You remember Peter Mandelson? Now Lordied he was the ultimate New Labour product and creator. The Grima Wormtongue of Blairite insiderdom positively bealing with toxic gossip and Machivallian 90s control-freakery. Yesterday, like his gimp, he ‘stepped out of the shadows’ with the sort of botched resurrectionist wheeze that would have worked when we were all so media-dense as to fall for his pesky tricks. In efforts now unconvincingly denied by everybody he had tried to convince all the candidates to Stand Down to Stop Corbyn!
It all went horribly wrong for Lord Wormtongue though as his failed effort to short-circuit the democratic process backfired in media glee. The Independent reporting that: “Lord Mandelson tried to persuade the three mainstream Labour leadership candidates to quit en masse to stop leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn and force the party to suspend the election. The newspaper says the plan was dropped after it was pointed out that Mr Corbyn being the only candidate left in the race would in fact cause him to win it.”
Ah, A fatal flaw in an otherwise cunning plan.
In scenes redolent of the Thick of It series 3 Labour is now eating itself live on air in an orgy of post-ideological mass stupidity created in the petri-dish of their own thirty year experiment in Tory Lab Politics.
Everybody was busy denying something that had clearly happened. Ms Kendall said: “Neither me nor anybody in my team was approached. I have no idea where that came from.”
Laughably the three other candidates, who have less impression in a three month campaign than a void inside a vacuum are now (get this) “jockeying to be a so-called ‘unity candidate’ to stop Mr Corbyn”.
I’d call the Higgs-Boson project urgently.
Jeremy Corbyn may be the just the husk of the latest meme, a sort of Nick Clegg-heavy, a glorious anti-charisma hero, But that’s sill better than the other execrable candidates caught in the tail-lights of Blair’s long departure trail.
We’re told that ‘A poll by YouGov showed Mr Corbyn with a 32 point lead over his nearest rival, later re-calculated to 37 per cent.’ Until such time that any of his opposition candidates have anything to say other than to mouth the stale words from his mouth with a 48 hour delay, this contest is over.
But what does it mean? Some wild delusional chit-chat is in the air. He will be slaughtered and the dregs of the Labour Party doesn’t have the same resonance, authenticity, connectivity or presence as Podemos, Syriza or the Yes movement. Can he win? ‘Yes he can’. Can he win beyond a Labour poll? Maybe he can. But it will need a huge resurgence beyond the party to resurrect and connect. A slightly timid Bennite agenda needs organisational form as well as political ideal. It needs imagination and guile as well as principle and continuity. If that comes and the Corbyn campaign gets the ambition it deserves then it’s all to play for,
The botched Project Fear 2 is just funny to witness, Corybn fans should grasp the thistle and skip past the void politics of Yesterday’s Men. For Labour, the hand of history really is, once more on their shoulder.