Tuesday 20 August 2019

Corbyn Launches a Very Revealing Insult

Jezza's set-piece megaspeech yesterday contains a crazy phrase which, surely, proves one or both of two things.  (a) The drivel was cobbled together by, er, Seamus Milne - and not reviewed by anyone: and/or (b) it was aimed only at meejah political editors.

Boris, he claims, is ... a phoney outsider!  Yer what?

There can't be a man-in-the-street in the entire nation who can parse that: it's a 100%, copper-bottomed Westminster-Bubble accusation.

The labelling of a politician as being an outsider would ordinarily be pejorative, rather damning, in fact - like "unclubbable", "remote", "out of touch", "too clever by half", "John Redwood".  Understandably, these are felt to be Bad Things in a politician.  We'd be a bit uncomfortable being represented or led by someone who makes us feel, well, uncomfortable.  It's a rough-and-ready sort of guarantee against nutters.  People vote for people they feel comfortable with: not too radical, not too many sharp edges, knows how to work the room, to talk to people; kinda predictable, reliable, emollient, warm, easy to have a drink with, etc etc.  Small-c conservatism.  Who wants to see the boat rocked too much?  

But that's in normal times.

More recently, as times get ever more abnormal, "outsider" as a non-pejorative labelling originates as a diagnostic assessment of someone who's done well to come from "nowhere" in circumstances where, it is felt, all the insiders are somehow tarnished by being members of just that once-comforting, now condemned status-quo club.  Churchill coming in from the wilderness.  Trump from outside the Beltway.  That kind of thing.

But still as a diagnosis.  Just as nobody ever describes themselves as a wanker, no-one, unless they are being clumsily self-referential (rarely a good thing - too knowing, too much artifice), proudly describes themselves as an outsider.  Unless they are Sarah Palin - which is to make the same point.

Now.  The bubble-commentariat used to credit Corbyn with this hallowed status (him and Farage).  It's how he attracted da yoof in 2017, how he commands devotion in his loyal Momentum shock-troops.  He been told it's his crowning glory. 

Which brings us to his accusation against Boris.  You can't be the Outsider candidate in the next GE - that's me!  But who the hell follows this tortuous stuff?  You, dear reader, might geddit (or you might disagree, of course), but you ain't the man in the street.

In short, despite the notionally "open" forum it was delivered in, this speech of Corbyn's is no rallying cry to voters, in any way shape or form.  It's strictly for the, errr, insiders.  



Sackerson said...

A phoney outsider is a telemarketer; a phoney insider is a wiretap. Tougb choices.

CityUnslicker said...

SA phoney outsider is polystyrene; a phoney insider is bubblewrap.

dearieme said...

Corbyn is a fungal infection: the sort of thing you get on your groin if you insist on wearing underpants in summer.

Sackerson said...

@Dearieme: tinea crucis, I believe. And your diagnosis for Tony Blair, without whom we would not have had JC in that position?

andrew said...

A phoney outsider is

A south somerset native who has bad mobile reception in the house and is not sure what to say.


dearieme said...

"And your diagnosis for Tony Blair ..."

Whatever it is it could be cured by arrest, charge, trial, conviction, and death sentence.

Anonymous said...

"John Redwood"?
What, old Vulcan-face, fluent in Welsh?

Aw, that's hard!

Sackerson said...

@Dearieme: I think he could get off with a plea of diminished responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Can Corbyn be both an outsider and a wanker?

CityUnslicker said...

Anon, Corbyn is no outsider, he has been an MP for over 30 years.

E-K said...

You've obviously never seen Ivor Biggun and his Vulgar Band and that is simply unbelievable since they used to play frequently 'round your way.