This is going to appear after the polls have closed in the general election, but before the results. The Conservatives have had a disastrous campaign, by assuming that if Corbyn was a fool then no one would vote for him. I’ve been saying for years that this is a really stupid assumption. I hope my predictions prove wrong.
In the meantime, watching the disaster that is Trump unfold, I’ve been really struck with the parallels he has with Corbyn.
- Both have privileged backgrounds, and have achieved their place in life following a leg-up.
- Both have cultivated an image that puts them outside the political establishment.
- Both speak plainly in words that a simpleton can understand.
- Both tell people what they want to hear.
- Both have no particular difficulty with telling lies.
- Both whip up hatred for the mob against particular sections of society likely to oppose them.
- Both are clearly not great thinkers.
- Both are hated by their MPs/Representatives so have nothing to temper their excess.
- Both were elected by party members, not MPs/Congressmen. They were the activist people’s choices.
- No one believed either could possibly get the nomination or get the top job, and they were regarded as a joke.
Following this simple formula, you can probably get enough people to vote for you – those who feel hard done by (especially if you keep on telling them they are). Trump told the workers that he was going to bring back jobs and build a wall. Corbyn told young people he was going to give them money from the magic tree. Trump blamed foreigners. Corbyn blamed rich people (a bit rich given his background),
As I said back in 2015, Corbyn could win in the right circumstances. This is if people are fed up. They voted for Ken Livingstone because they were fed up with the establishment and wanted to cause maximum annoyance. He made a career out of spouting rubbish, which added to his appeal.
The economy has done well under the Conservatives, seeing off the nightmare scenario. However, Theresa May is gaff prone. She clearly has some silly ideas, one of which is that she’s in touch. Some people seem to like her; I’m not a fan.
Could the British public be as foolish as the Americans? The French voted for anyone but LePen; will Britain vote for anyone but Corbyn? Or will they blindly believe he can deliver these impossible promises because they really want to believe them, and put reason and arithmetic to one side.
I really hope I’ve been wrong all along.