Magazine article The Spectator

Status Anxiety: Toby Young

Magazine article The Spectator

Status Anxiety: Toby Young

Article excerpt

Comrades. I'm going to tell you why I think Jeremy Corbyn is the right person to lead this country. First of all, I like the fact that he's not a typical politician. There's something refreshing about his refusal to play the media's game. Ordinary politicians are ready with a quote when a big story breaks, but not our Jeremy. He thinks nothing of switching off his phone and spending the day working on his allotment. Instead of talking to journalists on his way into meetings, he runs them over. When he does do interviews, his refusal to be interrupted speaks of a bold, confident leader who's comfortable in his own skin. I particularly like his catchphrase and the way his voice goes all high-pitched when he says it: 'Can I finish?'

Secondly, he's a man of principle. He has stuck doggedly to his brand of hard-left politics for more than 50 years. The fact that this credo has been an unmitigated disaster in every country in which it has been tried, leading to the suppression of free speech, the imprisonment of political dissidents and mass starvation, hasn't led to the slightest sliver of doubt or one jot of revision. John Maynard Keynes said: 'When the facts change, I change my mind', but not Jeremy. He is as steadfast and reliable as a stopped clock. That's the kind of man I want as the head of our government in a fast-moving world.

Thirdly, his grasp of international affairs is second to none. He has been on the right side of every major foreign policy issue, starting with the Falklands War, which he correctly identified as a 'Tory plot'. He opposed the Nato intervention in Kosovo and dismissed as a 'fabrication' the absurd claim that the war crimes committed by Slobodan Milosevic amounted to genocide. Indeed, he believes Nato should have been 'wound up' after the end of the Cold War, which, like his chief of staff Seumas Milne, he thinks was won by the wrong side. He isn't so weak-minded that he imagines Nato has any useful role to play in containing Russian aggression and has condemned Britain's plans to send 800 troops to Estonia as a 'provocation'.

Whether it's Vladimir Putin or General Galtieri, Corbyn can always be relied upon to side with Britain's enemies, never allowing his judgment to be clouded by jingoism. …

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