I like dreams. They’re nice aren’t they? Given life’s tendency to regularly shit out malodorous mounds of harsh reality upon our doorstep it’s a blessed relief to, every once in a while, retreat to the relatively safe confines of your head, immersing yourself in a dreamscape perfectly tailored to your own personal convenience. Bad week at work? Finding yourself repeatedly foiled by your own innate lack of competence? Take a dose of that wonderful drug called delusion. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all need a break from the drudgery of own pitiful existence every once in a while. I sure as hell do. Why spend the day agonising over my latest, excruciating social faux pas when I can briefly drift off into a world where I’m erudite, charming and have access to a time machine? I don’t even have to get out of bed.
So there’s no real harm in it – at least providing you’re willing to come back to reality. Most of us do but, rather alarmingly, there have been some fairly prominent examples recently of those who chose to remain lost, forever scurrying blindly through the rabbit hole; searching in vain for the cheese that simply isn’t there.
Ah, Jeremy Corbyn. It is perhaps the perfect irony that a man who’s spent his life working to make his dream a feasible reality has found that very same existence become characterised almost entirely by artifice. Should you wish to gaze upon Comrade Corbyn through the lens of mainstream media you could be forgiven for absorbing the impression that he’s a traitorous Commie who shot John Lennon. When you brush the clouds to one side however, the picture is a little different – though it cannot be denied that he’s still a curious character.
A mild mannered, private man who seems far more content pottering about in his allotment than courting favour with the media. Certainly not the norm for a politician but it’s still undeniably bewildering that he provokes such a reaction from all ends of the political and social spectrums. However, whether he’s met with worship or disgust, old Jeremy plods purposefully onward. Sure, deep down he probably just wants to get back home to his cabbages but nevertheless, he has his principles and nobody is going to deter him from his mission.
I can’t help but respect that and, subsequently, Jeremy himself. He’s not doing it for his career, he’s doing it because he actually gives a shit and feels his voice can guide us onto a more prosperous path. He runs on the ideals of hope, proclaiming that if we simply all work together then maybe…just maybe, things might actually turn out alright. He’s far from the first politician to do employ this approach of course, but he’s one of the few who leaves you in no doubt as to the decency of his intentions.
It is perhaps then no surprise that this message resonated so strongly with the whippersnapper portion of the electorate; bright, young things with a head full of dreams yet to be contaminated by the inevitable cynicism that comes with experience. Of course they’d buy into Corbyn’s vision of utopia – it sounds bloody marvellous and, to tell the truth, I’d be pretty much on board too were it not for one, fatal flaw.
Yes, of course it was going to be Brexit. What else? There’s been nothing that even comes close to it in terms of excreting misinformation and fanciful delusions upon political discourse. The referendum campaign was an entire landfill of unrefined bullshit and you’d be foolish to consider that particular stench as consigned to the past – the idea that we can somehow implement a “Jobs First Brexit” being a recent example. Less fanciful than the Tory’s laughably absurd “Moon on a Stick Brexit” perhaps but, critically, it’s similarly fuelled by the fumes of fantasy alone.
It’s true that Corbyn is a dab hand at campaigning. He mesmerised many during the snap election of last year, recruiting many a young, fresh mind to his cause in a manner not witnessed for a considerable time. The fact that he managed to achieve a respectable result, sticking two fingers up to the naysayers and stabbing the Tory majority right through the heart in one seamless motion, was miraculous in of itself. He defied those who felt he was leading his Labour lambs straight to May’s nearest abattoir and finally proved his credentials as a vaguely plausible source of opposition.
However, for all his brilliance on the campaign trail, he now appears to have bitten off far more than anyone could possibly chew. Unless he can explain how he plans to achieve a “Jobs First Brexit” when he’s set to dive head first into this cavalcade of shit:
I respect Corbyn. I’m far from being a Corbynite though, by the same token, I’m nowhere near the mindset that a Corbyn premiership would bring about our gruesome demise either. Despite my general indifference towards the bloke, there have even been times where I’ve found myself drawn to his charms without ever quite dropping over to his side of the fence – the deterrent in this case being his fanciful declarations on Brexit. Carrying the leitmotif of hope and aspiration is all well and good but it can’t achieve the impossible – and that’s precisely what the concept of a “Jobs First Brexit” is – impossible.
Dream all you want, oftentimes it can lead to priceless moments of insight and inspiration; but don’t get so lost in the clouds that you can’t see the facts lingering below. Even the nicest dreams can be punctured in an instant – often leaving you with both a heavy sense of shame and an ominous damp patch down the front of your pants.Follow @grahamlithgow