BY TOM JENNINGS
I was given the task of writing a “Corbyn Piece” for Country Squire Magazine. I couldn’t think what the hell to write. So, last Sunday, I sought inspiration with a pint in a Shropshire pub garden overlooking a sun-soaked December countryside and had a ponder about you and Labour, whilst puffing on a Keir Hardie pipe.
I looked at your situation from all angles. (Lateral thinking is certainly aided by a pint of ale and the swirl of burning Clan in one’s gob). I took a mind journey into your Islington universe and imagined being the victim of daily briefings from Comrade Milne. I realised how archaic a term surrealism has become – no longer distinguishable from everyday life, wouldn’t you say? And you may be surprised to learn that I came to the conclusion that your political opponents are wasting their time attacking you and your motley bunch of reds.
Because, Jezza, my old mucker, we so NEED you.
The inescapable fact is that we really want you in place as Labour Leader and in fine fettle for 2020. Not only are you the saviour of those wise, Clearasil-sporting students who congregate at your rallies, you should be the Superman of the Conservatives and the pin-up boy of UKIP. We could not live not knowing how you’d handle a General Election; not seeing with our own eyes how Labour would rise to that challenge of a lifetime of selling Mao to the British masses in swing seats like Grimsby and … well … erm … Islington.
I know – enlightened thinking, eh?! (I admit, ever since my illuminating pint and pipe, I’ve been kicking myself that it’s taken quite so long to discover the kinder, gentler politics.)
So, as I supped my pint, I pledged to develop empathy for you, Jezza. Beating you is negating – it feels near inhuman – so it’s only logical that I join you, my old chum. Actually, I decided to go further – I promised myself to be you for a while. To really understand you and become immersed in your ways. To live your beardy-weirdy existence for a while with your allotment full of potatoes, your Black Breton Mariner caps and Chinese bicycle.
On return home, I ordered my first shell suit, ditched my razors and acquired copies off Amazon of Mimi Melnick’s Manhole Covers and Keith Bowen’s Big Booty Black Women Volume 1. When my Corbynista goodies arrived, I spent a considerable time getting into your enlightened Marxist head. I sat there in my shell suit (jolly comfy by the way, especially when worn commando) and read the life histories of Gerry Adams, Fidel Castro and Enver Hoxha – swiftly moving past the murders, the torture and the political imprisonments.
I’ve never read three biographies so quickly – I was done within the hour.
After just a short while, I confess I became a kowtowing totem for your sagacity. Your past pearls of wisdom, “I think we can spend too much time worrying about polls”, “Hamas are friends” and “there was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial” (regards our late comrade the Abbottabad anti-US insurrectionist) suddenly sparkled in new-found luminescence.
Next I researched Zimbabwe, as, by my calculations (I am a trained economist), that’s where we’d be headed economically if you and John were to follow through with your splendid FDR plans for the British economy – intelligently making use of those cheap borrowing rates while they are around. And, for the first time in my life, the veil was drawn back and my blinkers were removed. I finally saw the positives of mass starvation: prisoners don’t last long so hardly cost the state at all, the obesity epidemic gets bypassed saving the NHS millions and I never knew that grass is so full of nutrients (cows can’t be all wrong, eh? We should all be eating the stuff.)
I confess I found it hard later on this week turning down a sizzling sirloin in an Argentinian restaurant in Clapham but – despite the ensalada de tomates y cebollas giving me mouth ulcers – at least I could strike up an amicable discussion with a camarero about the Malvinas.
Walking the streets of Britain’s cities and towns is now far more fascinating as suddenly I see manhole covers everywhere. It took me quite some time to explain to a concerned health worker in a white coat that I was not a creeper and that, no, I had no issues whatsoever with pavement cracks. That I was merely soaking up the newfound wonder of finding two Thomas Crappers in such close proximity.
I am proud to say that, after just a few days and developing some wonderful Steptoesque whiskers and home-made jam, I am you. Well, almost…
You see I just can’t bring myself into one area of your life, Jezza:
It’s Diane …
How on earth?!
Even empathy has its limits, my old mate.
But not Diane Abbott, noooooooo!
I wish you good health and renewed vigour against those pesky Blairites until the spring of 2020, comrade. Don’t let the buggers get you down.
Tory Tom Jennings is a Country Squire Guest Writer and, since we’re all Diane Abbott fans, he’s unlikely to be ever asked back.