PMQs Sketch: Corbynish for Beginners

“Thank you Mr Speaker, but on her way back to Britain, someone forgot to share the details of the Irish Border detail, deal, with the DUP. Surely Mr Speaker there are one and a half billion reasons why the Prime Minister really shouldn’t hadn’t forgotten to do that.”

Is English Jeremy Corbyn’s first language? During this lunchtime’s ball-achingly pathetic exchange, the Labour leader confirmed once and for all it is not.

When he was 18, Mr Corbyn travelled to Jamaica to volunteer as a teacher. Thanks to the lasting influence of his pedagogy, it is believed that there are now entire communities on that island who speak only Corbynish. Let us decode this mysterious tongue.

If you would like to learn Corbynish, start with Yoda from Star Wars. Say the following sentence in your head in a Yoda-like voice, but imagine you are Jeremy Corbyn: “the Prime Minister really shouldn’t hadn’t forgotten to do that, forgotten to do that she really shouldn’t hadn’t”. You’re already halfway to thinking in Corbynish.

Now commit to memory these three cardinal rules of self-contradiction: ‘all questions must not be questions’, ‘all answers must not be answers’, and ‘socialism works’. Corbynish is the language and mindset of reversal, in fact, of blind contrarianism. All obvious questions, statements, opinions, conclusions, facts – all known thought – must be entirely reversed to its diametric opposite. 

Is it your job to ask a question? Then make a statement. Is the government set-up for an utter mauling on Brexit? Fail on a scale otherwise only witnessed in plane crashes, letting the government entirely off the hook. Born and bred in Britain? Buddy up with the IRA and Hamas. Become leader of a major political party? Dress and behave like a homeless man. Whatever seems normal, natural and right, do the opposite…

PMQs today was a veritable audio textbook of Corbynish. We take our second example from our subject’s next non-question: “Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister could always look behind herself”. To the English-speaking ear, these may sound like the words of a sub-intellectual dunce. But cleverly, in a masterful demonstration of the verbal possibilities of his language, Jez has… No, there’s… no. These are the words of a sub-intellectual dunce.

Then, referring to comments by David Davis, Corbyn said he: “told BBC’s Marr programme in June”. Corbynish omits the definite article (THE “BBC’s Marr programme”) because saying all the little words wastes time which could be better spent building the utopia. If all the time and effort every citizen spent saying “the” everyday was re-purposed towards a series of state-mandated activities, hundreds of thousands of hours per year could be dedicated to building an A&E in every village or a power station in every town. Or another gallows for the traitors to the revolution…

This is just a brief primer to Corbynish: fluency in the language is for the few not the many. And that is the key problem with Corbyn’s continued insistence on delivering PMQs in Corbynish. The rest of us just hear gobbledygook…




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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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