Julian Bray comments: Quite amusing, bang on 3:30pm, Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the Nation from ... Peterborough, but it was the London metropolitan TV media scrum crammed into what looked like a downmarket fluorescent tube lit prefab shed, along with a small security cleared carefully selected invited audience.
But Mr Corbyn really might have been better off taking the larger well appointed town centre function room at the Brewery Tap (and close to the railway station). Ironically the Tap, at one time the main Labour Exchange for Peterborough, the Employers sign can still be seen etched over what is now the bar staff entrance ... especially as he's now suggested a new Ministry of Labour should be introduced. And a top management pay cap of circa £330k.
The choice of venue (Lisa Forbes lives nearby) is part of a stage managed media re-launch of the embattled Labour leader, as explained on BBC Newsnight.
Reacting elsewhere Danny Blanchflower, the former economics adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, claimed the idea was “idiotic” as companies could get around it by paying staff - in shares!
“If I was still an adviser I would have told him it’s a totally idiotic unworkable idea,” Mr Blanchflower added. Suffice to say Mr Blanchflower, should not bother waiting in for a call from Mr Corbyn!
Even more interesting, as Labour apparently post 'brexit' isn't wedded to the idea of free movement of EC labour. Very strange just as the Corbyn Press Conference gets underway, the local Peterborough Labour Central party failed parliamentary candidate Lisa Forbes steps in to cut questions short, bang on 4pm! A bit like Germany where the trains always seem to run on time!
It's a pity, as after a fractured monotone autocue delivery, Mr Corbyn even managed to crack a couple of jokes, and seemed more relaxed with the media Q&A session and was just about to get into his stride, or perhaps he knew the red flag would descend at 4pm? Local media was seemingly excluded from asking questions, and few other media types had any hope, with a long drawn out strangled vowel confused effort from ITV's bad boy Robert Peston.
Essentially London Television correspondents were called, he answered about five questions, but nothing relating to the Peterborough economy, or the current main news agenda. Mr Corbyn floated several ideas, some may say 'crackpot' or kindly 'not worked through' - few on a brief examination seemed to be at all workable, suggesting for example, top management have their salaries capped. Fat chance of that. Or did we mishear and he was talking about flat caps? Sadly we will never know....
No doubt its a fast train, one stop back to London. Just as well he's not flying as British Airways crew are on strike and the Southern Railway industrial action continues elsewhere.
It was left to Virgin Trains to remove him from the City to the safety of Islington. On reflection it's a case of nothing to see, move on.... shame but for once Mr Corbyn was actually warming up to something, that might have been interesting, now we will never know. Big, big, shame...
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