Slog on Tour: Corbymania, stretch-marks on the train, and confusion at the Elephant

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adman lunches yesterday….except none of us are in the business any more, and the flowing brown locks of yesteryear have been replaced by thin silver hair and eccentrically wide partings.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.

34 thoughts on “Slog on Tour: Corbymania, stretch-marks on the train, and confusion at the Elephant

  1. You’re at the Elephant and Castle? I could have put you in touch with my aunty Irene. She would have told you exactly where to go.


  2. Deserting Corbyn a week after endorsing him John? That’s no fair. Whilst millenarians believe that nothing short of the Glorious Revolution (whether it be Communism, Islam, Corporatism or Anarchism, the latter most matching the small-state mutualism you honourably support), reformism recognises that change occurs gradually, and can be overturned by a Labour 1945 or a Conservative 1979 moment. But securing change to the right or left by a gradual degree, is much more fitting of a parliamentary democracy. A jump to the left, then a step to the right. We’ve had enough rightward steps thanks, time for a lateral shuffle.


  3. Depends on whether she detects whether you’re taking the piss or not ;) Formidable women in our family; Irene is the last to remain in Southwark.


  4. I’m rather warming to young Corbyn. Disagree with much of his politicking but that’s just me being a picky old git … but there is little doubt of his moral certainty and physical courage, I just hope that he stands firm in the face of the inevitable onslaught from the Ungodly as they seek to destabilise, undermine and control him. He will need steadfast colleagues in the days ahead.


  5. Terrifying! Just what Europe needs, according to Merkel & Co., hordes of aggressive, uncivilised young men to fill non-existent “jobs”, unbuilt houses, and dilute the quality of healthcare to an even lower level than now. If these scenes aren’t enough to galvanize Europeans into reaction, one has to ask what WILL stir them?


  6. @jp
    I think you’re missing something if you think JW’s description is ‘sentimental’. It replicates my own recent experiences returning to London and other UK cities, including the frequency with which the train traveller is subjected to just such a bunch of loudmouthed coarse young British women inflicting their crude conversations on the entire carriage without an iota of self-awareness or concern at the disturbance they cause. Try asking them politely to keep the volume down and you usually get a mouthful of invective. One sees similar behaviour in popular holiday resorts and wonders what caused a certain class of Brits to shed a couple of hundred years of civilsation…. I’m sure others have theories.


  7. @stevo
    We have been betrayed again by the brussels traitors who have no interest in their people.
    Watch catalonia in 2 weeks time. big things are kicking off all over the place.


  8. Why on earth, as someone who follows market, the price of gold etc…why do you find it so necessary to be so careful with your cash, that in an eighteen month (or so) visit to the UK you have to stay in an airbnb on the wrong side of town?


  9. Of course you may well get invective if you ask a group of young women to speak less loudly. On many other occasions, you would simply get a look of incredulity at the suggestion that someone’s sex life should be a private matter. It is a different generation, one that casually puts nude selfies out on the internet.


  10. A pendulum swings from left to right, far left to far right if you want.

    Crobyn restored the pendulum.

    Not really my cup of tea … think safe to say it needed somebody like him to achieve this, another Cameron or Blair would be just more of the same to maintain their position. I had hoped UKIP would prove me wrong, but again with so many meanie financial backers it would have been more of the same.

    Now I have a suggestion for Corbyn being the leader of the opposition …



  11. Corbyn’s Achilles tendon is his blind belief in more immigration. He shows no sign of realising that this issue and not tax and spending is the one that will deny him electoral victory. If he continues in this manner, he will prove to be no more than a ‘useful idiot’ for the Tories.

    His ‘friends’ may not be critical in election terms. Whatever they do in Ulster, there is no IRA terrorism on the British mainland. Likewise, Labour have already lost most of the Jewish vote. These ‘friends’ do however indicate that, were he to get into power, Corbyn would switch Britain from fawning subservience to the USA to fawning subservience to the interests of even worse scumbags such as Putin and whatever bunch of Islamic extremists are murdering their way through the Middle East.


  12. @Chrisb

    Whilst I may agree with you on the need to sharply reduce immigration to the Sceptic Isle, I am at a loss to follow the rest of the arguments in your comment.

    ‘Corbyn would switch Britain from fawning subservience to the USA to fawning subservience to the interests of even worse scumbags such as Putin and whatever bunch of Islamic extremists are murdering their way through the Middle East’.

    Firstly, the prevalence of ‘Islamic extremism’ in the M.E. is a result of both U.S./U.K./IS interference in secular/anti-extremist states such as Libya, Syria, Iraq and Palestine under Fatah and their unequivocal support of Wahabist dystopian dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. This is quite apart from the evidence that strongly suggests that N.A.T.O. and Israel are behind the rise of I.S.I.S., just as the C.I.A. were the progenitors of Al Qaeda. Any move Corbyn makes to change this would seem to me to be a move in the right direction.

    I can see no reason why Corbyn would fawn to Putin. I think you must be peddling the canard that somehow Russia = communism = Corbyn. If Corbyn opposes intervention in Ukraine and Syria, and opposes sanctions on Russia that benefit the U.S. at the expense of European economies then I am with him on both. Dealing fairly with Russia instead of treating a major power as something that must be dominated or destroyed would seem to me to be a sensible policy.

    ‘Likewise, Labour have already lost most of the Jewish vote.’

    Are you by any chance suggesting that the entire Jewish population of the U.K. all unequivocably support the sociopathic actions of a rogue Israel under Likud? If so, I would suggest these videos as a primer on to the raging debate within the ‘Jewish’ (whatever that means) community about the identity of ‘jewishness’ and zionism. Are you further suggesting that ‘jewish’ voters would inevitably put the interests of the foreign state of Israel above those of their native U.K.? I think many of those that describe themselves as jewish would contest such a suggestion.


  13. What will the liberal justice system in the UK do when it has to face up to hundreds of thousands of folks desperate to be here, with no skills, language or money. They won’t be happy with state handouts for long, and have no real respect for the law. So when a bunch of (for example) big, young, single west african lads decide they are not happy with their lot, what do you expect will happen?
    No doubt some reader will see this as racism, but it isn’t. It is a simple question in a plausible scenario. It doesn’t judge these lads, wherever they come from; it just assumes that if they need or want something, they are probably just going to take it. I think, within 2-3 years, we will have the olde “gangs of new york” running riot in our streets and housing estates.
    I expect the system will provide accommodation and food for everyone, but you get a version of that in a refugee camp.
    These visitors want money and freedom, and some of them want jobs.

    And there won’t be a plan to create jobs, housing, language skills, training; all we’ll get from London Village is just a ‘can’t we all just live together in peace and harmony’ plea.


  14. ..and those from certain countries like Pakistan where corruption is endemic,do you think they are going to have any second thoughts about ripping off a weakly controlled benefits system? They’ve been doing it for years


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