John Harris

Journalist & Author

Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn; This Land: The Story of a Movement – review

Two accounts of Corbynism – by journalists Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire and the Guardian’s Owen Jones – unpick Labour’s rapid descent from the optimism of ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ to landslide defeat at the polls

A week before the general election of 2019, Jeremy Corbyn’s private secretary furnished his aides and closest allies with an itinerary. Among its contents was a giddy encapsulation of what would happen to the Labour leader and his circle on 13 December: “busy day!!! Number 10”.

Instead, as the political journalists Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire put it, “an era collapsed around them”. Not much more than two years before, Labour had achieved its biggest increase in vote share since 1945, and the summer’s great cultural moment had been the massed singing of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” at Glastonbury; now, amid the darkness and rain of winter, a great domino-chain of supposed Labour heartlands fell to the Conservatives. In the early autumn, when the Labour leader and his team had been shown polling that predicted such a disaster, the response of the then shadow minister and Corbyn supporter Ian Lavery had been disbelief: “People in the north just won’t vote Tory! It just won’t happen!” But it did.

After the Salisbury poisoning, Corbyn made the risible suggestion that the toxic substance be sent to Moscow for testing

From one of the Corbyn project’s most devout advocates, this is remarkable stuff

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