The failed leadership of Jeremy Corbyn

For the first time in more than four years, Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the Labour party. The veteran backbencher, to quote the phrase, is returning to his preferred seat. Or at least he will be once coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

I think I was less aghast than the average pundit when Corbyn beat the likes of Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham to become Labour leader back in September 2015. Being less knowledgeable than most pundits I didn’t appreciate what an upset it was, and unlike some I wanted a genuine change after Ed Miliband.

Continue reading →

Podcast Ep. 151: The Great British Bog Roll Buyout

This week on the podcast we discuss the Covid-19 coronavirus (see also Chinese/Wuhan virus), whether it will kill off the old men running to be US president, and the RuPaul’s Drag Race catfishing scandal.

Joining us is a mountain of bog roll.

Continue reading →

The 2010s have proved a decade of two halves

I won’t have been alone in enjoying some of the end of the decade pieces emerging in the dying gasps of the last ten years. To take one example, the declinists at the Guardian have published  this immense piece by Andy Beckett, citing signs of disaster as diverse as phrases like ‘trigger warnings’ and the growing presence of puffer jackets.

History is written in and about the present, and the left is looking to a second decade out of power as much as it is the lapsing first in its gloomy reviews. For a rightwing contrast you can find Matt Ridley of the Spectator, who argues “we’ve just had the best decade in human history”. His optimism must be informed by the fact Boris Johnson, a former editor of that magazine, has 365 seats in the House of Commons, the highest Conservative count for 30 years.

Continue reading →