Friday, October 30, 2015

The North by North Westminster: The Lizards Who Rule the World Have Been Revealed

Friday 30th October
There are those who are convinced that the world is run by unseen forces; that all of our political systems and markets and our very lives are controlled by malign, anonymous powers. Until this week, I have been utterly dismissive of this idea. But no longer, for I believe this insidious force has been uncovered this week. And it’s…
Yes, the Danish, tiny brick manufacturer has a degree of influence which is terrifying. Firstly this week, they refused to supply a large order of bricks to the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, saying that they don’t supply bricks for political statements.
Which is odd, because yesterday in Reykjavik, a summit of European leaders, including David Cameron, featured a number of activities, including making a duck out of six pieces of Lego.
See: at the same time, Lego is stifling freedom of expression, and influencing European statesmanship. They are the lizards who rule the world.
It makes sense when you think about it. After all, why do you think they built Legoland in Windsor? Saves on Liz’s travel expenses.

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And here is a NByNW Balloon Debate - The Commons vs The Lords

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Chilcot is the Two Million Word Man

Thursday 29th October
Poor John Chilcot. He is loathed by everyone.
He’s loathed by the public because he has taken too long to publish his report into the Iraq War.
He’s loathed by David Cameron because he has taken too long to publish his report into the Iraq War.
And he’s loathed by Tony Blair because he hasn’t taken long enough to publish his report into the Iraq War.
Today, he has finally revealed the timetable for the release of that report, and it’s going to be another eight or nine months before we see it.
This had led to more exasperation from all those who have waited patiently for answers, and Sir John seems to be the main target for their ire.
“This is so unfair,” he screams. “I’ve written two million words in this report. Two million! That’s seven-and-a-half times the length of Ulysses, the most infamously impenetrable novel of all time.”
“Yeah,” says Lady Chilcot, “but is your prose as soaring?”

“Right, that’s it!” he declares. “I’m rewriting the whole thing in iambic pentameter!”

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The North by North Westminster: Jeremy Whiteadder Chastises the Wicked Child from No 10

Wednesday 28th October
Fans of Blackadder will recall the episode where, on the same night, Edmund has to hold a piss-up in one room of his house, and stress his puritanical credentials to his aunt and uncle in another room. There was something of that in Prime Minister’s Questions today, as the Tories sounded like a bunch of yobs on the sauce, and Mr Corbyn sounded like Lady Whiteadder chastising with the phrase “wicked child”.
The issue was, as one would expect, tax credits. Jeremy wanted to know whether the Prime Minister could guarantee today that no-one would be worse off next year under the revised proposals. The Prime Minister responded that the honourable gentleman (note the lack of “right” in that title) would have to wait for the Autumn Statement.
The PM sat down to the tune of some braying from his rowdy supporters, before Jez hit back by asking the simple yes or no question again. The PM responded with the same answer, and sat down to the tune of some more braying.
Not showing any hint of exasperation, Mr Corbyn continued with “This is the time where we ask questions to the Prime Minister on behalf of the people of this country.”
At which point, one of the hoodlums from the Treasury Bench thought it was a good idea to shout out with a gibe. Jez gave his now characteristic glare over the rim of his glasses – a look which translates as “Wicked child!”
The pisshead-impressionists hollered at the perfectly calm Leader of the Opposition, who looked as though he was growing into his role in much the same way as his tie is growing into his collar. He stood for ten seconds waiting for the Tories to shut their gobs. He asked the question again, and the same uncommitted response came forth.
Jez asked the question a fourth time, and a female Labour MP shouted “Answer the question!” That really got the lads going, with some hooting and ooing. Honestly, their repertoire of noises is so bestial that it could be used by a sound editor on a David Attenborough programme.
This time, David Flashman thought it that a taunt of his own was in order. Citing the activity of the Lords earlier this week, he declared that there was a new alliance between “the unelected and the unelectable”. The party behind him loved that, roaring “More! More!”; clearly unaware that they sounded like a repellent rugby society.
Corbyn tried a different tactic, citing Michael Gove’s statement in the election that tax credits would not be raised. At this point, the thought occurred that the PM was reluctant to answer questions because the answer he gave on this very issue in the election edition of Question Time had come back to haunt him so. In his answer, where he evaded the question once again, he had the temerity to tell Mr Corbyn to “get off the fence”.
Against a wall of growling, Jez tried one last time to get an answer, this time with a question from Karen. At which point, Conservative MPs snorted their derision.
“It might be very amusing to members opposite, but I was sent this question by Karen” said Jeremy. And it turned out that Karen works full-time at the living wage. She would lose hundreds of pounds. Comedy gold, you will agree.
“I ask him for a sixth time,” sighed Corbyn, and for the sixth time answer came there none.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Jakey Cries to Nanny

Tuesday 27th October
The fallout from yesterday’s dramatic blocking of Tax Credit cuts by the House of Lords is in full swing. Gideon Osborne is wandering from news camera to news camera trying to looking like a sixth form swat who’d just been given detention, and in the manner of such smart alecs is raging at the injustice which has surely landed them in it, rather than focussing on his own lack of judgement.
But spare a thought for the no doubt exhausted Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has been speaking of this grand constitutional upheaval for a week now. At least, I think that’s what he’s saying. It sort of gets lost in a blaze of dates and names. He’s like a proto version of the Hulk. When he gets angry, he turns into a grey giant, lecturing on obscure history.
No doubt last night, he retired to home in and was greeted by his nanny bearing a mug of Ovaltine.
“I don’t understand it, nanny” he says. “Why can’t ordinary people understand the enormous violation of the privilege of the House of Commons, established in 1678? It speaks of the execrable state of our education system that the common man cannot converse on this. The sooner we carpet the provinces with Grammar Schools, the better.
“I fear the repetition of Earl Grey’s attempt to create more peers. He’s my favourite Prime Minister, Earl Grey. Such a fine name for a politician.”
“I don’t know poppet,” replies nanny. “Does this measure not attract the ire of 1702 resolution, codified as Standing Order 53?”
“Don’t be silly, nanny! Of course it doesn’t. Even a street urchin could see that. Have you been at the grog again?”
“Well I needed something to help me get through all of your speeches.”

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Monday, October 26, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Lordy, Lordy. The Peers are the Champions of the Poor

Monday 26th October
The House of Lords has awoken from its statutory slumber. The place which is normally used as a cure for insomnia has suddenly become a place of grand excitement, as they have voted to delay the Government’s highly controversial changes to tax credits.
This leaves George Osborne fuming and forced to present a number of transitory measures. In his press pool interview, he repeats the phrase “unelected Lords” like he was John McDonnell saying “embarrassing”.
Constitutional upheaval is promised, but what form that might take is as yet unclear. The hot favourite is that George and David will create many more of the “unelected Lords” they despise so much.
If you are interested in becoming a Tory peer, please send an application to:

I Want £300 a Day to Be Blindly Obedient
PO Box 0001

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Friday, October 23, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: TalkTalk Responsible for Being Victim of Breathtaking Crime

Friday 23rd October
It’s all very convenient for the producers of the new Bond film Spectre.
Having crafted a film where the threat is in information and computers and basically casts the digital age as the ultimate battleground of non-state terror, they really needed a news story which could chime with the themes of the movie.
Enter TalkTalk, which has been assaulted by hackers who have taken vast swathes of data, including personal and financial details of customers. There has now been a ransom demand, blackmailing the company. As criminality goes, it is the equivalent of the Great Train Robbery, the Hatton Garden Jewellery theft, and the plot of Ocean’s Eleven all rolled into one and then multiplied several times over.
Customers are naturally worried and upset, but many have turned their fire on the company. One woman on the news said she was seeking another provider (fair enough) – one that wouldn’t “leak data by accident”.
“Leak data”? You mean like how the Millennium Dome leaked those diamonds when some crooks drove a JCB into it?
It’s a sign of the terrifying world we live in where there is such vulnerability, but also such a lack of understanding. Naively, we don’t seem to worry too much about giving our personal details to our banks, utility suppliers and so on, but do worry about governments having access to our Facebook. Concerning in principle, but if someone at GCHQ wants to trawl through all of the invites I get to start-up business, fringe theatres or, dare I say it, satirical Facebook Pages, best of luck to them. Perhaps they can let me know which ones are actually worth attending.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Bye-bye Biden

Thursday 22nd October
International news, and we’re checking in with the ongoing Presidential Election in the United States. And by “ongoing”, I mean “hasn’t actually started yet – still two-and-a-half months to go until the first primary”.
The Republicans have taken most of the publicity because they’re current front-runners are a mannequin from a barbershop and a surprisingly racist African American. Meanwhile, the Democrats are being fearfully dull by sticking with the same front-runner they’ve had for seven years.
Hillary Clinton currently leads by 26 points, and all the hope was pinned on Vice President Joe Biden entering the race and shaking things up. Not because he’d be able to stop the inevitable, but because he would inject some of the bat-shit craziness that has made the GOP’s contest so watchable.
This is the man who, at a campaign event, invited a local State Senator to stand-up. “Where are ya Chuck? Stand-up Chuck!” he shouted, forgetting that Chuck Graham was in fact wheelchair-bound. Also, upon being named Obama’s running mate in 2008, he made a very convincing case as to why Hillary would have been a better VP. His announcement yesterday that he would not be running in 2016 came as a blow to Vine account users everywhere.
So, where will a challenge to Hillary come from, if one does at all? Certainly not from Lincoln Chafee, who in a poll after the recent Democratic Debate received not 1%, nor 0%. Rather, he got “*%”. The other candidates got 99% between them. *% seems exceedingly harsh.
The likeliest candidate is Mr Sanders, a dishevelled maverick from the left-wing of the party whose supporters are convinced that he’s more popular than the polls suggest because all of their friends agree that he’s the optimistic hopeful they’ve been waiting for, and anyone who disagrees is clearly part of a capitalist conspiracy.
I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Only One Direction for Rees-Mogg - Back to the Past

Wednesday 21st October
The migrant crisis really is just getting worse. There was a full two minute piece about it on the news, and we saw these poor people being herded about the place, all hopeful and expectant, and then being told by a man to go home, and they wept and they wailed. It was a real scene of human misery.
Later, it transpired that this was actually about the cancellation of a One Direction gig. Two minutes coverage on the lunchtime news. The arrival of 114 people on boats at a British base in Cyprus received a cursory mention. Proportionate news broadcasting at its best.
Meanwhile, Wednesday brought another round of Prime Minister’s Questions and Jeremy Corbyn delivered his most assured performance yet, but whenever he had Cameron unsettled, he changed subject.
Tax credits featured heavily, but only one man has identified the real issue. As ever, the matter has only been truly analysed by the searing, contemporary scrutiny of Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Yes, the Member for the 19th Century is worried about the widespread speculation that the House of Lords will chuck out the credit cuts, despite the fact that the Commons has now backed the plans twice.
Now, the Tories don’t have a majority in the Lords, and opposition Peers feel they are entitled to vote against the measure because:
a) it wasn’t in the Tory manifesto, and
b) the piece was introduced as secondary legislation, rather than a finance bill.
On Back to the Future Day, Rees-Mogg’s question took us back to 1678, and led to accusations that he was being “disingenuous” with his critiques of “the other place”.
However, it does seem like a delicious irony that the left may end up thanking their lucky stars when the deliverance from tax credit cuts comes from the House of Lords.
After all, it’s an anachronistic and undemocratic institution: but it works!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Cameron Keeps His Friends Close, and His Financiers Closer

Tuesday 20th October
There’s a State Visit in town, and after last week’s controversies over our relationship with Saudi Arabia, David Cameron could really use the visit being from a country with an excellent human rights record.
It’s not from one of those.
Still, just so long as it’s an economic partner who is contributing to the greater good of British industry, and not, for instance, one that is actually directly responsible for… oh, I don’t know... this week's collapse of our steel industry, say.
Oh dear. It appears the state in question is exactly that.
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is here, with all the usual fanfare of a State Visit, but with a more than usual number of awkward questions. Why do you arrest so many political opponents? Why do you allow sweat shops? Why are we putting up with your cheap steel that’s destroying one of our last industries standing? You know – the sort of light dinner party conversation you’d expect at Jeremy Corbyn’s house, and why all eyes are on him at tonight’s state banquet.
They are big and important questions though, and given them it is concerning the President Xi told Parliament today that Britain and China are becoming “a community of shared interests”. Be calmed though. It seems like our shared interests only include money, energy infrastructure, football and money again.
And we have spoken to China about human rights, with the now traditional game of inter-governmental charades, where David Cameron tries to get President Xi to guess “human rights”. Upon the President’s correct guess, he asks “What are human rights?”, to which the Prime Minister responds “They’re not important. It’s just important that we mentioned them.”
It took a while to get to that stage. The Prime Minister attempted the first word by pointing to himself repeatedly, and Mr Xi only got to “human” via guesses of “toff”, “lame duck” and “Miss Piggy’s fiancĂ©”.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Cameron Goes to Extremes

Monday 19th October
David Cameron is having one of those awkward British moments. You know the sort. You really want to talk honestly about race or religion and you don’t want to upset anybody, but then in your efforts to Morris dance round the subject, you end up saying something that upsets a lot of people.
As it happens, he was talking about Islamic Extremism, and whilst he went so far as to say that “extremists in no way represent the true spirit of Islam”, his actual programme ended up pissing off a lot of the Muslims he was trying to engage.
The Muslim Council of Britain was particularly irate. It’s Secretary General, Dr Shuja Shafi, said moves actually suggested "all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a 'compliance' test to prove our loyalty to this country", and that he detected “McCarthyist undertones”.
No doubt, these moves that particularly single out one religion carry a great risk of alienation, but “McCarthyist” seems a little alarmist. Maybe it’s something about the difference between British and American political discourse, but you can’t really imagine a parliamentary committee routinely asking people “Are you now or have you ever been an attendee at a community centre in Bradford that we’re not quite sure about?”
Anyway, in an attempt to pour oil on the waters, the Prime Minister sent out Theresa May, who has a recent track record of unifying rhetoric and impeccably judged comments on multiculturalism.
The Home Secretary said that the Government was aiming at “all those who spread hate”, and included neo-Nazism in this. This appears to be quite a sound doctrine, and to that end, Ms May should perhaps take a look at a really vile, divisive and poisonous speech that was delivered by a crazed zealot in Manchester earlier this month. She shouldn’t have to look too far to find it. She probably still has a draft of it in her office.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: If you U-turn when you're not going anywhere, does it make any difference?

Monday 12th October
The campaign to stay in the EU launches today as Britain Stronger in Europe, led by Lord Rose, the former boss of M&S. It is packed with leading lights from the worlds of business (Lord Rose), politics (err… Caroline Lucas) and former presenters of T4 (June Sarpong). In fairness, all of them are passionate and effective campaigners and, no doubt, their numbers will be added to.
However, they face accusations that they are using fear to ward off people from changing the status quo. These accusations are dismissed, before the campaign describes leaving the EU as a “leap in the dark”.
Clearly, Lord Rose has enjoyed many relaxing, fearless leaps into the dark. I tend to associate them with falls, bruises and getting into regrettable situations in nightclubs.

Tuesday 13th October
It was only a matter of time.
The leadership of the Labour party was always on a collision course with the parliamentary party, and at last night’s meeting of the PLP, it all kicked off. John McDonnell told MPs that he has u-turned on the Fiscal Charter; George Osborne’s attempt to bind governments into running a budget surplus.
Labour MPs are disbelieving, not because they necessarily dislike this stance, but rather because they cannot believe they’ve got to this point in the first place. It looks inept and this flip-flopping has sparked accusations of incompetence. Ben Bradshaw MP described it as a “total fucking shambles”.
The weird thing is that many backbench MPs are considering defying the party whip, despite the fact that they describe the charter as “non-credible” and “not a good idea”. It seems that some will abstain just to register discontent with the leadership.
It appears that the Labour Whips’ job is now to take a near-daily no confidence motion on Jeremy Corbyn.

Wednesday 14th October
Rifts in the Labour Party are as obvious as the Grand Canyon, but those in the Conservative Party are a little more like the San Andreas Fault: very dangerous but seemingly ignored.
Today, there’s news that the Cabinet is split over the scrapping of a controversial £5.9 million contract to train Saudi prison officers. Michael Gove was against it. Philip Hammond was for it. As was Theresa May, whose interest in the Saudi penal system is concerning, given her recent hardline views on other issues.
With a high-profile human rights case in process, it appears that the PM has decided that this deal doesn’t look good. However, two similar contracts with a system which regularly lops people’s hands off are A-OK apparently, and so the government is maintaining those.
Supporters of the deal say engagement with such regimes is a way of achieving change, whilst disengagement achieves nothing. Perhaps, but it does seem curious that the theory of engagement meets with such absolute resistance from Corbynites. After all, what will his Middle Eastern “friends” think of that position?

Thursday 15th October
Unsurprisingly, George Osborne passed his Fiscal Charter last night. The Commons debate was largely for show, but John McDonnell still managed to use it to make his face even redder than it was earlier in the week.
He did so by acknowledging that his U-turn had been “embarrassing”. Unfortunately, a Tory wag made a funny just before McDonnell said the word “embarrassing”, causing Conservatives to explode into hysterics. So, whilst waiting for the noise to die down, the Shadow Chancellor ended up mindlessly repeating the word “embarrassing” four times, on top of his initial use of the word “embarrassing”.
Which was embarrassing.

Friday 16th October
The Fiscal Charter Fallout continues. The 21 Labour abstainers have been inundated with abusive e-mails from Corbyn supporters, demanding resignations and calling them “Tory lite” and a “waste of a space”. All for abstaining on a vote that the Labour leadership didn’t have a coherent position on. So much for the kinder politics.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph has an anonymous quote from a Shadow Minister who said “Jeremy Corbyn has got no control over his party... It is only a matter of time before there's a resignation.” So much for party loyalty.
Infighting, division and accusations of incompetence and betrayal are serious – symptomatic of ineffective opposition, which was brought into sharp focus by the appearance of Michelle Dorrell on Question Time. She broke down whilst describing her forthcoming hardship in the face of the tax credit cuts, and the betrayal she feels given that she voted Tory in May, when they promised that child tax credit would not be cut.
Mr McDonnell said this week that he had not changed policy, but parliamentary tactics. Funny, because the policy changed, but the parliamentary tactics remained ineffective. Had he always avoided Osborne’s crude political trap, by abstaining from a vote on the stunt and asking how it helps people who are about to be vastly worse off, then this diary would have been very different this week, and the narrative would have been so too. 

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Friday, October 9, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Tony Cameron Begins "New Tory" Project

Monday 5th October
The Conservative Conference is under way in Manchester, and today it is the opportunity of real, living ventriloquist doll George Osborne to make his case to the nation. Painting a picture of the steady construction of a new Britain, he frequently repeated “We are the builders”. And who can deny that the Tories are? I mean, look at all the spare houses they’ve built.
Controversies remain over the changes to tax credits though. Jeremy Hunt lurches to George’s defence by saying that the new policies will encourage Britons to work hard “like the Chinese”. It is claimed that he has been wilfully misquoted, but he definitely drew the comparison. Pity the little children of the Hunt household, for theirs is a childhood of early starts, late finishes and homemade Nike trainers.

Tuesday 6th October
This morning, the Prime Minister is spending time insisting that his “great team” are focussed on the job of governing, and not on who’s going to succeed him at the end of the Parliament. Though, with key members of his “great team” working together to suggest that they would be a great successor, currently DC is to team management what Stuart Lancaster is to team management.
Today, Theresa May is trying to get some momentum behind her in the party by performing her new Concerto for Dog-Whistles. In her Conference speech, the Home Secretary delivers a staggering rejection of the worth of immigration which flies in the face of her department’s own figures, dodging the complexities of the issue which it is her job to master. Oh, and she crowbars in a disparaging remark about Europe as well. Just to get some hard right juices really flowing.

Wednesday 7th October
And so we come to David Cameron’s conference speech. It begins as one might expect with triumphalism and attacks on Labour, particularly their “security-threatening, terrorist sympathising. Britain-hating,” oft-misquoted, cycling, gardening, seems quite nice on the whole, leader.
Labour say this attack is a sign that Cameron is “rattled”. Which seems odd because he then calmly proceeded to move the Conservative Party to Blairite ground. Not just a little bit. Almost utterly.
This is "New Tory". The speech contained numerous liberal passages, delivered with apparent conviction, on issues such as discrimination, equality and prisons. Cameron even made proud mention of ministers who are the children of immigrants. To which Theresa May applauded, apparently with no sense of irony
This was the most lefty speech the Tory Conference had heard for… well, possibly ever. They applauded it several times, though there was no mention of the tax credit cuts (how’s that working for your “party that helps the poor”), and there was no mention of the environment, but I understand that that’s because those huskies got a restraining order.
Centre-left commentators on Twitter were in a full-blown identity crisis, whilst Corbynistas expressed outrage and heavy scepticism, arguing that his sweet words were betrayed by his harsh reality.
Cameron won’t mind though. His speech was very well-received. Even by Tony Blair, who sent him a short text simply saying: “You have done well, my apprentice.”

Thursday 8th October
One thing we can be sure of in this strange new age is that Jeremy Corbyn hates Britain. The Prime Minister told me so.
But, perhaps I was misinformed. So, I turn to the right-wing press, and I am told that he thinks he’s better than the Queen. The traitor.
He’s skipping today’s Privy Council meeting, where he would have to meet HMQ in what is largely a formality, because he has “prior commitments”. The Britain-despising bastard.
He’s not like David Cameron. When he became leader, he took three months to go to a PC meeting. Whereas Corbyn still hasn’t knelt before the hereditary Head of State, and he has been in the job for… less than a month.
It occurs to me that…
this story is bollocks.

Friday 9th October
The Leave the EU camp, which Nigel Farage declared to be unified two weeks ago, has achieved ever closer unity with the creation of yet another rivalling campaign seeking the designation of official campaign to leave.
This is “Vote Leave”, a cross-party campaign with the support of, amongst others, UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell, because his party is so unified. They have millionaire donors, and a flashy ad where an economic case is made, but the key image is the spectre of St Thomas’ Hospital evaporating into the sky if we stay in. Which seems like an extravagant policy even for Brussels.
Surely we’re able to agree that forced vaporisation of healthcare facilities must be stopped?
Well, we are, but I’m not sure that the disparate Leave camps can. They appear to hate the European Union so much that they have taken against all forms of unity in general.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

The North by North Westminster Diary: Corbyn's Nuclear Family Begins Its Fission

Monday 28th September
The Labour Party Conference is in full swing, with the New Politics operating in the last space to have been created by the old order. As Corbynistas throng about in fervent glee, the newly ousted moderates sit there being very convivial outwardly, but plotting behind closed doors.
The trouble for them is that Corbyn has a huge mandate within all aspects of the party, and if he can translate that to the wider electorate then their age is truly gone.
Corbyn’s problem is that if he stands up and sings The Red Flag, and proposes policies according to that spirit straight away, then that nebulous judge of all things – Middle England – will run to the Tories faster than Sepp Blatter supporters to anyone other than Sepp Blatter.
So, today it’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s turn, where he tries to toe the line between new age radical and reasonable economic thinker. He does well by acknowledging the dilemma, but then destroys that by describing the New New (Old) Labour approach as “aggressive”. From a man who was recently accused of supporting insurrection on the streets, it was a choice of words almost designed to worry the unconverted.

Tuesday 29th September
Finally, Jeremy Corbyn gets his first proper chance to make his pitch to the nation as he delivers his speech to the Labour Party Conference. So, he faced a choice between talking to the public or trotting out the same hustings pitch he’s used to incredible if parochial success for three months now.
Well, struggling to achieve unity in the party, he chose the latter, and attempted to win over doubters in the party by the tactic of Quantative Standing Ovations. The resulting speech wearied delegates knees and hands, but was often like listening to that seminal greatest hits album Now, That’s What I Call Len McCluskey’s Internal Monologue, but With the Rude Bits Censored for Live Broadcast.
The broad response was, therefore, a three-way split: those who were going to love it, loved it; those who were going to dislike it, disliked it; and those who were undecided, remain undecided.
Given that, it feels like there is very little to add. Apart from the fact that, though this was the first set-piece of the New Politics, it has now transpired that large sections of it were written four years ago for Ed Miliband, but the former leader rejected it.
That’s Corbyn for you. He’s the totem for all things spurned by Labour Leaders Past.

Wednesday 30th September
That should have been that for Corbyn. However, he just keeps the media circus on the road.
Yesterday he restated his opposition to the Trident nuclear deterrent in his speech, and was asked about it this morning on the Today Programme, where he revealed that, were he Prime Minister, he would never push the nuclear button.
This makes Labour’s policy debate on the issue pretty irrelevant. It’s basically become about whether they’d like to spend billions on buying an elephant for Prime Minister Corbyn to have in his room.
Labour frontbenchers have offered a range of reactions to this. At one extreme, the ever-verbally-cautious Andy Burnham went for disagreement, whilst at the other end, Shadow Defence Secretary Maria Eagle criticised her leader, describing his words as “not helpful”.
Meanwhile, David Cameron is breathing a sigh of relief that no-one’s had the nous to ask him “When would you press the button?”, whereupon we could all rehearse the scene from Yes, Prime Minister, where it is revealed bit by bit that no Prime Minister ever would.
Apart from Boris maybe. He seems like the sort who’d do it with gusto.

Thursday 1st October
Let’s check in with the Americans, because the trees of the Republican Presidential Primary are yielding very strange fruit.
Runaway leader and satirists’ wet dream, Donald Trump, has been at it again, and by “it” I mean “casual, mindless racism”.
Let’s be clear: it isn’t racist to take a strong stance on immigration. However, it’s pretty racist to say that all Mexicans coming to America are “rapists”, and to renege on a pledge to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees because it might bring a 200,000 strong army from ISIS to America is pretty racist, totally sensationalist and, most evidently of all, utterly innumerate.
Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States.

Friday 2nd October
And so the week draws to a close with the Labour Leader drawing heat for his wish to abolish Britain’s nuclear defences, an industry in the North collapsing and resulting in numerous redundancies, and all manner of tension between Russia and America over military operations in an Arabic country.
So, basically, this weekend the entire globe is indulging in some kind of grotesque 80s nostalgia party. Welcome to the New Politics.

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