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olitics has become a rather confusing mesh of contradictory ideologies and populist policy recently. Gone are the days when a rather posh, stern BBC reporter produced the facts! In their place we have the political commentator, like Exeter’s finest Katie Hopkins; then if we multiple this with the volatility and speed at which fortunes rise and fall; It can be rather hard to follow what’s going on and who the good guy is.

If you’ve been following the news you’ll know that some guy called Jeremy Corbyn has been fighting a coup d’état. Yet who is this Jezza? Is he the champion of the working classes, fighting the establishment or is he just a bit like Che Guevara but without the charisma?

Do the cosmopolitan youth wear his face on their T-Shirts as a status symbol without actually knowing what he stands for?

As one of your local politicians and fellow student I’ve pulled out the big guns and have set out on your behalf to answer the all-important questions: who is Jezza, what’s going on in the Labour Party and on scale of one to ten how cute is El Gato – one being Dave and ten being a Sloth dressed up as revolutionary?

Hayden Cooper

Hayden Cooper
Hayden Cooper is the central figure

The HJC, self-confessed God King of Communism (sounds rather elitist for a communist if you ask me), president of Exeter Socialist Students, and representative for the Student Assembly Against Austerity. He’s also a new fully-fledged member of the Labour Party

What’s the first thought that comes to you head when I say Jeremy Corbyn?

“A messiah. A living God. An absolutely fantastic human being and a wonderful candidate – it’s really great to have an actual socialist running the Labour Party. He’s a magician on the streets performing miracles, and he is giving Socialism a beautiful image in the public eye, and that gives socialism some viability, and for that he is God”

Could you describe to me in one sentence what’s going on in the Labour Party right now?

“Blairite f**kery… or a bunch of Blairites googling what a coup is, getting distracted by shiny things and Jezza not having any of it.”

Who do you think is best placed to lead the Labour Party, and why?

“Either myself or Jeremy, given the fact that I hate most of the Labour Party it should be Jez; he’s consistently winning everything he touches. He’s won every by-election seat, he’s broken records with membership numbers – in the last week alone 100,000 people have joined.”

Bonus: dating advice for young socialists at Exeter from the Pres himself

“Rule No.1: Thatcher is a safe word that’s maybe too effective.

“Rule No.2: If I do something don’t repeat it.

“Rule No.3: NO TORIES!

“A serious note, always get consent and communicate.”

Molly-May

Molly-May
Molly-May

Self-proclaimed life-long socialist and activist from Derbyshire, studying French and Spanish

What’s the first thought that comes to you head when I say Jeremy Corbyn?

“Awww, compassionate and honest, with a side of cute granddad”

Who do you think is best placed to lead the Labour Party, and why?

“At present I think we need to hold onto JC for as long as possible because he has and will continue to inspire a new generation of politically engaged young people, something our society craves. You can’t deny that he has shaken things up a little. I don’t see anyone else in the PLP I’d be happy to have, especially since the coup.”

What do you say about the leaked documents showing Jezza and his aides actively sabotaged the Labour In for Britain campaign?

“Personally I have great faith in the morality of Corbyn and don’t believe he’d actively sabotage a campaign his own party, a party he’s been loyal to for over 35 years, despite the ups and downs. I can sympathise with those who feel he wasn’t active enough on the campaign trail. However, we all know he was out there, just like every other politician, is it his fault if our lacklustre media fails to report it? I’d like to add that it wasn’t Labour who let the IN campaign down but the Tories, as per.”

If Jeremy Corbyn is removed, can the Labour Party be an effective opposition and command the support of the electorate?

“I personally wouldn’t know what on earth to do if Jeremy was removed I think many others share this view point. How can you trust a party that ousts its own leader undemocratically?”

Kyle

Kyle
Kyle

Infamous Tory, staunch neoliberal, pro-European, self-confessed future PM

What’s the first thought that comes to you head when I say Jeremy Corbyn?

“A very poor, insipid leader who’s not equipped to lead a major political party – dangerous worst case scenario, insipid best case”

Could you describe to me in one sentence what’s going on in the Labour Party right now?

“It’s hard to describe the utter shambles that we’re seeing, a realisation by the moderate, electable MPs for what Corbyn truly is: a liability.”

Who do you think is best placed to lead the Labour Party, and why?

“From the perspective of the Conservative Party, Corbyn is a gift; he’s a completely ineffective opposition, and… you know a Conservative victory is all but guaranteed under his leadership. However, having said that I don’t think it’s good for democracy and I also think he’s a very dangerous man. There are though quite a number of very talented MPs in the PLP, you have the likes of Chuku Umunna, Tristan Hunt and Dan Jarvis. You know, you have these Blarite figures, and let us not forget that Blair was the most successful leader of the party throughout its history, and in my view these figures are the only way the party can become even remotely, remotely electable.”

What do you say about the leaked documents showing Jezza and his aides actively sabotaged the LabourIN campaign?

“It’s shameful. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a very passionate Conservative but I’m also a very passionate European; I was very much in favour of Remain and I think it’s shameful.”

Likening himself to an early Thatcher, Kyle pressed home how important it is for Britain to be part of the single market and play a major role internationally

“A lot of the blame is down to Corbyn, there’s no way getting around this. You know David Cameron did hold the referendum, pandering to a wing of the party I certainly do not identify with but at the end of the day the referendum happened. You have Corbyn on the face of it showing a complete lack of leadership, incompetence, he’s utterly useless. And after this it has become apparent that he may have actively sabotaged the campaign, and if I was a Labour Party member, bearing in mind that the majority want to Remain, I’d be worried.”

On scale of one to ten how cute is El Gato – one being Dave and ten being a Sloth dressed up as revolutionary?

“El Gato would be better running the party than Corbyn.”

Elliot

Elliot
Elliot

President of Exeter Labour Students

What’s the first thought that comes to you head when I say Jeremy Corbyn?

“Beardy”

Could you describe to me in one sentence what’s going on in the Labour Party right now?

“The voicing of frustrated concerns by MPs and others, some of which are valid, some of which are not, some of which ought to be reviewed.”

If Jeremy Corbyn is removed, can the Labour Party be an effective opposition and command the support of the electorate?

“Yes, of course it can. There’s nothing magical about Jeremy Corbyn that enables him alone to provide effective opposition; Labour has formed an effective opposition many times in the past, Jeremy has only been leader since September. It all hinges on the strength, organisation and policy of potential replacements. It cannot be doubted that Jeremy has the strength to resist being pulled along with Conservative policy positions that don’t help Labour, similarly his proposed policy replacements have many merits, particularly his opposition to cuts in government expenditure. However, I know there are many who feel the organisation is not there, and he cannot get across the party’s message as a consequence.

“There are others who could fill these criteria as leader, an example is Owen Smith, who voted against war in Syria. Whether you agree with intervention or not, to be able to resist the strong pressure to vote for the war shows great strength. His work as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary also demonstrates policy making experience, though his organisational abilities remain to be seen. I also think that David Miliband performs strongly in all three areas.”

Conclusion

So it is quite clear that although most of us are aware of Jeremy, he’s very much a Marmite figure – some of us think he’s the best thing to happen to politics since Thatcher fell, whilst others feel he’s not only a danger to the Labour Party but to the whole of Britain as well. What we do know is that he has impassioned many on both sides, young and old.

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