I had one of those old-fashioned adman lunches yesterday….except none of us are in the business any more, and the flowing brown locks of yesteryear have been replaced by thin silver hair and eccentrically wide partings. Between the three of us we have eight marriages, and while your correspondent has gone constitutionally radicurrl about everything Man, the other two are (like me in parts) drifting into the empty space marked Incorrect and Proud of It.
Despite that, it wasn’t more than twenty minutes before one chap brought up the subject of Corbyn, asking me what I thought. My stock reply – “I’ve nothing in common with him save the ability to tell sh*t from sugar, and the desire for a proper Opposition to the Blue Meanies” got a unanimous thumbs up from all those present.
As this morning’s essay should make clear enough, I see Mr Corbyn as a catalyst-cum-staging post on the way to something immeasurably better and completely different; but what remains fascinating about the bloke is the way he captured the infinite tiredness of the electorate with bollocks, and their desire to see the downtrodden getting a fair crack of the whip. While I think we three amigos in the boozer were mainly alarmed by the speed with which Camerlot is trying to herd us all towards a bunker marked “Showers”, lots of other Brits I encountered felt that Blair’s pompous intervention last week guaranteed Corbyn a thumping victory.
Such is the near-universal loathing the average Briton has for Moral Tone these days, the remarkable 60% walkover for Corbyn announced today was I suspect the country’s final verdict on the nearest thing we’ve ever had to Dorian Grey in Number Ten. But given that the current incumbent describes himself as The Heir to Blair, it does go to show just how wrong-headed Dave is on the subject of the country’s mood. Indeed, it also goes to show the degree to which Miliband and Balls lost the election, and the People took revenge on Slick Nick Clegg. Without those factors, I am sure, the Conservative Party would not be alone in power today.
Corbyn’s first move, it seems, will be to call a conference to delegate a full-Party decision on whether to stay in the EU or not….even though the new JC is for remaining in. Politics here is going to get interesting again. Trumphalism at next week’s PMQs from Mr Cameron would, I think, be very ill-advised. But it is, of course, what he will display.
Meanwhile, back on Network South East, I sat across from four females on their way to what sounded like a bit of a knees-up. The conversation was less than edifying. I’d guess they were all late twenties. As I plonked into my seat, a pert little thing was explaining how she was finding it difficult to hide her stretchmarks from her new beau. I had to admire her ability to cram a lost decade into so few words, but it was pretty much downhill all the way from then on.
An absent Diane (“and she was so gorgeous anyway”) had gone for a boobs job, while Serena’s botox was a complete mess.There followed a lengthy critique of the TV ‘reality’ show Botched about lousy cosmetic surgery outcomes, and then a run through some dozen or more ‘celebs’ of whom I’d never heard, and whether they were better or worse off for having gone under the knife.
Now and then, a vicarious link to some of the well-known among us was announced: “My mate Sharon was at school viv Becky” or “Auntie Sheila used to clean for Damon, ever so untidy ‘e was”. And then the session was rounded off by a somewhat plain girl explaining to her mate as follows:
PG: Anyway, he says to me he says he says look, either come and pick it up or I’m dumpin’ it in the quarry.
M: Oooh. He’s still bitter, then?
PG: Well he may be bitter right but he dunt give me no money and the Court said he had to.
M: Fiwuzyoo, what I’d do is go round there and then drive it froo is garage door.
PG: Maybe I will. Not sure I can be bovvered though.
Elephant and Castle station looks like someone’s stuffed the Castle into the elephant, and Jumbo is now midway through excreting it at the other end. I didn’t recognise anything until I got outside. All the signposts seem to have been removed, but New Kent Road was reasonably familiar, and as my airbnb billett was in the maze of former council blocks behind it, I set off with an intrepid set to my jaw.
At the risk of sounding like some BNP moron, I couldn’t find anyone who knew the way through to the small Close on my printout. Nobody in the market spoke English, and nobody in the pub had ever heard of the road anyway. I asked the local newsagent and he shook his head. So how do you deliver newspapers I asked, and he looked at me with a sad expression. Deliver papers?
But the pizza delivery place knew it. Or at least, they claimed to. I arrived at last, after a search lasting 45 minutes. I won’t be returning.