Week 34: Prat – Jeremy Corbyn

by Ray_North on August 25, 2015

prat_iconThis week’s Prat is the Labour Leadership Candidate and MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn.

Yes Jeremy, you may be the poster boy of the left, you may be the people’s champion, you may or not be the most invigorating positive force that British politics has seen for a generation, but if you are to become leader of the Labour party, you are going to have to cut out the moments of pratishness.

Like last week.

Throughout this campaign, Corbyn’s been dogged by allegations that he has befriended and supported various wide eyed lunatics from the extremes of various debates. Personally, I’m fairly relaxed about this – until last month it was his role in life to engender debate and allow certain people to have a say that they otherwise would have been denied.

He fulfilled that role perfectly properly.

However, now things have changed for Corbyn and he can’t have it both ways – he can’t put himself forward as the honest and unspun voice of the people and conveniently forget that he has, in his time, shared a platform with a number of rather unsavoury characters.

Last week, Corbyn appeared on a phone in for Radio 4, during which he was asked if he had ever shared a platform with the Lebanese extremist and anti-semite Dyab About Jahjah, his answer was an emphatic: ‘I’ve never heard of him.’ (before, to be fair, he made a very impassioned rejection of any suggestion that he was anti-semitic). Corbyn is not so green to realise that the good people of the BBC don’t ask questions like this unless they’ve got a bit more than just hearsay or idle speculation, and lo and behold, an hour or so later, there it was, the photograph of Corbyn and Jahjah on the same stage.

Now, in my opinion the idea that Corbyn is an extremist or anti-semite is risible, but, he is a bit of a prat, because, given the position he is now in, and the possibility that he might in the next few weeks, become the leader of the opposition, he can’t issue blanket denials willy-nilly and hope that an issue will go away – if Corbyn is to be taken seriously, he’s got to do away with the prattery, fess up to some of his past stupidity and accept that, actually, in the process of being a ‘professional lefty’ over the last two decades, he has shared various stages with all manner of people he probably should have stayed away from.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth August 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Two decades of prattery? More like four.

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chris August 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Corbyn is a lot of things Ray,but he not a prat.He did have a temporary bout of amnesia re Mr Jahjah granted,but to be fair,he was put on the spot and made the wrong decision and lied.Had he had time to think he would no doubt concluded it was best to admit his stupidity in sharing a platform with a extremist .
Corbyn will make a great leader,he will destroy Cameron in parliament, and for once in a very long time there is a difference between the Tory and Labour Party.
Labour has been hijacked by politicians only interested in what is in it for them,they have used and abused socialist ideals and made a mockery of a once great political force.
Corbyn is the only chance you have to see the true Labour Party re-emerge.I hope all who read this and have a vote in your leadership election, vote with their heart and not their head.Corbyn must win to give Labour back to the working class.

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Nick August 25, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Surprised to see this blog join in with the Corbyn bashing – compared with the other contenders he is always worth listening to. I don`t think he lied but stated truthfully & consistently his position that we must all talk to move towards a more peaceful world. The Labour party has become rank with tory ideology & is long overdue a purging of this toxic infection.

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John Stone August 26, 2015 at 6:42 am

Unfortunately over 30 or more years Labour has fallen into the trap of letting the Tory Media define what is and isn’t acceptable. This has led to ridiculous positions such as being goaded into saying it wouldn’t work with the SNP.

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Ray_North August 26, 2015 at 7:14 am

As it happens I nominated Corbyn for this – and broadly speaking, I’m a supporter – but, supporters have got to have their eyes open – the right wing will hate him and everything he stands for – the reaction will be massively hostile – if he’s going to have any chance of succeeding he’s going to have to sort out this type of thing – in summary this award was a bit of gentle and constructive criticism.

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nino August 26, 2015 at 7:33 am

Of course great statesmen/women could talk to some really unsavoury individuals and place ludicrous bans for the rest of us to observe. At least Corbyn didn’t just roll over. Observance of these ludicrous diktats in other times and other places was called collaborationism

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Nick August 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

Corbyn is an intelligent , articulate man and I`m sure he`ll be fine pointing out and naming those UK ministers that are happy to supply arms to countries such as Qatar , Egypt & Saudi Arabia with such shocking human rights records. They are probably a tad more worthy of your award than Jeremy Corbyn ( a person seeking peaceful solutions ) simply talking to people we don`t like.

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catford cat August 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm

of course in the 80s, a lot of ‘lefties’ (including one j corbyn) were vilified for talking to sinn fein…

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