Selfishly keeping the money needed to save someone else's life is not the same as “mow down literally” that someone else.

Also, as usual I am quite disappointed with talk of "austerity" in the UK in the past decade: a large minority of (mostly southern) voters have no idea that "austerity" happened as their incomes, wealth and living standards have boomed.

The Conservatives would have gained 2-3 million votes and reached 42% of votes cast if everybody was suffering from austerity. Any political discussion based on the myth of "austerity" instead of the reality of "upward redistribution" is going to be quite improductive.

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

“Selfishly keeping the money needed to save someone else's life”

You are fetishising money here. What the Tories have done is attack resources designed to help and assist and where they have involved money they haven’t kept it but taken it away!

“The Conservatives would have gained 2-3 million votes and reached 42% of votes cast if everybody was suffering from austerity. “

The Manchester bombing was aimed at an Ariana Grande concert but nobody said this attack was simply an attack on fans preteen pop! No apparently that was an attack upon us all!

Now you might think that something only counts as a crime if it affects Southern property owners but please don’t expect us all to follow that path.

Austerity is a project aimed at the bottom quartile of the population (this might not matter to you), frankly that Southern voters have had a bonanza is irrelevant! The austerity truck was never directed at them. Austerity has been deliberately targeted at certain sections of the population, but these people are still brits and still victims of the Tory terrorist organisation. Not everyone is homeless but that doesn’t make the 61% increase in homelessness any the less shocking and deliberate and criminal (thogh it appears that your logic says otherwise).

The academic study revealing the level of Tory victims pointed out that these are deaths that would not have happened had the Tories not implemented their death truck at the poorest.

“by the same argument literally every UK government has mowed down hundreds of millions in the third world by not raising taxes on all incomes above minimum wage to 90% and not using the proceeds to save the lives of those hundreds of millions in the third world.”

Well to some extent every UK government is responsible for mass murder throughout the world, but your example is economically illiterate because for one it is based on zero evidence and pure supposition whereas the claim the Tories have killed tens of thousands of brits is based on academic research and secondly you are mixing up money and resources, proceeds have to be transformed into resources. The Tories have done the opposite they have turned real resources into proceeds, proceeds for their wealthy backers.

So I claim the Tory agenda was a deliberate attack, a terrorist attack, premeditated with malice aforethought. Enough of your Tory apologetic already!