In 1996, the Guardian wrote this about Jeremy Corbyn in a blistering leader column:
“Every few years, the London Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn indulges his romantic support for Irish republicans by using his parliamentary privileges to give them a publicity platform. These occasions always also provide a showcase for Mr Corbyn’s abiding qualities: his lack of wider political and moral judgment, his predilection for gesture politics, his insensitivity to the feelings of most Londoners and his indifference to the policies of his party… Mr Corbyn’s actions do not advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland and are not seriously intended to do so. It is surprising that a politician as clever and important as the Sinn Fein leader should be bothered with him. Grown-up people ought to keep this childish sideshow in perspective. Mr Corbyn is a fool, and a fool whom the Labour Party would probably be better off without.”
21 years later, the paper has endorsed that “fool” to be Prime Minister:
“Mr Corbyn unquestionably has his flaws. Many see him as a fluke, a fringe candidate who stole the Labour leadership while the rest of his party was asleep. In parliament he failed to reach beyond his faction. He is not fluent on the issues raised by a modern, sophisticated digital economy. His record of protest explains why some struggle to see him as prime minister.
But Labour’s leader has had a good campaign. He has been energetic and effective on the stump, comfortable in his own skin and in the presence of others. He clearly likes people and is interested in them. He has generated an unfamiliar sense of the possible; once again, people are excited by politics. Most pundits think the voters will repudiate Mr Corbyn’s Labour party. They may do so. But Mr Corbyn has shown that the party might be the start of something big rather than the last gasp of something small. On 8 June, Labour deserves our vote.”
Labour under Corbyn on the cusp of something big, reckons the Guardian brains trust…