In one place here is all of today’s bad news – or good news, depending on your view – about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party:
1. One of Britain’s most left-wing men, the boss of the bakers union, is threatening to sue Labour over his suspension. Ronnie Draper, brushing off the remains of a Leon Trotsky-shaped pastry, said: “I am now blocked from attending Labour party meetings, annual conference and, above all, voting in the leadership election… The only explanation I have been given is that this is something to do with an unidentified tweet I have posted. I have not been given the opportunity to refute any allegations, or a date for any hearing. I believe this flies in the face of natural justice. I intend to challenge my suspension robustly and am currently taking legal advice.” Peter Walker at the Guardian has the story.
2. It is sinking in that Labour conference in Liverpool really might not happen, which is great news for those of us who who could not face the thought of applying for a pass and decided to sit this one out. All summer I have thought the suggestion that it might actually have be cancelled was an elaborate joke. But no, the obsession of the party’s NEC with boycotting security firms for links to Israel (obviously the country with the Middle East’s worst prisons…) and other such alleged outrages really looks as though it has left Labour out of options. The police or Home Office can cancel the gathering if there is no security. I suggest Corbyn does an alternative one day conference, perhaps in a field in Eastern Germany with Diane Abbott.
Update: The alternative Labour conference, Corbyn in a field, will no longer be necessary. Thankfully, the party has found an alternative agency in the form of Liverpool’s Big Scouse Ron’s Security Consultants (motto: dey do dat der doh don’t dey). Sorry, it’s another firm actually, called OCS, and those travelling to Liverpool are in for a treat. The City is such a pleasure to visit these days, since its regeneration. It also offers a chance to go to the Grapes, the pub the “savage young Beatles” used to drink in, where you can sit underneath a picture of them photographed in the same spot. Quite spooky.
3. Kezia Dugdale, Labour leader in Scotland, was booed – yes booed – for saying at a leadership hustings that she is exercising her free will in a free country and voting for Owen Smith instead of Corbyn. Good for her.
4. Corbyn is getting smashed to smithereens by Theresa May in the opinion polls. In the latest YouGov poll when asked who would make the best Prime Minister, Corbyn was in third place behind Theresa May on a whopping 50% and 31% choosing Don’t Know. Only 19% picked Corbyn. More lies by an evil conspiracy of pollsters, the media and millions of British voters, the cultists will say, but what can you do? Oh, and among over 65s, who tend to vote, 72% chose May and only 8% plumped for Corbyn. These are – to put it mildly – devastating figures.
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5. And finally. John McDonnell is the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is incredible, when you think about it.