Written by S and t, e, p, h, e, n, , c, a, s, t, l, e, n, h, e and r, b, d, h, y, b, e There are certain images people have with Boris Johnson. They are images of him tousling his hair, nodding to hecklers, slyly smirking, pouting, and, with his sharp suits and torn ties, possessing an undeniably charismatic presence. Johnson is also a tireless campaigner, relentless in his political aims, ambitious and focused, a
clear and strong leader. He is not afraid to speak his mind, but others can easily follow him. With Jeremy Corbyn he’s got a different story. For all of his political convictions, despite what the traditional views might be, Labour supporters are unsure what to make of him. There is a sensation that he comes across as boring. And there’s the nagging doubt that he’s just not in the same league as Johnson or the Tory
prime minister Theresa May, and this might not all be down to pure aesthetics, but more likely is that people see him as lacking in ideological inspiration. With Johnson, people feel the same about Theresa May. It doesn’t matter what she says, people cannot quite muster up enthusiasm for what she proposes, nor for her leadership. Labour supporters are willing to follow a man with only one ambition, but for Corbyn,
it’s a different matter altogether. He wants a Labour Party with policies that are both strong and defined. He’s less in control of his own campaign, and much more susceptible to clashing views and backroom conversations that don’t always meet a broad audience. This lack of support from those outside the Labour inner circle has a much bigger issue than a lack of charisma. The question for the Labour Party and indeed
the UK as a whole should be: How is it possible for an opposition party to have a leader so under-represented? Johnson has his admirers outside the Conservative Party who have even produced no less than a guide on how to love him. And the Conservative Party might at times worry about the word ‘endorsement’ being loosely used to describe them, but not Corbyn. This is not the first time Corbyn has triumphed in his
shadow cabinet elections. Others who wanted to challenge Corbyn’s leadership last year included Rosie Winterton, the former care services minister; Peter Dowd, shadow minister for business; Angela Eagle, the former shadow business secretary; and several others. But all of them were ultimately rejected by their own whips, who often felt that they would be better off allowing their disgruntled colleagues to pick up
their shadow cabinet roles on a temporary basis in case they wanted a wider promotion at a later date. Corbyn was re-elected overwhelmingly to his second spell as Labour leader in September 2017, by a higher majority than he had ever enjoyed before. As a result, he has reaped the rewards of his opponents’ prior inaction. With another motion of no confidence, and set to fail, look for his supporters to have a party
that, at last, has a leader.