27th May 2016
THE LAND OF CORBYNIA
(with apologies to C. S. Lewis, J. R.R. Tolkien and J. K. Rowling)
–By Keith Nieland-
High in the attic of Labour Party HQ is an old wooden cupboard. The doors have warped with age and fit badly. The cupboard is empty now apart from some old posters and leaflets from a time when the Party used to win General Elections. The leaflets are turning yellow with age and curling at the edges and will surely be thrown away soon. Nobody ever looks at the material now as looking for how success was achieved in the past is terribly unfashionable.
At the back of the cupboard is a small, secret door leading to the land of straight talking, honest politics known as the Land of Corbynia. Everything is not as it appears in this land, for defeat is victory, retreat is advance and hanging on to what you have is greeted with days of wild celebration. The land is ruled over by Comrade Jeremy and his power comes not from a magic sword or golden orb but from a mandate given to him by his supporters.
Comrade Jeremy and his supporters live happily together in Castle Corbyn. They enjoy each others’ company so much they rarely leave the Castle. Jeremy often tours the vast grounds in an open top bus to talk to his supporters who cheer him to the echo. Outside the Castle live the ordinary people of Corbynia who far outnumber the supporters of Jeremy, but they are not considered. Their views of Jeremy stretches from mild indifference to open hostility and few understand how he came to rule Castle Corbyn and why anybody would ever think him suitable to be ruler. Every year on what is known as Red Mandate Day, Jeremy’s supporters hang banners over the Castle ramparts with messages such as “Red Tory”, “Tory Lite” and “Tory Scum” so that the ordinary people can better understand the error in their thinking.
Occasionally during Jeremy’s open top bus tours a brave person will shout “what about the ordinary people?” but they are immediately shouted down with chants of “mandate” “mandate” “mandate”. The Daily Corbyian has recently conducted a poll of how the ordinary people feel about Comrade Jeremy. When Jeremy is told 65% of the ordinary people think he is not ready to be ruler he answers “but we remain on the road to victory”. When he is told 63% of the ordinary people say he and his team are not ready to govern the land of Corbynia he summons his able assistant Little John and orders him to organise a petition and a march as that will bring the people round. Little John, who would like to rule Corbynia himself one day, readily agrees.
When the ordinary people are asked who they would prefer as leader they state a preference for Camdalf of the Shires by a margin of 6%. This greatly upsets everybody within the Castle so the Momentors are called upon. The Momentors are rapidly moving spirits with power to suck any traces of social democracy from those who speak out and bring them over to the red side. The ordinary people are so numerous it is beyond the power of even the Momentors to keep so many under control.
There is, however, another castle in Corbynia and this one is situated in the capital city. There has recently been a election in the city in which everybody who lived there could vote, not just those living in the capital’s castle. This election had been won by Citizen Khan defeating the evil Lord Zacdemort handsomely. Citizen Khan announces he has a mandate from all the people and has achieved this by reaching out to all the ordinary people. This is not well received in Castle Corbyn where the instruction is that an alliance of supporters and those who have never voted is the true road to conquest over all the land.
Citizen Khan has many supporters embedded in Castle Corbyn that have escaped the attention of the Momentors. He indeed holds a most powerful mandate derived from far and wide across all sections of the capital. There is much whispering in Castle Corbyn about the team being put together by Citizen Khan.
The Daily Corbyian speculates that Citizen Khan’s mandate is more powerful, truly derived from the people and that one day he may march on Castle Corbyn…