Saturday, 27 February 2016

Comrade Corbyn by Rosa Prince

Rosa Prince, 40, was born in London, is an award-winning political journalist who was part of the team that broke the 2009 expenses scandal. In that, we should praise her participation. She acted as a member of the Parliamentary Lobby for more than ten years whilst working for the Daily Mirror but also The Daily Telegraph. Rosa moved from the left-leaning Daily Mirror to the paper facetiously known as The 'Torygraph' in 2007. She is now a freelance journalist and writer but also Assistant Political Editor for The Telegraph. Recently she has questioned, rightly so in my opinion, the spending of £4 billion on refurbishing Westminster Palace. Raising a valid point aimed at George Osborne of how the electorate might feel having been told to tighten their belts during these austerity cuts, cuts that include the NHS, that the house where MP's perform their ritual vaudeville is somehow more worthy than healthcare. She advocates rehousing Parliament to some centralised region of Britain, say Manchester, for example, enabling money to be spent where it is most needed. Only 33% percent of The Telegraph's readership agree with her. They would rather conserve a fake medieval building, presumably as tourism makes money than spend it on self-defence. Shame on them.

It is by no means a deeply analytical book. All political observations are relatively shallow. It does not present an Owen Jones forensic study nor does it afford faint praise to the left of British politics. What it does do, errors included is present a man in as balanced a fashion as possible. It would have been easier, far more radical, had Rosa Prince, heralded a new socialist saviour or conversely crucified him from a conservative perspective. She does neither. It is not a hatchet job nor is it unduly reverential.

What is is, what she does, is to relate a lightweight, affectionate even, representation of a man who's arrival as leader of the Labour party is as much a shock to him as the rest of the British public.  Having recovered from that initial reaction, with some exceptions, of course, the electorate find him to be honest, free of spin and somewhat a refreshing change to the political landscape and politicians in general.

She presents him as being someone of huge capability if a little reluctant at first to find himself in the role of a political leader rather than an activist.

Where other might have surgically cut into the meat of the matter, Prince acts as an observer. She does not pass judgement even if the section on Diane Abbott strikes as being a little speculative. Who needs to know such information?

Corbyn comes across as a decent man of integrity. One who has spent a lifetime on the front lines fighting the battles he is passionate about. Prince also shows us how guarded he is about his private life, how devoted he is to his family and how bemused he gets when the media try to discover more about the man's private life than they do his public one.

"Comrade Corbyn" may not be as incisive a read as W.Stephen Gilbert's book, 'Jeremy Corbyn - Accidental Hero,' it may not a great biography but is indeed a good one.

 ‘I’ve seen the book. It’s riddled with inaccuracies. I found 14 in the first eight pages I read. Dates, places, names, people, all things that could have been checked if the research had been done properly. Also, I think it generally lacks an analysis of the politics of Britain at the time. It’s a disappointing book. She had no approval from me, for the writing of it or approaching people to undertake interviews.’ - Jeremy Corbyn

Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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