Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Corbyn's day is the punch Ali never gave Foreman

For anyone interested in Labour Party politics, if the fancy ever takes you that is, log on to YouTube and search for ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’.

For the uninitiated the search term will return perhaps the greatest ever boxing match between two literal giants of the sport, the then undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, George Foreman and the sporting genius that was Muhammad Ali.

The fight is legendary, most experts expected the bigger, younger, fitter Foreman to win but in the event itself Ali’s ring savvy and adoption of his ‘rope-a-dope’ tactics absorbed everything Foreman had to offer, before the veteran challenger launched his own onslaught knocking the champ out.

But it is the end of the bout that is special. Watch it and you will see something almost imperceptible but undoubtedly now. over forty years on, one of the most iconic moments in sporting history.

Ali had delivered the most blistering, devastating combination of punches and Foreman was on his way to the ground and you see this legend of the ring about to deliver one final, crunching blow and then he stops.

Ali knew it was all over, Foreman was done and anymore punishment would have been unedifying.

And that moment is exactly the one that the British public have seen replicated by Jeremy Corbyn today.

This Labour Leader, if the polls are to be believed, on the ropes himself for many months chose today to launch himself as the Donald Trump-esque populist Corbyn 2.0, speaking truth unto power.

Yet you just knew as Mr Corbyn undertook his first interview, his very first on Good Morning Britain at the hands of Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, it wasn’t going to be his day.

Morgan’s abrupt interviewing style, constantly on the search for short direct answers, clearly didn’t suit the Labour Leader and his tendency to prevaricate but even that was better than his car crash which followed shortly afterwards on the Today programme.

Corbyn stumbled on migration, launched an ill thought out offensive calling for a maximum wage and ended by alienating countless commuters as he said that would be perfectly happy to stand on the picket line of the Southern Trains strikers – presumably explaining to short tempered travelers why they were wrong to be annoyed by losing a day’s pay through absolutely no choice of their own.

And at that moment, if I had previously held any doubts, I realised unhesitatingly it was all over for Corbyn.

Tomorrow there will be column after column written about Jeremy’s u-turn after u-turn today but the truth is for anyone who opposes him it’s unedifying too.

Jeremy Corbyn has today shown himself unequivocally to be unelectable, to be unfit for the highest office. Journalists and bloggers can write tomes about the man but there really isn’t any need.

We all know it: Corbynistas and opponents alike. After a day like today the Labour Leader is finished. His detractors are increasing by the day as his ardent support begins to falter.

It’s that moment that Ali didn’t punch Foreman. The fight is over. All that is to come is the post mortem.

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