These are all strong arguments against Corbyn assuming the leadership of the Labour Party. Or, should that come to pass, ever becoming Prime Minister.
The press attacks have already begun. The once-sober Daily Telegraph thinks it would be a hilarious wheeze to get its readers to join Labour just so they can vote in a “joke” candidate. The Sunday Times caricatures him in a Che Guevara beret. Even The Independent calls him “weird”.
And new LibDem leader Tim Farron joins in with a poor quip sneering at “Comrade Corbyn”, which does little for his own shaky credibility.
All this, frankly, says more about the right-wing nature of the national press than the left-wing nature of Corbyn.
For what are Corbyn’s supposedly “loony” policies and beliefs?
He opposes the present Government’s policy of austerity. As do an increasing number of the world’s most eminent economists, as does the SNP, as the Labour Party should have done from the start.
He opposes the capping of welfare benefits. As any party calling itself Labour should do without hesitation or doubt.
He opposes bombing Syria – just as he opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a position that looks more mainstream now than perhaps it did then.
He warns of the dangers of immigration control. As any reasonable thinking person should.
He wants to scrap Trident. So do you think it makes sense to pay billions for a weapon that can never be fired?
He wants to scrap university tuition fees. So do you think it’s right for new graduates to be embarking on their adult lives already saddled with huge personal debts?
He wants to re-nationalise the railways. As, if my frequent conversations with fellow disgruntled travellers are any guide, do most rail users.
He wants to protect the NHS from rampant privatisation. Doesn’t everyone, apart from those with a vested interest in profits from private health firms?
In all of these things he goes against official Labour policy – something he’s made a long habit of doing. And in every one, it’s Corbyn’s position that reflects traditional Labour values. Or, you might simply say, values.
It seems to be a widely held view that electing Corbyn leader would be the Labour Party’s suicide note. Perhaps.
But what is the point of a Labour Party that’s merely a pale copy of the Tories? An Opposition that fails to oppose.
Somehow the view seems to have taken hold that Labour lost the election because it was too left-wing. I suspect the truth is different. That it failed because it let the Tories set the agenda and offered nothing coherently different.
It would be interesting to see how a Corbyn-led party would fare, but we won’t see it.
He may top the leadership poll in the first round, because the other three candidates will split the Blairite vote between them. But when second, and maybe third, choices are taken into account, we’ll be left, boringly, with Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper. Still awaiting the resurrection of a party that used to know its purpose.
The No 1 feelgood sporting hit of the summer
Well, the Ashes have been interesting so far, haven’t they? And the golf… well, the weather at St Andrews was entertaining anyway. But for me the one truly enthralling sporting spectacle of this summer – as every summer – has been the rolling circus that is the Tour de France.
What a pity the ongoing jawdropping achievements of the sensational Chris Froome should continue to be undermined by slurs and innuendoes. It is, perhaps, an inevitable hangover of the event’s drug-ridden days.
But it’s not just because I want to believe Froome and his Sky team are riding clean that I do believe it. Dave Brailsford’s outfit have made such a point from the first of their anti-doping stance that if it turned out otherwise they’d be proven even bigger liars and hypocrites than Lance Armstrong. And they appear very confident no such proof will ever turn up.
Froome is a fascinating character. The story of his rise from the rutted tracks of his native Kenya to leadership of the world’s best-funded cycling team was well told in last week’s ITV documentary Sports Life Stories.
The programme had a strong contribution from David Walsh, the journalist whose dogged investigation eventually exposed Armstrong. He is convinced that natural talent, determination and honest, dogged endeavour – a lot of it – took Froome to the top. And if Walsh believes it, I do.
Now, can we just get over the slurs and the envy and simply enjoy the brilliant sporting contest? And, of course, the glorious French scenery.