Jeremy Corbyn has been leader of The Labour Party for 10 weeks. Yesterday it was revealed that between 18 and 20 November 2015 ComRes interviewed 2,067 people of Great Britain online and of those that were Labour voters - 20% wanted MPs to replace Corbyn, 56% were happy with him as leader and the rest hadn't made up their minds yet. Depressingly the online surveys findings were that national support for the Conservatives is at a worrying 42 per cent. U.Kips popularity had gone up 2 % whilst Labour had gone down by 2% Only 27 per cent of those ComRes e-mailed said that if there was an election tomorrow that they would vote Labour - obviously this is not cool for cats.
There have been other polls that have been slightly better news - Between the 14th and 17th of Nov 1021 people were interviewed for a Ipsos-MORI poll of voting intentions in which J.C. was the most popular UK political leader (9 points above his nearest rival. In that same poll Labour – as a party – is trailing the Tories by just seven per cent.
Today it was announced in The Times that 66% of Labour members believe Jeremy Corbyn is doing well.
"Labour party members back Jeremy Corbyn by a two-thirds margin, The Times can reveal, making it all but impossible for the leader’s detractors to mount a successful putsch. The hard-left party leader was elected in September with 59 per cent of the vote. Now 66 per cent of Labour members believe that he is doing “well”, according to an exclusive poll."
Above are the positive bits from a You Gov poll. Once again it's clear that a more people trust Jeremy Corbyn and think he's a decent man that trust David Cameron.
Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary issued a statement today saying he was fully behind Mr Corbyn’s leadership. “Jeremy has my full support as he develops his alternative programme to that of this disastrous government," he said. "He has opened up debate and democracy across the Labour party and that can only be a positive move for the future...It is exactly his brand of conviction politics and principled opposition that has won him so many supporters and his leadership is stronger for it.” Meanwhile Ed Milliband also recently praised Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and claimed he is fit to be the next prime minister. He said on The Today Programme that "Of course" Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell could run the country in 2020. But the former party leader refused to say if Labour would win the next election in his first major interview since he quit in May saying 'after the general election, predictions aren't my thing.' Well, predicting the 2020 result isn't my thing either but I hope and pray Labour get elected. Talking of praying...
"The Third Way" is a monthly Magazine dedicated to Christian thinking on culture, society, economics and politics.
Here are some highlights from an interview Corbyn did with Huw Spanner that The Third Way published in June 2015.
Huw: Even the Daily Mirror describes you as 'hard left', which for me conjures up an image of an intractable ideologue. How would you characterise yourself?
Jeremy: "I come from a socialist tradition. I believe in a society where everyone is valued and cared for and included, and if that makes me 'left-wing', so be it. On economic and peace issues, obviously I am on the left of the Labour Party; but I don't apologise for that."
On your website, there's a picture of you sporting a Lenin cap. Is that making a statement? Well, you call it a 'Lenin cap'. How about it's just a cap?
"But it's associated with Lenin, isn't it? Are beards associated with Karl Marx? It's a cap. I like wearing it. There's a chap on Stroud Green Road who sells them for £9."
When did you first join the Labour Party?
"When I was 16. I first campaigned in the 1964 [general] election with my mum and my dad, and I joined the Labour Party afterwards. I was very active in the Young Socialists, and also in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other peace organisations. If there was any one event that shaped and informed my views, it was the Vietnam War; but it was also issues of inequality and poverty around the world. I did a lot of stuff with War on Want as a kid. My parents' politics had been formed by the rise of Fascism in the 1930s, by their support for the Spanish Republic - that was, indeed, how they met. They were members of the Labour Party and CND all their lives."
You were one of the founders of the Stop the War Coalition in 2001. Are you actually a pacifist?
"I would always try to bring about a peaceful solution to any conflict, and so I opposed the Gulf War in 1991 and, obviously, [the invasions of] Afghanistan and Iraq. To say I was a pacifist would be very absolutist…"
If you had been of your parents' generation, would you have applauded the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War?
"My dad wanted to join the International Brigade, but his health wouldn't allow it. Would I have supported it? You can't translate yourself into a different period; but had the rest of the world properly recognised and supported the Republican government in Spain, would the Second World War have happened? We'll never know. I do have respect for those people that were conscientious objectors in the war. Does that make me a pacifist? I can't really answer that. I'm not sure."
In your twenties, you worked for a succession of trades unions…
"I worked initially for the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, based in [the East End of London]. My job was essentially chasing down companies that had officially gone into liquidation owing wages and National Insurance on behalf of their employees and then reopened under a similar name in order to carry on trading. I also examined company accounts, to find out what the directors were doing, and attended negotiations with the wages council. I met Bernard Weatherill there, who later became a Speaker of the House of Commons. He was actually very nice to me."
Wasn't he a Tory?
"Absolutely! He was a pretty high Tory, but he was a gent."
I thought I'd read that you said you couldn't be friends with anyone who was not on the left…
"I would never have said that. I can't remember ever saying that. Somebody asked me if I'd have a relationship with somebody who was not on the left - now, that's different. But any friend, you're not going to agree on everything. It would be quite difficult to have any degree of friendship with somebody who holds appalling views - racist, homophobic or something like that - but with people who hold politically different views, yeah, of course. Surely, we need to have a diversity of opinion around us? It's good for us, is it not?"
Are you fundamentally optimistic?
What is that optimism grounded in?
"In the fundamental good in people, and [a belief] that you can create a society where people do feel valued, do feel involved and can make a contribution. What a waste there is in poverty! What a waste there is in illiteracy! What a waste there is in unemployment!"
You advocated talking to Sinn Féin long before it emerged that the Government was actually doing so. You admired Nelson Mandela when much of the media was still saying he should have been hanged. You campaigned for justice for the Palestinians long before that became respectable. You opposed the 'war on terror' long before many other MPs saw the dangers. Do you ever get credit for being ahead of the political curve?
"No - but I don't mind. It's not important. The cause is what's important."
Looking back, are there major positions you've taken that you think have proved wrong?
"Proved wrong…? I don't think so. [On the subject of Mandela,] there was one of those amazing days, when he came to Westminster, shortly after he'd been released, before he became president. Quite a few MPs turned up at the meeting and listened to him for a bit and then went away because they'd got other things to do. Mandela's aide said: 'Nelson, you can finish now. The meeting's virtually over.' He said: 'I will stay as long as there are questions people want to discuss with me.' It ended up with Tony Benn, Nelson Mandela and me sitting round a table having a chat - just the three of us."