Jeremy Corbyn’s 2016 conference address – 1. Humour
“You might have noticed in some of our newspapers they’ve taken a bit of an interest in me lately.
“Some of the things I’ve read are this. According to one headline “Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid ‘wiping out’ humanity.” Now, asteroids are pretty controversial. It’s not the kind of policy I’d want this party to adopt without a full debate in conference. So can we have the debate later in the week!
“Another newspaper went even further and printed a ‘mini-novel’ that predicted how life would look if I were Prime Minister. It’s pretty scary I have to tell you. It tells us football’s Premier League would collapse, which makes sense, because it’s quite difficult to see how all our brilliant top 20 teams in the Premiership would cope with playing after an asteroid had wiped out humanity. So that’s a no-no for sure!
“And then the Daily Express informed readers that – I’m not quite sure how many greats there are here, but I think there are three or four – great-great-great grandfather, who I’d never heard of before was a very unpleasant sort of chap who apparently was involved in running a workhouse.
“I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time to have a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.
But then there’s another journalist who had obviously been hanging around my street a great deal, who quotes: “Neighbours often see him riding a Chairman Mao style bicycle.” Less thorough journalists might just have referred to it as just a ‘bicycle’, but no. So we have to conclude that whenever we see someone on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao.
“Now some media commentators who’ve spent years complaining about how few people have engaged with political parties have sneered at our huge increase in membership. “If they were sports reporters writing about a football team they’d be saying: “They’ve had a terrible summer. They’ve got 160,000 new fans. Season tickets are sold out. The new supporters are young and optimistic. I don’t know how this club can survive a crisis like this.”