To Islington in North London, an affluent part of the city that has been the constituency of fresh Labour frontman Jeremy Corbyn for the
past thirty-two years. This fast-rising figurehead was much-mocked on ascending to the leadership, quickly labelled a Trotsky-ite,
anti-establishment fan of poor people – euuu! nasty, smelly poor people! Yet, in recent weeks the constant vilification of this bearded
do-gooder has taken on a new dimension, one that is starting to backfire in the public imagination.
“The Conservatives’ initial ploy was to depict Corbyn as a threat to national security.” Public Relations expert Tut Cantrip (left) told us when we met him in a
pop-up soup kitchen on Upper Street. “Which is fair enough. After all, if someone fires nuclear weapons at us, Britain damn straight wants to get on that
mutually assured destruction thing straight away in retaliation. And we can’t do that if some sixties peacenik has taken apart all the
“The trouble is,” Cantrip went on, “the electorate started to realise this bloke was at least half a decade away from power. Rather than the
supposedly massive threat Corbyn represents, we were more interested in paying the rent or raising children or short-term stuff like that.
Which was when the Tories and their media pals had to have a rethink.”
“If they'd asked me,” Tut confided. “I’d have told them to focus on Corbyn’s lack of materialism. After all, you can’t have an English
Prime Minister failing to reflect the money-grabbing selfishness of much of the population. Unfortunately the play they made was very
different. It all started at the Conservative Party Conference, when David Cameron stood up and, with an impressively straight face, denounced Corbyn as a ‘terrorist sympathiser’. He then spent
much of the next hour going into detail about how much Corbyn loves terrorists, all terrorists, from the Real IRA to al-Shabaab, and that, if Jeremy had his way, he would probably marry one of
them. That was Cameron’s first mistake.”
Indeed, the next day the Tory press, which counts among its number the Times, Sun, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Express, GQ, Financial Times, Men’s Health, The Daily Star and
countless others, all led with this revelation: Corbyn likes terrorists a whole bloody lot, and he wouldn’t shoot one, even if you put the automatic weapon in his hand. One even
printed a photoshopped picture of Corbyn snogging Patty Hearst on its front page. Such fearless journalism was meant to bracket the avuncular jam-maker with violent
extremists in the minds of the public, but it backfired when the comparison worked in unexpected ways, as HDUK discovered by vox-popping passers-by in Islington.
“I’d no idea who Jeremy Corbyn was until the Tories described him as a kind of freedom fighter, like Che Guevara or Michael Fassbender in that
film about Irish hunger strikers.” Trace Hayden (left), a young woman who describes herself as a ‘Freelance Airbrushing Consultant’ told
HDUK. “Suddenly I reckon Jezza’s quite dishy, in a grandfatherly sort of way, what with all those ‘Beard of the Year’ awards. Beards are
automatically revolutionary aren’t they? I mean, look at Jesus.”
Moving on, HDUK interviewed one Clam Caravan, an IT Specialist who mentioned to us that he’d recently read up on Corbyn’s historic links to Basque Separatists.
“I think it’s great we’ve got a party leader with a real interest in other cultures,” Clam (right) asserted. “I didn’t know Corbyn spoke fluent Spanish until all the stuff about him cosying up to ETA
came out. Everyone likes Spaniards don’t they? Why do you think four million Brits have gone out there to retire? The revelations have certainly made me see
Corbyn differently. Did you know his exotic Mexican wife is Corbyn’s fifth? That’s more than Hugh Hefner - what a playboy!”
Indeed, through the mysterious process of ‘objective correlative’, Corbyn has recently come to embody the glamour of Johnny Depp playing an underground resistance leader in some
repressive society. Needless to say, this state of affairs once seemed unlikely for Chippenham-born Corbyn, a vegetarian of forty-six years who lists his hobbies as “reading and writing”.
I mean, what?
But Tut Cantrip isn’t surprised. “If Corbyn had been out for an image overhaul that would make him more like James Bond, I’d have
undertaken something very similar to everything the Tories have achieved by accident.” He tutted. “If Cameron and company had just
dismissed Corbyn as a boring throwback who writes a weekly Morning Star column no one reads and likes discussing drain covers,
everyone would have yawned, gone ‘God you’re right - nothing to see here’ and forgotten about him. Instead they’ve built the leader of
the opposition up to be some charismatic Mr Lover-Loverman, rather than an ineffectual sixty-something ex-pig farmer who can’t really work his iPad.”
“Saatchi and Saatchi couldn’t have done a better job by rebranding him as a sexy sexagenarian superhero – ‘Cor!-Bynman’ maybe, or ‘The Jezinator’.” Cantrip went
on. “By placing Corbyn in the same bracket as thrilling organisations like Hamas or Hezbollah at a time when everyone’s obsessed with Islamic State, commentators have contrived to give Jeremy a kind of cult credibility. That’s exactly the kind of thrilling vibe I never
thought I’d see associated with a man who spends his weekends wittering on about ‘Green Investment Banks’ or
awkwardly singing ‘Incey Wincey Spider’.”
“We now have a situation where Corbyn’s rise is akin to Brody coming back from the dead in Homeland. Superimpose Jeremy’s face on a picture of Robert Lindsay in his prime,
and you’ll instantly make thousands of Greenham Common veterans moist in the gusset.” Cantrip continued. “And yet, if these women were to meet Jeremy in real life, they’d
soon discover he’s like all the other blokes at their local socialist club; sipping half a mild after an afternoon down the allotment, then
going home for baked beans on toast. The disparity is really quite large.”
As Home Defence was going to press the campaign against Corbyn’s anti-inequality stance had developed into attacks on his sons, Thomas, Benjamin and Sebastian, all of
whom are profoundly uninteresting. But this didn’t stop the Telegraph from depicting these young men as ‘revolutionary firebrands’ in the Russell Brand mode. Rather than
reduce support for the Corbyn family, this backfired too and, as of this morning, up to a million idealistic teenage girls around the country had replaced photos of Justin Bieber
and Ed Sheeran on their walls with posters of the younger Corbyns. These adolescents now intend to spend all evening staring up at the visages of Tom, Ben and Seb while