Opinion Comment

Monday 18 December 2017

Corbyn is no monster – he could well be Labour’s saviour

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Mary Riddell

Somewhere between election defeat and the likely crowning of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, Britain’s Labour has become the Frankenstein party. Such is the mistaken conclusion of a hierarchy trying to work out what blend of chemistry and alchemy within their ranks created the monster poised to seize control.

Let us be clear: Mr Corbyn is a monster only in his enemies’ imagination. Even those who abhor his politics concede that he is a model of courtesy compared with a hectoring hierarchy that has tried in vain to scare his disciples into submission. If the Labour leadership election resembles a Gothic horror story, that is the fault of his detractors.

Party grandees from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown have speeded Mr Corbyn’s ascent with their apocalyptic warnings. David Miliband has swept in belatedly to endorse Liz Kendall, who is likely to come last, while his brother Ed has (wisely) fled the country without comment. Meanwhile, the camps of Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper have resorted to a scrap more reminiscent of playground hair‑pulling than political debate.

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