I have written about The Corbyn Calamity for Politico, in which I compare the sainted Jeremy to Chauncey Gardiner, the gardener who becomes US president, played by Peter Sellers in Being There (above).
I ascribe Corbyn’s likely arrival at the despatch box to face David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions on 16 September to a catalogue of accidents and mistakes.
I listed some of the guilty men and women in the article, but a fuller list would start with Gordon Brown, who fostered the myth that Tony Blair was alien to Labour’s tradition; include David Miliband and Alan Johnson for failing to stand against Brown in 2007, 2009 and January 2010; then add the six Labour MPs who, if they had voted for David M in September 2010 rather than for his brother, would have won it for him (those who really knew better include Luciana Berger, Frank Field, Tom Greatrex, Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds and Chuka Umunna); attribute the greatest share of responsibility to Ed Miliband and his five wasted years; before ending up with the 21 Labour MPs who nominated Corbyn but didn’t intend to vote for him.
• One thing that is not the cause of Corbyn’s success is “entryism”, as I wrote in my column for The Independent on Sunday. The changes to the rules for Labour leadership election brought in by Ed Miliband have helped Corbyn, but it is not the £3 registered supporters scheme that makes the difference. What has made this an election that the hard-left Peter Sellers can win is the removal of the voting power of Labour MPs.
If we assume that YouGov’s survey is accurate, Corbyn may not have won under the old rules. The party members would have voted at least 56 per cent for Corbyn (probably a bit more as some of the £3 sign-ups would have joined as full members), and trade unionists would have voted 72 per cent for Corbyn. But we know that Corbyn has the positive support of only 15 MPs, including himself. As a rough guess, let us assume he could get back to the total of 36 who nominated him after the transfer of second and subsequent preferences. This would give him 15 per cent of the MPs’ section of the electoral college. That would have given Corbyn a total of 48 per cent in the run-off, or a bit more, meaning the election would be in effect tied between him and Andy Burnham.
• The Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, was Places That Sound Like Repertory Actors, including Drayton Beauchamp, Swanton Morley and Ainderby Quernhow.
• And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:
“Ten drills. Ten drills? Have you got ten drills?”
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