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Slugs, melts and centrist dads: How to talk like a Corbynista

Are you considering a career in Labour politics but fear you may be left behind amid all the exciting changes the party is undergoing?

Maybe you want to be a part of the Jez revolution but can’t get your head around the ever-developing terminology. 

Perhaps you are eyeing up a safe seat but aren’t sure which paramilitary cell’s endorsement would most impress the selection panel. 

Help is at hand with this guide that takes you through the key terms of Corbynspeak. 

Centrist dad: Anyone old enough to remember when Labour was a political party and not an evangelical tent ministry. Owns more than one pair of chinos and only uses Facebook to post ‘FFS’ with links to Owen Jones pieces. Centrist dads just don’t get how politics works in 2017. It’s all about getting people excited by promising to bring change and give them free stuff. That’s never happened before. 

Jeremy Corbyn: Substitute father figure for people whose centrist dad didn’t give them enough hugs growing up. 

Oh Jeremy Corbyn: The Red Flag for people who don’t know the words to the Red Flag because they only joined the Labour Party five minutes ago. 

Abi Mae Mendoza: Peppy twenty-something with an excitable Twitter following and an 800-word hot take at the ready. It’s not that she’s vapid, it’s that you’re mansplaining. 

Misogyny: It has no place in the Labour Party, save the narrow exception of every woman who has ever disagreed with Jeremy ever.

Slug: Tory. The sort of heartless, racist scum who still hasn’t been convinced to vote for us.

Melt: Blairite. Worse than slugs. 

Weapon: Liberal squishes who fantasise about the return of David Miliband. Probably work at Portland Communications and subscribe to Progress. Regularly binge-watch the West Wing and debate which member of the racist, Zionist, warmongering Bartlet administration they are.


Abuse: Something that happens to left-wingers. 

Calling out: Something that happens to everyone else. 

Rebellion: An act of disloyalty by bitter, out-of-touch backbenchers who refuse to accept the democratically elected leader of the party. Please note: This definition did not apply between 1983 and 2015. 

Activism: Checking in on the ‘WokeAF’ WhatsApp group you set up at SOAS. 

Labour Friends of Israel: Currently affiliated to the Labour Party. 

Racism: Vile prejudice. Totally unacceptable. Victims’ concerns must be taken seriously.

Anti-Semitism: Well, let’s not be hasty. Probably a smear. Victims must be in league with Laura Kuenssberg. 

Neoliberalism: The economic arrangements responsible for the laptops, tablets and smartphones Corbynistas use to post memes of Jezza. Also, evil. 

Both sides: To blame for terrorism. 

Hamas: Not to blame for terrorism.

IRA: They were like Momentum in Ireland or something, right? Pals with Jez. Slugs and melts don’t like them for some reason. 

Brexit: A disastrous/progressive/uncertain move, fuelled by xenophobia/working-class discontent/many factors, and is sure to isolate the UK/break up the Brussels capitalist cartel/have an unknown impact. As such, Labour must oppose/lead/express no opinion on the matter. N.B. The party line changes from time to time, so best to avoid taking a clear position. Alternatively, take all three positions at once. Works for Keir Starmer.  

Winning: Coming 55 seats behind a Prime Minister who literally went into hiding in the middle of the election campaign. 

Losing: Beating the Tories three elections in a row and transforming the country. 

Jez: The Absolute Boy.

Jews: Nothing against the ones that don’t take orders from their puppet masters in Tel Aviv. 

Palestine: Must be free.

Cuba: Fine the way it is. 

Bias: Reporting unflattering facts about Jeremy.

Balance: Any TV debate in which Aaron Bastani is representing the right-wing perspective. 

Ken Livingstone: Something to do with LGBTTQQIAAP+ activism in London in the olden days. Says here he owns a newt; not sure if we have an ideological stance on that. Noted World War II historian who regularly appears on LBC to share his expertise. 

Venezuela: Socialist paradise that may turn out not to have been practising true socialism. Body count pending. 

Tony Blair: The only war criminal Jeremy wouldn’t share a platform with. 

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