Jeremy corbyn

Will Keir Starmer ever learn to loosen up?

Tom Baldwin declares at the outset: ‘It’s only fair to warn those hoping to find these pages spattered with blood that they will be disappointed.’ Fair enough. This is not an authorised biography, but it is a friendly one, written with Keir Starmer’s co-operation. Baldwin briefly worked as Labour’s communications director, and then was asked to help Starmer with his autobiography. They did several interviews, but Starmer always had reservations and finally pulled the plug last spring. Instead, he agreed that Baldwin could write this book, using some of the material he had already gathered, and that he would assist him with contacts. Starmer’s worst fault, according to his friends,

Corbyn’s plan to cause trouble for Sir Keir

Earlier this summer, a hundred or so Londoners gathered around a solar-powered stage truck at Highbury Fields to celebrate 40 years of Jeremy Corbyn in parliament. There was music, magic tricks and merriment. Attendees were encouraged to party like it was 2017. The opening act sang: ‘Jezza and me, we agree, we’re all for peace and justice and anti-austerity. We’re voting Jeremy Corbyn, JC for MP for me.’ Left-wing voters, tired of Starmer’s move to the right, might vote Green, independent or not vote at all For those in the Labour party watching from afar, this wasn’t just a celebration – it was the soft launch of Corbyn’s campaign to

The problem with Jeremys

Why is Jeremy Clarkson in trouble so often? Is it because he often appears arrogant, entitled or untouchable? Or is it for a much simpler reason: he’s called Jeremy? This week, in a column for the Sun, he suggested a rather unsavoury Game of Thrones-style punishment for the Duchess of Sussex. The article prompted 20,000 complaints to Ipso – more than the press regulator received in the whole of last year – and led to 64 MPs signing a letter of complaint to the paper’s editor. Clarkson has made a grudging non-apology and persuaded the paper to remove the article from its website, but unsurprisingly this is unlikely to satisfy the lynch mob

Did Jeremy Corbyn win the general election?

Almost five years ago to the day, Amber Rudd had her finest hour in politics. Standing in for the frit Theresa May at the BBC leaders’ debate on May 31, 2017 – even though her father had died only two days earlier – Ms Rudd rescued a Conservative election campaign that appeared to be collapsing. Fixing Jeremy Corbyn with a confident stare, she declared: ‘There isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.’ The phrase was such a hit that Mrs May repeated it a week or so later after she had finally emerged from the wreckage of her ‘nothing has

Eight embarrassed Bercow backers

The verdict is in and it’s not good for John Bercow. Yesterday finally saw the publication of the independent expert panel report into his behaviour as Commons Speaker, with 21 separate allegations of bullying being upheld against the former Buckingham MP. The conclusions of the report were damning: Bercow was judged to be a ‘serial bully’ and a ‘liar’ who ‘repeatedly and extensively’ bullied staff and exhibited ‘behaviour which had no place in any workplace.’ It will be seen as vindication for the members of staff who spoke out against Bercow for years before yesterday’s publication. It’s also damning of those who continued to prop up and cheer on the former Speaker in

Putin must look at the West and laugh

Whatever the West’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty, the crisis demonstrates the limitations of western politics and policy across the board. If Vladimir Putin understands any demographic better than the Russian people, it is the governing class of the West: that Harvard-Oxbridge-Sciences Po axis of toweringly smug and practically interchangeable global-liberals who weep for international norms they weren’t prepared to defend. Their ideas and their sanctions are tired because they are civilisationally tired. Putin knows this, but none of the rival ideologies aiming to replace liberalism have anything better to offer. The failure of the global-liberals comes on many fronts but two of the most significant have been


Five of the worst responses to the Ukraine crisis

Boris Johnson has just got up in the Commons to announce Britain’s response to the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Vladimir Putin last night ordered troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine run by Moscow-backed separatists, prompting fears that the balloon is about to go up. There are a lot of grim faces in Parliament today as MPs meet to ponder the future of the region. Gulp. Johnson told the House that he was announcing sanctions against five Russian banks – Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank – and three Russian high net-worth individuals. While many across Parliament want the PM to go further, it’s by no means

Jeremy Corbyn sides with Russia (again)

Jeremy Corbyn may no longer be Labour leader but he’s still parroting the Kremlin’s lines. It seems like just yesterday the former Leader of the Opposition was accused of siding with Moscow over the Skripal poisonings, having suggested that Novichok samples from the Salisbury attack should be handed over to Russia. Undeterred by the opprobrium he received in 2018, the Islington North MP is one of the usual suspects arguing that the current crisis in Ukraine is the result of – shock, horror! – those dastardly democracies in the West. For Corbyn is part of the gang of hard-left MPs who have signed up to a ludicrously one-sided ‘open letter’ by the ironically-named

Corbyn chief’s Caribbean dispatch

During their four years running the Labour party, most of the protagonists in the Corbyn project became well-known faces to the British public. There was the hapless Richard Burgon and the sinister John McDonnell; the flailing Diane Abbott and the unctuous Barry Gardiner. Even backroom boys like the gum-chewing spin doctor Seumas Milne briefly became minor celebrities, thanks to celebrated cameos in appearances like the 2016 Vice documentary. But one figure who remained largely unknown to the world outside Westminster was Corbyn’s spokesman James Schneider, the co-founder of Momentum. Schneider spent three and a half thankless years at the Corbynista coalface, being sent out to face the media firing squad at daily lobby briefings. It

Six of the worst Zarah Sultana moments

It’s not been a great week for MPs covering themselves in glory. But amid all the malarkey over Owen Paterson and Claudia Webbe, one of their colleagues was embarrassing themselves in a more traditional way: the car-crash television interview. Step forward, Zarah Sultana, whose antics on Wednesday’s Politics Live went somewhat under the radar in light of the conduct of others in parliament. In the programme, the left-wing MP made a number of outlandish claims of the kind that have characterised her brief – but inglorious – political career. These included the suggestion that the fossil fuel industry should be replaced with teachers and carers, that the Democrats lost the Virginia gubernatorial

Rishi in, Keir out: 2020’s most popular baby names

Once the popularity of politicians was judged by how many babies they were asked to kiss – now it’s by how many kids are named after them. The Office for National Statistics has today revealed the most popular baby names for 2020, with Oliver and Olivia remaining the most popular names for boys and girls in England and Wales for the fifth consecutive year. Mothers aged 35 years and over continued to choose more traditional names, while younger mothers opted for more modern and shortened names. But none of that matters here in Westminster where all eyes were (naturally) combing the ONS figures to see how many new mothers and fathers have chosen to

Corbyn cleared by sleaze watchdog

Two years ago life seemed so sweet for Jeremy Corbyn. The magic Grandpa was the leader of a Labour party that was just three points behind in the polls, heading into a snap election which his devoted cheerleaders thought would sweep him into power.  Now though, all that has changed. Stripped of his party whip, embarrassed by his brother Piers, facing loss in his Islington safe seat and eclipsed in the affections of his party’s left-wing, Jezza must be wondering if it was all worth it. Still, Mr S can bring news of one ray of light for the septuagenarian socialist. Corbyn was cleared yesterday by Parliament’s sleaze watchdog following allegations he did not properly

Labour lefties show their solidarity

Once the British left fought for civil rights, social justice and the brotherhood of man. But now such high principles have been discarded in favour of less grandiose battles, judging by the shenanigans of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. The group, established by Tony Benn’s supporters in 1982, boasts the backing of 33 Labour MPs with more comrades in the House of Lords. Members spent the weekend organising a letter in defence of filmmaker Ken Loach, who revealed on Saturday that he has been expelled from the party. The group lionised Loach as ‘an outstanding socialist and a fierce opponent of discrimination’ and decried how ‘Ken is expelled

Kicking out the cranks won’t save Labour

There is a problem with Sir Keir Starmer’s reported plan to expel 1,000 Labour members associated with ‘poisonous’ groups, and not just that there are way more than a thousand poisonous people in the Labour party. The problem – and it’s a common error – is that Sir Keir exaggerates the role played by the far-left in bringing Labour to the point where it has lost four general elections in a row and last led the Tories in a poll almost six months ago. The cranks became more visible after Ed Miliband’s election as leader, more numerous thanks to his three-quid revolution and more powerful when that policy put Jeremy

Why is a Jewish lecturer being investigated for mocking Corbyn?

It’s a tale worthy of Kafka. Dr Pete Newbon, a lecturer in humanities at Northumbria University, is being investigated by his employer for making fun of Jeremy Corbyn. Dr Newbon tweeted a picture of the former Labour leader reading to a group of schoolchildren from Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Only the image had been photoshopped to show Corbyn holding the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion instead. This is what is generally known as ‘satire’. Corbyn’s social media enthusiasts piled on the academic and began bombarding Northumbria University on Twitter, knowing of course that the sort of people who populate higher education PR would be

The world’s unluckiest anti-racist: Corbyn’s greatest hits

Rallies for Palestine were held across the country this weekend which meant of course a starring role for one Jeremy Corbyn. The former Labour leader was introduced on the London platform by comedian Alexei Sayle who – in a move that will hardly aid Jezza’s bid to be readmitted as a Labour MP – dubbed Corbyn’s successor Keir Starmer ‘a little shitbag’ to rapturous cheers from the crowd. Corbyn told the crowds that international action provides ‘succour, comfort and support’ to those suffering in the conflict as they chanted ‘oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ and threw roses as he took to the stage. Unfortunately, as well as appearing on the same platform as notorious rapper

A politician’s guide to non-denial denials

Michael Gove was deployed to the Commons on Monday afternoon to answers questions on the ministerial code, an hour-long appearance in which he was (inevitably) asked about that day’s Daily Mail splash: ‘Boris: Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’. An awkward question for any minister to handle, you might think, but the oleaginous Gove just about got away with it. Asked directly about the reports, the Cabinet Office minister gave a lengthy reply which contained this key passage to wriggle out of trouble again: Tens of thousands of people were dying. The Prime Minister made a decision in that meeting to trigger a second lockdown. He made a

Momentum’s cunning plan would keep the Tories in power forever

Momentum, the Labour campaign group dedicated to keeping Corbynism alive, this week demanded that Keir Starmer commit to introducing a proportional voting system should he win election, replacing the current first past the post model for electing MPs. ‘A popular consensus is building across the labour movement for a change to our first past the post electoral system, which has consistently delivered Tory majorities on a minority of the vote and hands disproportionate power to swing voters in marginal constituencies,’ said Gaya Sriskanthan, Momentum’s co-chair. ‘Momentum will join the charge for PR, as part of a broader commitment to deep democratic change and alongside our strategy of building popular support

Corbyn’s plan to revolutionise the mainstream media

Jeremy Corbyn is hitting the comeback trail. The former Labour leader made the keynote speech at this week’s Media Democracy Festival organised by the Media Reform Coalition. He began by citing his own journalistic credentials. ‘I produced 500 columns for the Morning Star.’ Then he turned to India where 250 million strikers are protesting against the removal of state support for farmers. The strike involves ‘one in thirty of the entire population of the world,’ enthused Corbyn, which makes it the largest industrial dispute in history. But coverage in the UK has been minimal, ‘which says a lot about the priorities and the news values of much of our media outlets

Lansman plots his Cornish comeback

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Five years ago, Tony Benn’s former bag carrier was staging the most extraordinary Labour coup, ushering in the disastrous Bennite restoration that was Jeremy Corbyn’s rule.  Then he went on to found Momentum — Labour’s party within a party, the vanguard of the proletariat that would keep Labour’s wayward liberal MPs on the narrow path of socialism. That path so nearly reached its conclusion at the 2017 general election when Corbyn came within a few thousand votes of No. 10. Since then, catastrophe. Labour obliterated, the leadership lost to a competent social democrat.  And yet the true path of socialism continues, meandering as it does