The third in the series:
In this interactive blog YOU are the hero(?), Jeremy Corbyn. Can you make the right decisions to steer the beleaguered Labour party to glorious electoral victory?
You’ve been having a little run of bad luck lately, involving fluffed tax returns, lost by-elections, ill-advised whips, deserting MPs, a half-empty shadow cabinet, resignations, sackings, and so on and so on, all the way back to winning that damn leadership contest in the first place.
This afternoon’s problems start when Seumas Milne informs you that the media have spotted that you used a budget response speech that you’d carefully prepared, in November, rather than addressing the actual budget.
Once again the public’s confidence in you to win a general election has been diminished, but how do you react?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 2
You and John McDonnell stay up all night, formulating an alternative budget and, at 11am sharp, you send it to The Morning Star and get the computer whizzes to social media it all up.
It’s 11:45 before word gets back to you that, owing to decaffeinated tea, you and John may have got a little sleepy half way through and gone from working in millions to writing the figures out in full. Because of this it looks like either you’re only planning to invest £20,000 in the NHS, or that your total spending is in the region of £5 trillion (which John tells you might be a problem).
This is another simple error, which once again takes the news away from the government and costs Labour a point in the polls, but how will you rectify it?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 3
The Gorton by-election is getting closer, but in another bit of bad luck you accidentally forward an e-mail from John, saying, “If we win Gorton then the message is that Labour are still a credible party. If we lose it then the candidate was anti-Corbyn”, to a bunch of right-wing journalists from The Guardian.
It’s quickly picked up by other news sources as well, with many of them pointing out that most of the e-mail thread is John repeatedly having to drag you back to the subject of politics, after your extended and disjointed rambles about gardening and jam-making.
The whole story makes it look like you’re just a puppet leader, with John pulling the strings. On the plus side, hardly anyone knows who John is, so it doesn’t really seem to matter that much.
How do you reassert your authority?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 4
The Manchester Gorton by-election went well, you thought, with you managing to retain a solid majority of 6 votes, only slightly down from the 24,079 majority in the 2015 general election.
The general consensus is that if the Conservatives had selected any candidate other the one they did, the opera singer from the Go Compare ads, then they might have won.
Seumas is slightly grumpy that you didn’t stay “on message” during the campaign, twice saying how saddened you were by the death of Andy Kaufman (which was true, but not “timely”, apparently) and consistently forgetting the name of the Labour party candidate. He’s also complained that talking to the press about your love of the Madchester scene came across as insincere, and keeps asking you what your favourite “Inspirational Carpets” song is.
Coming so close to defeat in a seat that Labour has held for over 100 years has, again, led to the Blairite members of the party to call for your resignation. How do you handle this tricky situation?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 5
Another day, another coup. More members of your shadow cabinet have resigned, led by arch-Blairite Diane Abbott.
John says that it’s not a problem; it makes the ‘coup’ story easier to sell and that you, him and Andy Burnham can split all of the shadow cabinet jobs between the three of you.
“Won’t that make a lot of work for each of us?” you ask him.
“Don’t worry,” he replies, “none of them were doing anything useful anyway…we lost all of the competent ones with your first shadow cabinet.”
Some days you wonder if it’s all worth it, but what do you decide to do?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 6
At last, a bit of good news! The Tory’s terrible mismanagement of Brexit has seen the economy tank and unemployment and social deprivation soar to levels not seen since the great depression. That has translated to a 4 (FOUR!) point bump in your polls, putting Labour back into double figures for the first time in 18 months.
You’re still 40-points behind the Tories, but John says that’s a strong position to be in this far out from a general election (3 weeks).
It almost makes up for that scathing article about you by Paul Mason in The Sun, and the turd in a shoebox that Liam Young sent you.
So, what’s your plan for the up coming general election?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 7
Well, people said you couldn’t win a general election…and so far they’ve been right, but Labour kept hold of 23 seats, so you certainly beat the pollsters on that one.
You miss John and Andy now, and you’re not really sure you can run this party all by yourself. All of your fellow Labour MPs are Blairites, and the SNP won’t let you sit with them.
This isn’t just a low point for Labour, it’s a new low for you. Still, there’s only one thing you can do, really…
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party