Monday, 14 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn, or The Pigeon Amongst The Cats

My timeline is alight with political comment! No, not my Twitter timeline, which, as it is dominated by politicos and journalists, is generally alight with political comment 24/7.

No, my Facebook timeline. Full of people who rarely, if ever, have anything to say about politics. Who is the person that has suddenly inspired them? None other than Jeremy Corbyn, who just won the Labour leadership contest.

They like him because he gives straight answers to straight questions. I can't fault them there, he does, and often with a bit of wit and charm. However, the answers he gives may be straight, but they also seem to not be thought through. Pulling out of NATO, extending Right to Buy to private ownership, it's all a bit glib and easy to help make his policy offer coherent. Coherent, but wrong.

Truth is he seems like a nice guy but with absolutely no idea how to run anything apart from a pressure group. He has some disastrous policies that didn't receive any scrutiny by a bunch of people who wanted to project their socialist ideals onto him and which projection he was quite happy to accept.

This is the danger of projection in politics - if you don't examine your new political hero from the other side, you may be in danger of thinking him a socialist saviour, and not just a well-meaning guy with a good line in socialist rhetoric. Before electing a leader, think what the other side will say about them, and if that will cut through to a wider electorate (who just elected a majority Tory government), rather than getting carried away like politics is just some hobby designed to make you feel good.

Also, if one does give "straight" answers - i.e. glib answers that sound sensible if you don't argue them through and seem like what the questioner wants to hear - you can and will get ripped apart by people who are paid to do so. So, smarter people triangulate and argue their case and get accused of "not answering the question" - it's a bit of a Hobson's choice but this is the game we play in at the moment. One man is not going to change that, and it's certainly not going to be Jeremy Corbyn.
 
A lot of very naïve left-wing people seem to think Corbyn will set the cat amongst the pigeons but I really believe it's going to be the other way around, Corbyn is a very naïve pigeon amongst a lot of cats. I hope he doesn't get hurt, though I do hope he stands down, for everyone's sake, most of all his.

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