Tuesday, 28 June 2016

On the Charisms of Jeremy Corbyn.

Collete and I are friends, and will remain so, but we did have a bit of a heated discussion on the EU Referendum and the failure of Jeremy Corbyn to deliver more than 63% of the Labour vote for Remain.

"He lacks charisma," she says. All I can say to that, is: I have been to hear him and it's not true. I guess it's what you believe charisma to be, that we're disagreeing over.

Here's an old, old story.

The people of Israel were ruled by Judges, who seemed, on the whole, to be doing a reasonable job, but the people of Israel got bored with them, so they went to the Lord God and said,

"We want a King. Everybody else has a King and we want one."

"Okay ..." said the Lord God, "But you do KNOW that a King will enrich himself at your expense, pick fights with your neighbours and send you off to die in his battles, don't you?"

"Yes, Yes," said the people, of Israel, "We know this, but never mind, we still want a King."

"So who do you want then?" asked the Lord God, eyeing up a few good people.

"Saul!" They said, "We want Saul!"

What?? asked the Lord God, in amazement.. "You want SAUL ? The donkey herdsman???

"Oh yes!" Said the the people of Israel, "WE WANT SAUL! WE WANT SAUL!!"

And why? Asked the Lord God, who sometimes will give you what you ask for, "Would you want a donkey herdsman to be your King??"

"Because" clamoured the people, "He has the qualities we want in a leader!" He's tall, dark, and handsome!"

The rest is history. You can read the whole disastrous story for yourself in the Bible in the Book of Kings.

I am tempted to let you work out what I want you to for yourself, and to infer from it that the clamour for anyone but Corbyn parallels the biblical narrative, but you might think it a bit of a stretch, and I am unwilling to leave it there.

There is more to charisma than being able to wow a crowd. Hitler aced THAT one. There are the charisms of an upright man who has battled sincerely for unpopular causes his entire career, because they are just. A man who doesn't fake manic enthusiasm for a trumped up cause, or tell lies to win an argument.

Honesty, sincerity and a passion for social justice are charisms too.

If the British people want a donkey-herder for a King, they'll get one. And when the nation devours itself in partisan strife, and the Labour Party commits political suicide, don't say you didn't know it was coming.

I told you so.

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