Sunday, 24 July 2016

What I said about Jeremy Corbyn on the day he was elected Leader ...

Every few years, there is an event which attracts me enough to watch it live or nearly live: the 2010 Leaders' Debates for the UK General Election, the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, and today the Declaration of the Labour Leadership election - about which I was actually quite excited (though not excited enough to have watched any of the "Hustings" debates):

Oh dear, is this really the best they can do?

Tom Watson gets up and sounds like a one man Tribute Act to the past. That doesn't matter so much. But then we get to the new Leader ...

This is going to go out live and be endlessly played as clips on TV News. It's Mr Corbyn's first big chance to sound like a Leader who means business ...

Mr Corbyn takes from his pocket his notes, and goes through the List of people who have to be Thanked ...

Yes, maybe they do have to be thanked. But not like this. You have just been elected Leader of the Labour Party and thus Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. You hit the ground running:

"Thank you to all of of you who have made me Leader of the Labour Party and - as a consequence, I suppose -  Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. I think we need an Opposition. What is there not to Oppose? The Tories now have all the power in this country thanks to the recent votes of 25% of the electorate. And they have already made it plain that they intend to make the most of that power to serve the interests of the few not the many. That is what we are going to oppose. 

Nor it seems are the Tories going to show any humanity in how they go about things. Mr Cameron's lack of compassion has become clear to everyone in the last couple of weeks. It is to Yvette Cooper's great credit that she found time during this leadership Election campaign to stand up for a decent, generous response to the plight of refugees. That is the kind of thing we stand for. "

Enough said. You work your Thank You's into your speech. You speak to the whole country not just to the party faithful. With a good speech writer, it's easy enough do both at the same time ... and your speech writer can make sure you can find variants on the word "passionate", something Mr Corbyn was unable to do - a real passion-killer that.

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