Jeremy Corbyn is currently facing calls to cancel his attendance at Friday’s Stop the War Christmas fundraiser dinner. However, should he stay on course and attend, the Labour leader can at least bank on getting a far friendlier reception from his comrades there than he did at his own party’s Christmas bash.
Labour staff gathered in the Conrad St James hotel on Tuesday night for their annual Christmas party. Faced with free drinks and free food, the event had the ingredients for a promising night. That was until Jeremy Corbyn stepped up to the mic to give a speech to his party.
Taking inspiration from John McDonnell, who quoted Chairman Mao — as part of a misjudged stunt to show-up George Osborne over his links with China — during his response to the Autumn statement, Corbyn decided to quote another Communist great. He plumped for Enver Hoxha, the Albanian communist dictator who is held responsible for up to 25,000 deaths, quoting his famous line ‘this year will be tougher than last year’. The bleak message left even the most Corbynista members of staff squirming in their seats.
Things only got worse from then on in — as The Times reports today — when the founder of Momentum Jon Lansman rocked up late. He was swiftly escorted upstairs to avoid a scene with more hostile members of staff. There was some good news though, Corbyn did manage to get away before Tony Blair’s old jam D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better came on.
Still, while things could be better, it could also have been worse. At least Corbyn’s communist dictator’s death count stays in the five-figure mark — an improvement on McDonnell’s choice of Mao, who is linked to tens of millions of deaths. Vive la Revolution!