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After 16 months of Corbyn Mark 1 get ready folk for this week’s launch of Corbyn Mark 2

January 9th, 2017

Save Jezza – trash the media

Above is part of a Newnight discussion that I was part of last week which, amongst other things, examined the position of Jeremy Corbyn and whether there was any chance of recovery. I was pretty blunt in the programme though the views expressed were ones which have repeatedly been made before. It was interesting in the programme that the JC-backer in the discussion responded to my points by attacking the media.

Labour’s voting intention polling and his personal leadership ratings are so wretched that when new ones come out with the same picture they are hardly a story anymore.

The LAB leader appears to have been written off in the eyes of the voters including many of those who voted for EdM’s Labour in May 2015.

Conor Pope, deputy editor of Progress, has a good description here of the new thinking and new plan:

“..Inspired by the rise of Donald Trump, Corbyn’s team have determined that the lesson to learn from the defeat of Ed Miliband is that there is nothing to be gained from trying to appeal to traditional media outlets. Rather than trying to avoid negative press, they hope to make a virtue of it, and take a hostile approach to journalists who will not peddle a soft line. What the Guardian can’t, the Canary can…

…..the new comms policy is to revel in bad news, and the strategy devised after 16 months of leadership is a 1980s cliche nabbed from the first series of The West Wing, it is not quite clear what they will all have to do. Binge-watching the second series of The West Wing, maybe.

Still, the need for a relaunch does at least acknowledge that Labour is in a dire position, and that Corbyn is at least partly responsible. Polling indicates he is repelling previous Labour voters, and less than half of current Labour supporters think he would make a better prime minister than Theresa May.

Within the world of Corbynism, however, there is a growing belief that it is not necessary to win back the voters Labour has lost, but build an entirely new coalition of support…”

It’s that last point that I find hard. Where are these new voters who will see JC in the same light as his enthusiastic backers going to come from? A real issue is the demographic make-up of Labour/Corbyn’s current support. There’s is a very strong bias against him amongst the oldies – the segment of the electorate that is growing all the time as life expectancy rises and which, of course, is much more likely to vote.

No doubt we will be returning to this.

Mike Smithson