An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn.
Firstly, sorry. I mean really. An open letter? Who do I think I am, some sort of self selecting group of elderly white male atheists? I hate an open letter; but I can’t shake the feeling that a closed letter, or as we used to call it, a letter, might not get through. I mean, it isn’t like you and I don’t converse, right? You send me emails, and I reply “resign”. Every time. Remember me now? It seems unlikely.
Here’s the thing, though. I might wish you weren’t the leader. I might have (did) voted against you twice, but, like a fat kid playing tag, you’re it. You’re what we have, and we have to dance with the one we brung. So put on your party dress, Jezza, and imagine I had the wordpress skills and the inclination to embed that pic of you in tails by a sports car.
So, here we are. I hoped we’d never get here and you, surely, never really believed this day would come. And yet, you will now lead the Labour party into a general election. Let’s be clear here – this will certainly be your only one. I’d really , really love you to win. Prove me wrong, like Seymour Skinner says. Win or lose, you’ve one shot, so, how’s about we make it a good one, eh?
You can win this election. No, you really can. This isn’t a joke. Like most Tory Blairite traitor scum I assumed and said that your initial victory as labour leader was an event that fell somewhere between tragic accident and hilarious pratfall. I watched the campaign through my fingers, like the darker segments of You’ve Been Framed and, when the result was announced, I was certain that you were a blip, a footnote, a mistake. But you’re not. You won that election comfortably, and you went on to crush an attempted coup. I can’t, much as I’d like to, ignore that. You can win elections. In fact, as far as I can tell, you’ve never actually lost. Good. Be that guy. That guy definitely wants my advice, though, so here’s what to do …
- Attack the Tories and only the tories. . Unity (or purity) in the labour party is a complete irrelevance, as is the quisling sliminess of the libdems and the ideological unpleasantness of the SNP… none of this matters. Attack the tories.
- Go hard. Use everything at your disposal. Theo Bertram wrote an article the other day about this; read it, actually call him. Actually, call Mandelson and Campbell. Do whatever you need to do to discredit, embarrass, harass and humiliate your opposition. They are the most divided and intellectually weak government in my lifetime – point this out.
- Be everywhere – when John Humphries opens the door of his Powys farmhouse at 4am I want you sat on his doorstep, and I want your first words to be “… and another thing…” You have allowed yourself, your party and your views to be horribly sidelined. Be aggressive, or at least hire people to be aggressive on your behalf.
- Insist on the debates – it won’t happen. She’s scared of debating you, and that’s gold. That’s win-win. She debates you, great – destroy her. She refuses, even better – point out her cowardice, her lack of belief in her views, her absence.
- Sell yourself, and sell it hard to your target market – you’re here because you won two elections. May won’t debate you because you won two elections. You won two elections because of the youth vote. Mobilise that – 18-24 year olds must be your primary focus. We both know that you’re no Bernie Sanders; hell, Bernie Sanders is no Bernie Sanders really. But you are an authentic ideologue, a speaker of truth and passion, the genuine article. This has power, especially amongst the young and unbiased – fortunately, these are precisely the people who you need to vote for you if you are to win. Hire a whipsmart social media team, under twenty-five, and do it tomorrow. Target your campaigning on, yes marginals, but especially marginals with a large young population. Skew your election promises – raid pensions for housing, basically. It’s right and proper anyway, but it will also endear you to the people with the votes you need.
- Stick to your guns. This last couple of weeks you’ve introduced some really good, sellable and progressive policies. I mean, you’ve introduced them really badly, but they are good. You’ve managed to arrive at a situation where you are on record as wanting to feed hungry children, whilst the tories don’t. Surely you can’t fuck this up?
- BREXIT -Forgive the caps/bold, but this is the most important political issue of our lifetimes, and you’ve already managed to screw it up royally – you campaigned poorly, you capitulated early and you, for crying out loud, whipped your party to vote for it. I mean seriously, what the actual?
When I call it the most important issue of my lifetime, I’m not being hyperbolic. The remain/leave divide is far, far more important than the left/right distinction. You win this election, and by win I mean defeat the tories, by being as anti-Brexit as you can. I can’t see, really why you can’t change your position and simply be anti-Brexit. Any attempt by the tories to call you a turncoat leaves them open to massive retaliation on their many, many broken promises and lies in this campaign. So do it, point out the reality of what they’re doing to us, and make it clear it isn’t too late.
Calling this election now is a remarkable piece of political hypocrisy and cynicism on May’s part, but it’s also a mistake. It isn’t too late; Brexit could be stopped and you could win an election promising to do so. 48% remember, plus however many believed the bus, plus the 18-24 year olds that you can mobilise to vote for the first time. This is seriously doable, Jeremy. Give it all you’ve got,