More Labour leadership stuff on VICE:
We've been told a lot lately that the Tories and right-wing press barons are clapping their hands and slapping their thighs with glee in anticipation of a Corbyn victory in the Labour leadership election. Which is why it's strange that, rather than gently coaxing naive left-wingers to vote Corbs with a trail of sympathetic breadcrumbs, the Mail on Sunday has let slip the dogs of war a little early.
Yesterday, the paper published a piece of thinkspace imagineering, predicting what would happen if Jeremy got into power in May 2020. It's 1,000 days later and Britain has been "destroyed" and turned into some kind of Ballardian nightmare.
Perhaps David Thomas's article was only meant to go to the presses in a month's time, after the election, when the flat-capped immigrant-worshiping tree-shagger won't even know what's hit him. Or maybe this is the soft landing. Maybe they're just greasing the engine of their attack machine – making final flight-checks ahead of all the dirty dig-ups they're about to do on his second ex-wife's masseuse, his time "assisting paedophilia" in 1980s Islington, and, worst of all, "sharing a platform" with dislikeable people.
David Thomas, the man behind it, was once editor of Punch – a now defunct satire magazine that used to try and compete with Private Eye. Hence the laboured irony on display here. Now, he writes bog standard thrillers under the more exciting name Tom Cain. One of them is about how Diana was assasinated by a secret cabal. Another is about how the post-Lehman Brothers catastophe was brought about by a secret cabal.
It is this understanding of the risibly improbable that has seen him drafted in to imagine what might happen were #JezWeCan to enter Number Ten. Here's the headline:
"Prime Minister Corbyn... and the 1,000 days that destroyed Britain: As this brilliant imagining of a Corbyn premiership reveals, Tories who gloat over Labour's woe should be careful what they wish for..."
Always a strong start, when pieces self-describe as brilliant. Let's see what the first line of David Thomas's masterwork is:
The night sky over London was thick with choking black smoke, but in the hellish glow of the flames rising from a myriad burning buildings, the rioters, looters and demonstrators fighting on the city streets could just make out the United Nations helicopter taking Jeremy Corbyn away from 10 Downing Street to his retirement cottage in Ireland.
It was a dark and stormy night. Brilliant.
For a piece of piercing futurology, this does sound a lot like the recent past. It could almost be describing 2011, when rioters and looters filled Britain's streets, the sky over London was thick with choking black smoke, and people fought in the hellish glow of the flames. But obviously the government of the day had nothing to do with that.
The piece then goes on to flash-back over Corbyn's career as PM – the thousand days in power that led Britain to this parlous state – garbage piling up in the street, couldn't bury the dead, the three-day week, Bay City Rollers in every Woolworths... a modern take on all of those familiar 1970s fixtures that have gone far beyond their historical role to become a Nicene Creed of Tory newspapers.
The national debt is £3 trillion!!!!
There's food rationing!!!
And... fracking is banned!!!!!!
In the midst of it all, Padre Corbyn stands confused and bemused. He has become frail, papery – a doddery old bloke trying to understand why his elegant blueprints and noble sentiments didn't match up with reality. Poor guy.
The story is that China's economy implodes in 2016, triggering the kind of recession that leads people to think very differently about their life chances.
Corbyn is swept to power, and Corbynomicists start rolling the presses to print money – "Quantative easing for the people, not the bankers!" declares Corbyn. Which is crazy. Unlike the current policy of Quantative Easing for the bankers, not the people. Which is sane, because it gives all of the money it effectively "prints" to parsimonious coked-up bankers instead of profligate ordinary citizens.
Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Corbyn ... stripped the Bank [of England] of its political independence, renamed it The People 's Bank and sacked [Governor Mark] Carney.
Everything is named after The People. Which is horrible, obviously. It's much better when everything is named after The Queen.
Carney is dispatched back to Canada, the bond market collapses, interest rates spiral and servicing national debt interest becomes the number one national budget item. It's Greecemageddon, just like George Osborne warned us all. If only we'd listened.
The rich, hit with 95 percent income tax, flee the country, meaning that the worst thing in the world happens: the London property bubble deflates:
"We will use these empty, unwanted homes for social housing," Corbyn said. That earned him plaudits with the public, who had yet to appreciate how the collapse of the London luxury property market would have an impact on the value of ordinary homes across the country. But the rest of the world was less impressed.
Yes, the blithe fools who voted Jez in don't realise that ordinary homes across the country are also going to become much more affordable. Those dim dolts can't see that they'll no longer be made to spend more than half of their income keeping a roof over their heads. That is why the People should never be allowed to decide anything.
In the end, though, for all their sops to the People, the leftists turn out to be the most authoritarian of all. You don't have to read Animal Farm to know that. Though perhaps David Thomas should have, before he set out making gags as plodding as this:
They needed little excuse to censor the press and broadcasters in the interest of "fair, honest and truthful reporting". A blogger who wrote that Britain was descending to the level of Zimbabwe was prosecuted for libelling the memory of President Robert Mugabe.
This is exactly the sort of politically correct thought-policing that would almost certainly occur under the Corbynista regime. Jan Moir would probably only be allowed to write one word at a time, provided that word was "diversity". Richard Littlejohn would be under house arrest with a tube sock rammed up to his tonsils as a condition of his parole and David Thomas wouldn 't be able to publish some of his Daily Mail classics, like: "A memo to the sweaty, Lycra-clad bike brigade: The rules of the road apply to you, too", and "Say what you like about the French, but they have the world's finest political crumpet". Typical!
Foreign policy is the only area more disastrous than domestic:
Corbyn did not have time to leave Nato of his own will. When he sold our nuclear submarines to President Putin at a cut-price rate, Trump called for the UK's expulsion from Nato and imposed an embargo on the import of British goods.
Yes, Jeremy Corbyn lays Britain's nuclear arsenal out on the front lawn of his national garage sale, and doesn't think twice when cheery Uncle Vlad comes round the corner asking for two Polaris and a Trident. The doddering old fool can't see that these submarines should be left in the hands of the doddering old fools at the MoD. Can you imagine anything more disastrous than Britain not following President Trump into carpet-nuking China?
In the end, the £5 loaf of bread (hey – we've all got to shop at Peyton & Byrne some time) clears the way for Leader Of The Opposition Boris Johnson to call a vote of no confidence. He is swept to power as a broken Corbs is choppered off like a wimp, thereby proving all the told-you-so eye-rollers right. Whereupon Boris presumably laces up the jackboots on his Pinochet-style death squads, gives every millionaire in Britain a povvo to ride round like a wheelbarrow, bans black men and turns the former Deptford JobCentre into a tacky bar for pissed-up gentrifiers. The gap between rich and poor explodes again. Utopia is restored. Thank God.