Corbyn’s keynote speech at Labour conference this year told us one obvious thing. He doesn’t like The Tories. We probably didn’t need to sit through an hour-long speech to learn that.

But the big new theme was Corbyn claiming to be the new centre of gravity. He addressed Jim O’Neill, former Tory minister and Goldman Sachs economist who has, for reasons best known to Jim O’Neill, praised the Corbyn agenda: “You’re welcome,” said Corbyn at one point. “Come and join us in the new political mainstream.” This was the dominant idea: the radical left is the new normal. Whether he is right remains to be seen when the voters have their say

The speech was patchy in quality, but his focus on the legacy of Conservative austerity, combined with his practical policy solutions may well resonate with grumpy voters.

From the off, he looked more comfortable than he used to, tentatively lip syncing along to choruses of “oh Jeremy Corbyn.” And he kicked off what was essentially an hour long prolonged attack on the Conservative government built on a critique of their funding: “Not a penny of our funds came from a dodgy donor or a shady business man’s club… Labour trades in hope for the many not favours for the few.”

He moved from his attacks on The Tories (he doesn’t particularly like them, who knew?) to genuinely shocking comments about the mainstream media. Corbyn castigated the “billionaires who own the bulk of the British press” who “don’t like us one bit.” Could it be Labour’s intention to clamp down on tax dodging he mused, or was it because they don’t pander to them “at white tie dinners and cocktail parties?

Elaborating on the theme, Corbyn said: “We must, and we will, protect the freedom of the press to challenge unaccountable power. Journalists from Turkey to Myanmar and Colombia are being imprisoned, harassed or sometimes killed by authoritarian governments and powerful corporate interests just for doing their job.”

And then in perhaps the most shocking moment in the whole speech he added: “But here, a free press has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths, and to smear the powerless, not take on the powerful.”

It seemed a little rich to attack the mainstream media for lies and half-truths when Corbyn himself has appeared on Russia Today. And, funnily enough as many noted on social media there was no mention of his “friends” in Iran when it comes to the journalists “being imprisoned, harassed or sometimes killed” across the globe.

Corbyn then addressed the anti-semitism crisis that dominated Labour’s summer. As expected, there was no genuine apology, but he did make his biggest commitment to tackling the problem yet: “With your help I will fight for that with every breath that I possess.”

As always, it’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about these matters without it degenerating to typical contemporary whataboutery. This time Corbyn raised the Windrush scandal over the summer and the hostile environment created and directed towards migrant communities. He said it was hypocritical of the Tories to “accuse us of anti-semitism one day then endorse Victor Orban’s hard right government the next day”, and to his credit, he’s right.

Where Corbyn really found his stride was in firing through a list of The Tories’ policy failings: the broken railways, a struggling NHS, near-bankrupt local councils. “This government must be held to account for the social vandalism they are carrying out across the country” he said. And credit to his speechwriting team who managed to write some genuinely funny jokes. The ERG Brexiteers are “daydreaming of a Britannia that rules the waves and waves the rules.” Funny joke that, so I doubt that was one of the Labour leader’s own remarks.

As always with Corbyn, there was a lot (too much) foreign policy. “We need a government that can speak out for democratic values and human rights,” wash general flavour.

Curiously, there was no mention of his love affair with Venezuela and Maduro’s regime… famous for its abuses of democratic values and human rights. Probably not time…

He rounded off with Brexit, but didn’t say much beyond criticising the negotiations happening under Theresa May.

This was probably one of Corbyn’s best performances yet, but that’s not a hard-won battle. His adoring fans loved it in the hall. The country might be a tougher sell.