With just one day to go before the new Labour leader is announced, Jeremy Corbyn, for better or worse, has certainly stirred our imagination

If, like myself, the more skittish amongst us have, of recent, noticed a certain rumbling in the airwaves I can gladly reassure, one and all, that we are not to panic. This commotion is, I have been assured, in fact the mating sound of the ‘Red-Breasted Labourite’. At this point, however, you may be asking yourself, what is a Red-Breasted Labourite? And so you should ask, as they have become something of a rarity in the twenty-first century political environment.

As the more raucous member of the Westminster savannah they are often heard though rarely seen. Although, this was not always the case. In years past they could often be seen in abundance across the United Kingdom. From the pits of Lancashire to the tea rooms of Hampstead they were often to be seen and admired for their astounding ability to drift, seemingly effortlessly, from the peripheries of our vision to the forefront of our collective attention and then, with the same ease of practice, to fade, again, into the shadows of thought.

Noteworthy for their rough appearance – beards apparent – and herbivorous diet, they are instantly recognisable. Though it is the hypnotic grandeur of their startling scarlet breast that has so captured the public’s imagination all these years. Through the redirection of blood, from the brain to the capillaries in its breast, this magnificent beast flushes its breast, a deep ruby red, in the hope that any prospective mate shall be overawed by the seeming virulence and power of the display. Unfortunately, though, instances have been recorded suggesting that those Red-Breasted Labourites unable to attract a mate suffer from acute brain damage as they stubbornly continue to feed blood from their brain, for the benefit of their image, in a vain attempt to keep up the display.

All this being said, the story of the Red-Breasted Labourite has been a notably sad and perilous one. Least of all due to recent developments – namely government culls since 1979 aimed at halting the spread of perceived political tuberculosis as well as, in 1997, the arrival from across the pond of their American styled cousins the ‘Grey-Breasted Labourite’, or, New Labour, as they came to be known – which have seen their numbers drop dramatically year on year since 1979. Recently, however, It would appear that this old bird; this red bulwark of any respectable British political aviary, is not only beginning to fight back against the onslaught of its Grey cousins but is actually winning. Numbers are rising at rates hitherto unprecedented in this young century.

Now, whilst all this may seem like joyous news to any political conservationists out there, it is necessary to remember that when one species prospers another must sadly suffer – and so swings the heavy axe of natural selection. As a consequence Government Ministers fear record losses for the shaving industry (Wilkinson Sword has already announced job losses at its factory in the constituency of Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington North), as well as shortages of organic food stuffs, white socks and imitation leather sandals should the Red-Breasted Labourite population continue to increase at its current pace.

However, to return to the original point of this foray into the lofty heights of the Westminster canopy, that which has so shocked those politically-minded of us – or indeed those too lazy to reach for the television remote and switch from News Night to film4 come 11 o’clock – is the hauntingly violent sound of the Red-Breasted Labourite’s mating call. At once hopeful and despairing; savage and comical, the experience of hearing it is not one to be easily passed up. Fortunately there are those who have made it their life’s work to identify and record this extraordinary, natural wonder. And below is an example for you:


A Poem By

Ernest Schonfield


They call you mad

Because you don’t suck up to bankers

They call you sick

Because you believe in fair play

They call you a wrecker

Because you want to build hospitals

They call you economically incompetent

When they have sold the nation’s assets at a loss.

They say you can never win.

You say, we’ll see.

My friend Barry joined Labour.

The website asked:

Why are you joining Labour?

He typed back:

So I can vote for Corbyn

Because I’m sick of New Labour bullshit

and I can’t wait to see the look

on war criminal Tony Blair’s face

when they elect a decent man

of principle and integrity

rather than some Tory-lite twat!


Quite something, isn’t it? There hasn’t been a mass Red-Breasted Labourite hatching in this country since the 1945 general election. Admittedly, this is not overly surprising as the mating habits of these astounding creatures have often been likened to that of the Panda. They are known to walk in ideological circles and thus starve to death or collapse from picket fatigue long before attracting a mate. As wary of their suitors as they are, should they by some miracle fall pregnant they have been, and are, known to sit upon and suffocate their political offspring. However, it would seem that the greatest danger this prospective pregnancy faces is a possible miscarriage. This is so as the Red-Breasted Labourite is, itself, a delicate beast. It will require peace and stability to see it through the trials of the next five years and, as a result, should a successful mate be found in Jeremy Corbyn on the 12th of September, it is essential for the success of the pregnancy that the Grey-Breasted Labourite insurgency be politically neutered.

So, should their numbers continue to rise and a mate be found in Mr Corbyn it would certainly be quite the feat – an event likely to even make the keepers of Edinburgh zoo sit up and take notes. If, however, we are simply entertaining a monumentally damp squib then it is just as well that the BBC has commissioned David Attenborough to produce a series documenting the strange behaviour of this tough bird, so as to preserve for the nation the peculiarities of a political species that may soon disappear forever. (The series, entitled ‘Red Planet’, is due to begin filming in October with an as yet undisclosed broadcast date.)





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