As the PLP began to unravel last night - within earshot of journalists, much to the chagrin of certain MPs - I found myself recalling a theory coined by the American sportswriter Bill Simmons: ‘The Tyson Zone.’ In a reader mailbag question, one Brendan Quinn (Philadelphia, PA) set out the following parameters: if a friend said, “Did you hear that (fill in celebrity's name) just (fill in the insane behavior: urinated on a police officer, began breeding unicorns, etc.)?” I would have no problem believing it was true. Simmons swiftly endorsed the idea, and christened this rarified level of personal turbulence ‘The Tyson Zone,’ as a nod to the mind-boggling antics of Iron Mike in his pomp. It’s not a particularly large stretch to posit that the Corbyn regime is, if not smack-bang in the centre of The Tyson Zone, at the very least zone-adjacent.
The sheer magnitude of Labour’s disarray... Read More
As he strode on stage on Wednesday, David Cameron could have been forgiven for thinking, just for a moment, that he was a million miles away from the braying mob of protestors encamped outside the Party conference. Under the gaze of Conservative MPs and activists, he delivered not only what could be considered as the finest speech of his tenure in Number 10, but an open invitation to centrist Labour voters too. His speech was chock full of a liberalism that even 10 years ago would have solicited groans of despair from his membership. Not so in 2015. His audience lapped it up with the rabid voracity of a malnourished wolfhound, knowing full well that this shift to the centre ground could deal a fatal blow to the Labour Party. As Cameron landed thumping haymakers on Corbyn and his comrades, a number of Left-leaning commentators began the ringing of Labour’s death knell.
Yet this mattered not one iota to the Hard Left, for they have given up on politics. Nowhere was this more evident than in that gauntlet of indiscriminate hatred... Read More
It is a brave politician who deals in absolutes. The art of the political statement lies in the intimation of indisputable fact using the fuzzy language of the grey area. No matter the issue, there should always be some wriggle room - a chink in the armour of certainty that offers an escape route, allowing one to backtrack at a future date. To guarantee, beyond dispute, a stance on any given policy is to hamstring your future self. To do so on a policy that plays a major role in national defence? Well that is either incredibly brave, narcissistically arrogant, or mind-bogglingly stupid.
Yet that is exactly what Jeremy Corbyn has done... Read More
With the Conservatives kicking off their annual assembly in Manchester this weekend, all but the most ardent of political anoraks are faced with a conference season headliner that - in terms of entertainment and drama - has no chance of outdoing its warm-up act. Labour’s jaunt to the sea answered few pertinent questions about the direction of the Party, and raised a whole lot more. Observers were treated to a Shadow Cabinet who not only openly disagreed with some of their leader’s views, but in some cases outright attacked them. Whilst the hard Left of Labour are still blind to the many faults of their knight in crowdsourced armour, the majority of rational politicos view Corbyn’s speech, and the conference as a whole, as a semi-disastrous exhibition of disunity and incoherence.
The Conservatives, therefore, are in a prime position to twist the knife into the femoral artery of Labour’s (left) leg. To do so will require a disciplined performance from MPs and activists alike. To borrow terminology from Cricket’s bastard cousin, Baseball: the Tories don’t need to hit home runs - a steady diet of singles will suffice... Read More
When the government’s Trade Union Bill was being debated in parliament yesterday, one could be forgiven for thinking that none of the Labour speakers had taken the time to listen to those objecting before them. Most complaints consisted of the same two ingredients: hyperbolic outrage that the government has the temerity to launch such an egregious assault on workers’ rights, and some variation on the idea that the Conservatives didn’t reach the voting threshold in May that they now plan on imposing on trade union strike votes. The Labour case, in summary, consisted of equal parts fallacy and irrelevance.
The habit that those on the Left have fallen into of equating union strikes with General Elections is worrying - these are supposedly intelligent people, after all. The two are chalk and cheese. As I’ve written before: one is a binary vote... Read More