This is our truth, tell us yours
Younger readers, (and, arguably, those with good musical taste) may not be acquainted with the musical output of Jethro Tull. On an album in the early 80s they featured a song called Slow Marching Band; a pastoral elegy for the past. Every time I think about Jermey Corbyn’s non-performance as Labour leader the song comes to mind.
Could you get behind a slow marching band?
And join together in the passing
of all we shared through yesterdays
in sorrows neverlasting.
Take a hand and take a bow.
You played for me; that’s all for now,
oh, and never mind the words:
just hum along and keep on going.
That seems to me to sum up the Corbyn approach to being the opposition; never mind the words, just hum along as if you know the tune. The tune, unfortunately, has something of the flavour of a dirge about it – it’s hard to be upbeat and jaunty about a song that has a different minor chord in every line, and just as Jethro Tull’s song is sad and nostalgic, so is Corbyn’s.
Corbyn needs to change the tune if he is to provide leadership, and to teach Labour to sing a new song.