A bloody difficult woman just rinsed the absolute boy. Completely, stunningly, beautifully hung him out to dry. And there was no doubt in the Chamber of the House of Commons this was a girl’s job well done.
The true strength of Theresa May’s killer line – that Corbyn had “mansplained” to her about International Women’s Day – wasn’t just in the delivery (though to the Prime Minister’s credit she nailed it; the House loved the funniest, best-targeted and pithiest one-liner she has ever used at PMQs – and perhaps her single most memorable). Those leopard-print kitten heels would have roared if they could.
The great joy of Theresa May’s set-piece salvo on Jeremy Bernard Corbyn’s sexism was even more simple. It worked so well because it is true.
Jeremy Corbyn is the arch-brocialist. This man is the pin-up stud of muscular socialism, whose easy manner and ‘sweet’ nature belies – as it so often does with dishonest men – the raging 1970s chauvinist inside. He and his socially awkward crew of red bros (Milne, Lansman) practically gave birth to the weird, insipid lad culture of the modern British left. Corbyn should be thought of as the eternal president of a Soviet-themed frat house: his gold-framed portrait would hang there in blokes-only halls, where smelly, out-of-shape, greasy-haired man-children lounge around, swapping untrue stories about good pot and how the chicas are in Venezuela. As any female Labour activist or MP will tell you – albeit usually in a hushed voice -the British hard left is riddled with misogyny of which this surface laddism is a signifier. From John McDonnell’s “lynch” Esther comments to the SWP rape scandal, it’s the same old pattern…
Today Britain’s second female Prime Minister (they were both Tories) faced down the man who once proudly paraded his naked girlfriend, Diane Abbott, as a curiosity for his left-wing chums to look over. This incident took place shortly after Corbyn’s first marriage broke down. Why? His wife gave up on him because he is a bore; he spent every waking hour on his political activism, never coming home and treating her like an also-ran. After Theresa May delivered her glorious strike she stood silently, confidently, staring at Corbyn over the despatch box (for an unusually long time) – in that moment you wondered if all the women in Corbyn’s life somehow stood there with her. Probably collectively thinking: ‘she’s right, he’s a complete t*sser”…
The rest of the ding-dong was dull by comparison – and that was perhaps the measure of May’s magnificient moment. You just wanted her to carry on, to continue schooling this immature idiot-boy in the way only a woman of a certain age can. When she plays to that strength it not only suits her but catches Corbyn in a corner where he can’t fudge, shout or glibly equivocate. Is it International Women’s Day only once a year? Let’s hope she does it next week too.
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