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As election day in Britain careers towards us, we must make up our minds, but despite my demands, no one’s had the nous yet to ask Jeremy Corbyn: “Have you ever used a mop before?”
Last week, this was presented as the defining issue of our time, after pictures of Boris wielding a mop in the floods, for the personal is political and we all want to vote for someone we find “relatable”, apparently. Tories – because they are all privately educated and live in million pound houses – are completely out of touch. While Labour – because they are all privately educated and live in million pound houses – are communing with us telepathically. Perhaps this is why the Labour manifesto reads like a list a six year old from Islington would send to Father Christmas. If only he could go around installing free broadband instead of stuffing himself down chimneys, Remaniac offspring could, once again, spend their weekends at the park playing on the swings rather than waving placards in a sea of swearing at pro-EU allies.
Jezza may not have been asked the crucial mop question but he was asked a lot of other questions by ES Magazine. Alas, – although absolutely no one is pointing this out – his answers cast serious doubt on how relatable he is. He’s vegetarian (like 14% of Britons), is thinking about going vegan (7%), and he likes to wander around looking at historical manhole covers (0%).
Still I learnt a lot. For instance, the man’s less educationally gifted than Prince Harry – which must put him in yet another niche percentage – having left school with two Es at A level while HRH departed with a B and a D. “I spent a lot of time reading probably way beyond the syllabus,” Corbyn explained. “Also, my mother, who was a very generous lady, said they probably couldn’t read my writing.”
During a “quick fire this or that interview” the Labour leader also revealed he preferred hugs to handshakes, doesn’t much like going to the pub, and prizes Engels above Marx.
Finally, he divulged his true position on Brexit.
“Leave or Remain?” He was quizzed. “Both”. Corbyn replied.
Instantly putting himself in a minority of one.
Since the politicians I helped elect in 2017 spent 2018 and 2019 trying to thwart what I voted for in 2016 I’m still struggling to understand the point of casting my ballot next month. I sympathise with the man in a Radio 4 vox pop who – when asked how he’d vote – said: “Out, like I did before.” And when told this was a general election said: “I don’t know, I don’t vote in them ones.”
“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament,” Lenin once said and since my views – as regards Leave have exiled me to social Siberia the line is stuck in my head.
Back to relatability which is the theme of our age. According to Lord Ashcroft’s focus group staff last week, the key question – when it comes to who you want to vote for – has nothing to do with mopping at all but who you’d choose to spend Friday night with if unexpectedly free.
Would you want to cosy up to Corbyn who’d “go outside in the garden and sit on the fence all night” or spend it inside at “a nice sit-down dinner with someone who doesn’t like Britain”?
With Boris Johnson: “On the razz… down Wetherspoons, or the casino… A bit of a messy night out. It wouldn’t be civilised. I think there would be apologies next morning”?
Sitting on the sofa beside Jo Swinson, “Shopping online… Watching Gogglebox”?
Or out with Nigel Farage: “He’d be on the piss with his dog.” Would the dog be drinking too? “I wouldn’t put it past him”?
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