As I sat down first thing this morning to watch Vice’s new documentary on the controversial Labour Party leader, I braced myself for what I assumed would be half an hours worth of Corbynista propaganda. This did not seem an unreasonable assumption, not only because I’ve known the politics of Vice writers to more or less align with Corbyn’s (see, “The Naz Shah Scandal Shows that the Right Has an Anti-Semitism Problem”), but also mainly because Corbyn and his team allowed it to happen, and presumably would only want him to be shown in the best possible light. I was pleasantly surprised then to find the documentary to show Corbyn to be everything I’ve always expected him to be, utterly incompetent.
The documentary starts of exactly how I’d expect, the reporter proudly declares himself as one of Corbyn’s £3 army, Corbyn himself refers to everyone as “comrade”, basking in the word’s connotations as he does so, and someone makes a joke about Israel. However it swiftly moves on to show the team and the man behind the hammer and sickle banner, as we see important preparations being made for occasions such as Corbyn’s budget response and Prime Minister’s Questions, once finished the team pat themselves on the back for a job well done, only for Corbyn to duly arrive at Parliament and make an absolute balls up of it every single time.
From then on the documentary begins to highlight more and more of Corbyn’s failings, and for me two moments in particular stand out. The first is Corbyn’s handling of the Labour anti-Semitism crisis, where, when asked in particular about the case of Ken Livingstone, Corbyn at first trots out the same response he’s previously given to other national media outlets about being an inclusive party, but also strongly against anti-Semitism and any other form of racism. Then, when pressed on the matter, he takes off his microphone and pretty much storms out the room. Let’s not forget here that the person asking Corbyn the questions is someone who has voted for him, and the interview is being done for an online community where Corbyn’s young supporters have a strong presence, so if there is anywhere where Corbyn should be giving a straight, honest answer (something I’m pretty sure he argues for from others from time to time), it should be here. Instead he treats his interviewer as he does any other member of the media, with contempt.
The second area of the documentary that stands out to me is that Corbyn seems to be losing the total support of even his inner circle. Firstly there is the moment where Corbyn’s Head of Strategy Seumas Milne accuses someone within Corbyn’s team of leaking the questions that’ve been prepared for PMQs every few weeks or so (although how much truth there is in this, or whether it is just a fanciful conspiracy is hard to tell), and secondly there is the moment towards the end of the programme where even one of Corbyn’s closest aides, who appeared so full of optimism at the beginning of the documentary, begins to talk of Jeremy’s failure as those it is pretty much inevitable. It’s fair to say it’s looking pretty bleak for Corbyn at this point, and it makes one wonder just how much longer the whole façade can go on, with the party fumbling from one disaster to another, the Parliamentary Labour Party mutiny surely can’t wait much longer.
Overall this documentary is a must watch for anyone who finds themselves skeptical of the Corbyn hysteria, or indeed simply anyone who fancies a good laugh. It’s a great scoop for Vice and definitely a win for them, but it’s almost certainly another humongous loss for Corbyn. Perhaps next time he’d like a documentary filmed, he’d be better of going to the Morning Star, strangely enough the only news publication that seems to make any sort of appearance in his office.
Watch the documentary here.
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