Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Life of Jeremy

A hundred days have now passed since the Labour Party elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. Actually I don't know whether they have, it just feels like it. Anyway it might be time to write a few words about Him.


He has a multitude of followers but they seem divided into two sorts of disciples. There are the shouty, pierced ones who march about and protest and the Islington ones; the kind you see in Private Eye's, 'It's Grim up North London' . Islingtonites do not often march about. They write tweets.
While both groups of disciples support "anti-austerity" and oppose all cuts, naturally,  the latter think of themselves as being at the smart end. Think Jeremy Hardy meets Clare in the Community.
Loaves and Fishes

Both sets of followers have an easy solution to problems of the economy which is [sound fx: fanfare] to print more paper money (obviously) and distribute it to the deserving part of the population. You can fill in your own blanks as to who the deserving ones are. (Why in the name of all that is holy throughout all the centuries did people and countries not discover the truth Jeremy's disciples have discovered that printing more notes makes you richer?)
To fend off easily attacks from economic infidels "printing more notes" is called "quantitative easing" and distributing this money is called the much more praiseworthy and good-egg-sounding word, "investment". 


There is a whiff of political incense about Saint Jeremy who lives in an unearthly world where police can enter and arrest bad people in the Islamic State. This would obviate the need for the wickedness of killing ruthless enemies before they have been brought before a court. History, however, has been kind here to the UK which might easily have been led in the Second World War by leaders frozen into inactivity when faced by the Nazis because our police could not arrest Germany.


Actually, followers of JC (wasn't it so delightfully apt he should bear those initials?) do not mind a bit of frozen inactivity all that much. Frozen inactivity enables you to criticize the government at your leisure without the need to be have to act decisively (and often with imperfect information) when faced with "events, dear boy, events". Do you remember the moment from "The Life of Brian" when Judith, the "Welsh bint" brings news of a Roman atrocity to the committee who with chuckling smugness at her 'feminist grandstanding' set out to write "a fresh resolution" - not the right thing but very simply the only thing in the world they are capable of. Quiet and superior philosophical reflection is born in the moments of religious devotion provided by frozen inactivity.


Please remember that Saint Jeremy is faced by wickedness (see above) at every turn. Homophobia, Islamophobia, Austerity, Sexism, Nuclear War, Denial of LGBT (have I got those initials right?) rights, Gender Bias, Racism and the list goes on. He delivers his careful and thoughtful solutions with polite, measured, avuncular, benign and gentle illogicality. Jeremy reminds me of the description applied to his prophet, Tony Benn, of whom it was said, "He immatures with age." 


PMQs are certainly different with JC. As he read out the latest e-mails Jeremy had received from Mrs Trellis I was taken aback when I heard him say, "I asked the Prime Minister this question six times last week and didn't get an answer". And there it was. It happened.  Jeremy before our ears became unmistakeably that valued national treasure, the angry pensioner in the post office.

War is Wrong

Talking of war as I was, and there's an awful lot of it about at the moment, I do hope we are spared Saint Jeremy as leader trying to face down Russia by frantically waving a white flag and shouting, "Don't attack us. We have no nuclear weapons." 

I hope we are spared, full stop.

Here endeth the lesson.

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