Jeremy Corbyn thinks he’s won. That may be his downfall.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn delivered his keynote address to the Labour party conference today. He told the adoring masses: “Labour is ready.” He said that the party is “confident in our ideas, clear in our plans, committed to rebuild Britain”. The whole conference seems to have been built around goading Theresa May into calling a General Election – an election Labour is clearly convinced it can win. At the moment, the Conservatives seem desperate to oblige.

I may be totally misreading the situation – in the way that I absolutely did with Trump and Brexit. Maybe. However,  I cannot see how Corbyn can get the extra votes and seats that he needs to get to Downing Street. This is not because of some powerful lobbies. It’s not because the state is working against him. I simply do not think that over 40 per cent of the population will vote for an ageing unreformed socialist to be Prime Minister.

The mess over Brexit is a prime example. Every decision Labour take alienates either traditional Labour Leavers or middle-class Remainers.

Oh, Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leader does not even seem to be trying to win the waverers over anymore. His speech today was simply playing to the crowd, who lapped it up. He hit all the sweet spots. First, he attacked the media:

“It turns out that the billionaires who own the bulk of the British press don’t like us one little bit.”

He called on his supporters to take to social media to fight the scourge of professional journalism.

You challenge their propaganda of privilege by using the mass media of the 21st century: social media.

Corbyn went on to other hotbed topics too, staying in his comfort zone. There were extensive sections on the NHS, taxing those with second homes and so forth. You may agree, you may disagree, but it is hardly breaking the mould. This was a speech for the hall.

Corbyn, his advisers and supporters clearly think they have won. That an election need only be called for them to sweep to victory. Corbyn himself said that “we represent the new common sense of our time”. Yes, there were nods to the likes of Keir Starmer, but ultimately the Corbynites feel no compulsion to do much reaching out to others.

Complacency is a killer in politics. Just ask Theresa May. Corbyn and his party clearly feel their time is now. That might be the only things that stops them.


My first book "Not Buying It", looking at post-truth in media and politics, is being published by Unbound

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