Celebrate – As We Say Farewell To Mr Jones | Ewell Gregoor

“Surely, comrades, you don’t want Jones to come back?”, is a line from George Orwell’s famous satirical novel, Animal Farm. Mr Jones, who symbolises the last Tsar, Nicholas II, is forced out of Manor Farm during the animal revolution after his reign of tyranny. 

Squealer, who symbolises the Russian State Propaganda, often warns the animals that failure to comply with with the orders of Napoleon (Joseph Stalin), risks the return of Mr Jones. 

This by no means compares Boris Johnson to Joseph Stalin, or the Conservative Party to the Communist Russian Government. Rather, it compares the outgoing leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who’s legacy ended with Labours worst election defeat since 1935, with Mr Jones.

The threat of a Jeremy Corbyn led government has been the Governments best attack line since the former Labour Leader was appointed in 2015. The apotheosis was during the 2019 election campaign where the Prime Minister would often answer difficult questions by simply stating the alternative was Jeremy Corbyn. An example of which was during the BBC Question Time Leaders Special, where the Prime Minister finished his closing speech by saying, `A vote for anyone else is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn”.

The threat of Jeremy Corbyn not only facilitated the biggest Conservative Majority since 1987, it has also shielded the Prime Minister from deserved scrutiny. The now Prime Minister, when fighting the Tory leadership campaign in the summer of 2019, did so on an unambiguous promise to leave the EU by the October 31st deadline. A claim which was at the time scrutinised by his then political rivals. Rory Stewart, the now London Mayor Candidate, provided an antithesis to Johnson’s pledge to secure a new deal. Stewart proposed the revamping of

Theresa Mays’ deal as he claimed no new deal had the capability of passing through Parliament, nor could be negotiated in time. 

As the October 31st deadline passed with Britain still an European Union member, the Prime Minister should have become the Maximilian Robespierre of this era, the Thermidorian Reaction should have followed. 

However, the Prime Minister survived unscathed. Which was largely thanks to the opposition, led by Jeremy Corbyn, who frustrated the electorate again by not only voting down the proposed withdrawal agreement, but also had succumbed to the pressures of his cabinet in calling for a second referendum.

A surprising move for the Islington North MP, who since his election to Parliament in 1983 has campaigned relentlessly against the European Union, who’s Hayek economic model is inimical to the former opposition leaders supposed socialist values. 

It was hard to know what the former Labour Leader stood for towards the end of his reign. Which is why it was so easy to cast him as Mr Jones. 

The incumbent Labour Leader, Keir Starmer, who last week Tweeted his birthday wishes to the Queen, wished the country a happy St George’s Day and did an interview/article for the Mail on Sunday, will prove to be no Mr Jones. The former Attorney General, Starmer, has made no secret that he has Conservative voting friends and seeks the type of broad appeal that Tony Blair’s New Labour had when they toppled a Tory government of 18 years. The new Labour Leader, like his counterpart across the dispatch box, is an impressive orator, exemplified by his debut   Prime Ministers Questions. This brings about a welcome change, as people are best severed by Governments who are fighting against credible, effective opponents. Starmer’s ascendance to Labour’s top job should therefore be celebrated across the country. As there should be no place in Parliament for a Mr Jones. 

That said, no Tory voter need be concerned about the prospect of a Starmer led government in 2024. The Labour Leader has the onerous task of uniting the Europhile Liberal Democrat defectors and Brexit supporting Tory defectors if he has any hopes of leading propped up minority government with the SNP. It is worth remembering that Labour have only won a majority in England on one occasion. So whilst the SNP control the Scottish Assembly, Labours only hope of governance is in the form of a minority government or a coalition. 

As a keen forecaster with a respectable Brier Score (accrued accuracy indicator), I would struggle to give Labour more than a 10% chance of being the governing party after the next general election, whenever that may be.

However nothing is certain. But for now, we can all celebrate – as we say farewell to Mr Jones.


Photo by Mark Holt on Flickr.

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