LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
22 September 2016
Taking the Biscuit

Assuming you might be part of the Corbyn cult - you’ve bought a suit and you
now button your top shirt button when you tie your new tie - any word – literally
any word said against him is not a good idea, is it? Any equivocating Labourite
could receive 25,000 shockingly vile responses like Labour MP Ruth Smeeth,
who needs police protection, including at the Labour Conference. Hint: time for
a re-think before signing in blood your lifetime devotion to JC.

H
owever, several people are taking that dangerous risk.  Hints: one of his ex-
wives, Mumset, Channel 4 and BBC are a few examples.

Corbyn's ex-wife defected and voted for Owen Smith in the Labour leadership
contest. A pointless vote, but a vote nonetheless. Point made.

Professor (please take note here) Jane Chapman said the obvious on BBC
Radio 5: “He hasn't actually changed much politically (much? really?) that begs
the question, are the politics of the 1970s relevant to the 21st century and post-
Brexit Britain?” Rhetorical…although she did mention his attachment to his
ideological obsessions, but not that 50-year-old beard. But we can. Oh for God’s
sake, Jezza.

Married to Jezza in 1974 for five years, he and Professor Chapman seemed to
have split over his ‘political fixations and oh oops, Diane Abbott, current Shadow
Health Secretary. Word is J and D got together after the split. If you believe that
you’ll believe Labour will win the next election. Just saying. Professor Chapman
backed JC for the top job a year ago out of “loyalty”.

She was asked: “When was the last time you spoke to Jeremy?” and she
responded: “I commented in a media interview that food and domestic things
were not his strong point and if he was hungry he would often open a tin of
beans and eat them cold... his commitment is 100 per cent... in terms of how
you spend your time when you're in your 20s ... I think by the end of my 20s I
felt I wanted children, I wanted to do things that other young people do as well,
go to cinema, go dancing ... have a bit of fun and I didn't want to spend quite so
much proportion of time on politics ... it was a lifestyle decision.” Now who
wouldn’t want to dance? Did I mention she is a professor of communication?“…I
look at media performance very critically…”

Funnily enough when brilliant actor, Dominic Cooper lived with his good friend
James Corden: It was “madness”…it didn’t offer a firm foundation of
existence…eating baked beans from a can…” Hmmm. Just saying – again.
               
Now that leads us into Jezza’s preferences as revealed in the rite of passage
‘biscuit interview’ on the leading web forum for mums. Lest we forget, Gordon
Brown didn’t know his favourite biscuit until the next day.

No surprise, Jezza went right into self-righteousness: “I’m totally anti-sugar on
health grounds, so eat very few biscuits (oh Jez, what about all those sugar beet
workers/farmers?), but if forced to accept one (forced?... forced? I’m losing
patience here) it’s always a pleasure to have a shortbread.” Forced pleasure?
Not going there. Curiously Scottish voters are not supporting you are they,
Jezza? What a fun guy. Okay. We never thought he was – ever - did we? Rich
Tea or possibly plain digestives seem more appropriate.

Oops. We have a problem. Mumsnet users were keen to note that JC is famous
for making his special jam. Quelle horreur! Not an incongruity, Jez!? Jam: sugar
to fruit ratio? One to one. Oh Jez. Now we are disappointed. One user asked:
“Could you explain your recipe for jam?” So Jezza?

Jezza’s favourite book? You don’t know? Well after taking a guess and getting it
wrong, the answer is James Joyce’s
Ulysses. Really. A personal choice or
simply his inability to move beyond university? JC said: “I think the prize (huh?
did we know this was a competition?) has to go to
Ulysses (JC doesn’t really
seem like a stream-of-consciousness kind of guy does he?) on the grounds that
it’s very hard to understand that first time and doesn’t get much easier on the
third or fourth reading of it. All 265,000 words and a lexicon of 30,030 words
read at least four times? It’s his favourite because he can’t ever understand it?
I'm thinking we should be worried.

John Sutherland, professor of Modern English literature at UCL: “It is a novel
without a single working-class character.” Oh JC. Your private education is
showing. “It is about an old man who is disappointed in life.
(Perfect so far.)
Most of it is about sex and crapping. It has the most vivid descriptions of
crapping in literature – it has always been prohibited.” Oh too much information,
Jezza.  

Marilyn Monroe was photographed reading it, but then was when she wanted to
be literate enough for Arthur Miller.

He’s baaaaaackkkk. David Miliband is back and he has an agenda. He has said
that the Labour Party has “never been further from power”.

Writing in the
New Statesman, the former Foreign Secretary said the Labour
party was “at the margins” of politics as a matter of choice. “The party has
ended up pre-New Labour in policy and culture when we need to be post New
Labour.”

And: “This year's leadership election has spent a lot of time debating how to
'bring back' various lost icons, such as nationalised railways, rather than
focusing on new ideas for the future.”

He understandably blames his brother Ed for the “result of choices” (not
fratricide then?) that have damaged the left in Britain in a way that was not
inevitable…that £3 entrance fee for example.  But Jezza gets blamed as well.
“There is one other element that is not only undesirable, but disastrous. It is the
critique that everyone who disagrees with Jeremy Corbyn is in fact a closet Tory
– or 'Tory lite'” or traitor.

David also accused Corbyn of making Labour “unelectable” and is vicious in his
criticism of the leader’s foreign policy in particular. “The half-hearted message
about Europe is a betrayal of millions of working people. The equivocation on
Nato in the face of Russia's intimidation of nations in her former sphere of
influence is dangerous and throws away progressive values.”

If you have forgotten, David has been based in New York and is head of the
International Rescue Committee which deals with the global refugee crisis. A
man who follows through on his ethical position, Jezza. Are we wondering what
his favourite biscuit is? A handsome, charming one?

Oh dear, a crisis looming. Nearly half of all unskilled workers and manual
workers believe JC is “out of touch” and, repeat oh dear again, “an election
loser”. Indeed.

A BMG Research polling revealed, taking into consideration the austerity
suffered, just 22 per cent of the working class viewed JC as “in touch with
voters” while 42 per cent viewed him as “out of touch” and more than one third
thought him incompetent, with 32 per cent of middle class voters said he was
competent. Oh comrade Corbyn. Time for a moment of tea – sans milk or sugar
– and half a biscuit – no jam, JC.

Back to biscuits – well, and a bit more actually. Endlessly wondering who might
replace the irreplaceable Mel and Sue on the Great British Bake Off? Deep
breath in. Gok Wan and Alan Carr. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh. Oh now that’s a winning
combination. It must be a joke.

If you are still interested in biscuits, Mary Berry refused their offer of £7m. Paul
Hollywood didn’t – but we only know he has said yes to a salary increase.
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