Corbyn – Pietas and the Malcolm Tucker Litmus Test


I’ve been thinking about Jeremy Corbyn but I’ve had nothing to say, because I didn’t get what was going on and didn’t know how to divide hype from reality.

Now I know the reality, 60% of the people who voted in the labour leadership election voted for him, and it looks like 100% of the current labour leadership – didn’t.

And if it is a protest vote, then it is a vote not for Donald Trump but for a man who has been a political leper for 30 years. Jeremy Corbyn – the joke figure – the Shakespearian fool – a modern day Philoctetes . A man who believes what he says and believes in politics.

So what would Malcolm Tucker have made of Jeremy Corbyn?

Corystyle tucker

Tucker – the star of The Thick of it leaves a stunning epitaph for himself and the labour party (it’s somewhere in Series 4)

 This job has taken me in every hole in my fucking body! MALCOLM IS GONE! You can’t know Malcolm, because Malcolm is not here! Malcolm fucking left the building fucking years ago! This is a fucking husk, I am a fucking host for this fucking job. Do you want this job? Yes, you do fucking want this job. Then, you’re going to have to fucking swallow this whole fucking life and let it grow inside you like a parasite. Getting bigger and bigger and bigger until it fucking eats your insides alive and it stares out of your eyes and tells you what to do.

As the camera panned across the faces of his rivals, it was clear that they, like Tucker, had sold their integrity, like Faust to Mephistopheles, to the job.

resigned smiles

WTF – is this mastermind?

Corbyn, had not. You may not like his policies – but they are his policies, not Tucker’s, not Mandeleson’s – Blair’s -Brown’s , least of all – Alistair Campbell’s.

blair corbyn strike

The BBC were able to publish, within minutes of his election – 24 things that Jeremy Corbyn believes. Could we say the same for any other current politician?

Left to rot?

There was no evidence that the  public gave a damn about Corbyn so he was left to languish on the back benches.

When he came to the leadership , the pollsters reckoned he had a 200-1 chance. As in the General Election- the polls were wrong.

Corbyn result

If Corbyn is measured with the Malcolm Tucker Litmus Test, he fails so badly he should not even exist.

And yet 60% of those who voted, voted for him and a massive 450,000 people voted.

A raid on the inarticulate!

Corbyn didn’t have to be good, and he wasn’t. I watched him ramble his way through his acceptance speech and thought , this guy is going to have to seriously sharpen up if he’s going to represent his country abroad, if he’s going to stand in the pantheon of socialist greats who led rather than followed media polls.

Infact, and this bit has a limited shelf-life, his omni-shambolic ramblings are currently endearing. But if he ends up as the British Forest Gump, he will not be taken to the nation’s heart. We spat out Michael Foot and we’ll spit out Jeremy Corbyn. This guy had better be ten times better in a year than he was yesterday.

Not hype – reality – but mankind cannot stand too much reality..

And so each venture…Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate

If Tucker articulated the nothingness of politics, then Corbyn’s dumb dignity is a raid on the inarticulate (TS Eliot’s phrase).



Humanity is not enough to lead a country , but it is enough for now. It is enough to take 60% of the vote and to expose the husk of the Labour Party post Miliband.

The BBC identified 6 reasons for his success

  1. The resurgence of the left
  2. Anyone could vote for £3
  3. Those ‘moron’ MPs (who voted for him out of kindness)
  4. Missing opponents
  5. Popular enthusiasm
  6. Campaign style


Call it Pietas…

But I think for most people it is that unsmiling face, the direct look and what in Christian terms could be called Pietas.


That is as far off the Malcolm Tucker Litmus Test as you can get.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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