If Hilary Benn wants to become an electable Labour leader, he ought to learn the lessons of William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith
This summer, Jeremy Corbyn declared his victory would be accompanied by the death of yah-boo politics. He began quoting “Brenda from Blackpool” and “Fiona of Fife” at Prime Minister’s Questions instead of bothering to quiz the PM himself and in the months that followed, he has proved himself as nothing but an unelectable nitwit.
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hilary Benn now presents himself as Labour’s new hero but like William Hague in 1997, he comes too soon. This philosophical inheritor of his father’s mantle would do better to wait.
If Hilary Benn really believes himself capable of high office and to be the new voice of a centre-left party that could actually take power, he should also learn the lesson of Iain Duncan Smith. When the ‘Quiet Man’ came, nobody listened. In fact, they turned off the volume and consigned the Tories to yet more time in the wilderness.
Mr Benn should look to history and he should pay attention.
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Quick thinking and brilliance
In a packed House – on the Conservative benches Winston Churchill was listening a brilliant but potentially damning opposition speaker
He bent down and scavenged around causing a big disturbance – others had joined in the hunt to make it worse
The Speaker interrupted the proceedings – enquiring what the commotion was about
‘ I have dropped my Jelly beans ‘ Churchill replied – the whole House howled with laughter and the opposing speaker’s moment was completely lost…………