[Note: As Paul Mason is a very busy man, having to split his time between fighting off the forces of darkness and their soft coup, and having to spend hours on the Autotrader web-site, spending his fantasy budget on sports cars and over-powered motorcycles, I’ve taken the liberty of drafting his response to today’s polling of Labour party members]
It will come as no surprise to those of us au fait with the tactics of the soft coup to find that Blairite front, YouGov, are behind today’s figures. After trying for months to topple Jeremy with increasingly unbelievable voting intention figures YouGov are now clearly trying to strike closer to home.
Make no mistake, this is a government (1997-2010) sanctioned plan to sow discord amongst the opposition party and, as such, should be treated as nothing less than high treason. That Blair is prepared to go to these lengths to discredit Jeremy – dear, saintly, Jeremy – can be read as nothing other than a damning indication of how terrified he is of Jeremy taking power and ending the reign of his far-right protege, May.
I spend the vast majority of my time with honest, salt-of-the-Earth, Labour people – like my good friend Ken Loach – and I can assure you that this survey is not at all indicative of the views I choose to hear. And I doubt the 200,000 people who turned out to help Jeremy save the NHS this weekend would find themselves reflected in the figures, either. They’re the real Labour party members, because they support those of his views that Jeremy still talks about, whether they’re card-carrying members of the party or not.
Speaking of card-carrying members, one will search in vain for any members’ contact details in YouGov’s hatchet-job. There’s no names and addresses for the 1,096 “Labour members” who’ve taken party. There’s not even a simple list of their membership IDs. Without that identifying information can we really be sure that this was even a poll of Labour members? That only 87% of them say they would vote Labour in a general election should set alarm bells ringing. I don’t have any proof that YouGov fraudulently generated these numbers randomly from a weighted computer algorithm, but neither can I prove that they didn’t, so it’s a 50:50 case.
If (and I use the word in its precise, legal sense) this is a real survey then its bias is easy to spot. From its “sample” of 1,096 “Labour party members” a whopping 826 are from the ABC1 socio-economic group. In other words the wealthy, metropolitan, elite, who hate Jeremy’s working class affectation and his almost imperceptible influence on the ordinary people. It would be a tad conspiratorial to suggest that Blair himself hand-picked the people to be interviewed, but he probably did.
Naturally the right-wing press will snap up this data, without subjecting it to my detailed analysis. A march of 200,000 people trying to save the NHS, through the democracy of the streets rather than the Westminster bubble politics of the House of Common, are barely worth a couple of column inches, but we can be sure today’s figures, representing only 0.5% of the number on the march, will be everywhere. It’s no wonder that that the poll finds that 47% of Jeremy’s supporters blame the loss of Copeland on the media.
Yet, in response to that same question, we’re expected to believe that 41% of all respondents blame Corbyn, compared to only 20% correctly blaming Jamie Reed (as I exhaustively covered at the time). It takes only a few minutes to work out that 47+41+20 = 108%…how easily the centrists create a false consciousness and with such disregard for those they seek to fool that they don’t even bother to hide basic errors like that.
Ultimately, of course, this poll is just that, it’s not real life. Were there to be another leadership contest, or a general election, then we know that, like the man who constantly fantasises about leaving his wife and buying a classic Lotus Elan but lacks the courage to actually do it, the voters would flock back to Jeremy. No amount of polling will tell us what we already know; that if it came down to the choice between backing twinkle-eyed Jeremy or putting our support behind an NHS-wrecking, migrant-killing, austerity-loving, freedom-hating, royalist, imperialist, satanist, neoliberalist party or candidate then 100% of Labour party members would, at the moment of truth, be behind our glorious leader.
And that is why, Mr Blair, your coup-supporting, false-number-packed, lying, fake news poll only really manages to get one thing right…