Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Notes on Jeremy Corbyn, Gardener

I have known Jeremy Corbyn for almost 4 decades. Yearly, each spring, he has tended to my rose garden before Summer sets in. Except this year.

Not Jeremy Corbyn personally, but someone of his type, build, genus. Actually it was a series of them. But I will try to keep it as simple as possible.

I have never had any fundamental problems with Jeremy’s gardening. While I work on my memoirs in my study I have often watched him through the window. I believe he has a right to work in my garden. I take note of any minor faults and politely inform him at a convenient time.

The problem is, while there is nothing wrong with any of the 6 or 7 Jeremys who have worked in my garden, as gardeners, I question whether they would be as well suited to every task. For instance writing memoirs.

I have sat here in my study, for 37 years, my typewriter in front of me, working on my memoirs. I have a clear view of my rose garden, when the roses are in season. My valet, Seamus, brings me my tea, at 9.15, 11.25, 1.05 and 3. My pastry chef, McDonnel, is known for his various choux à la crème.

Each has their place. But are any as fit to write my memoirs? I fear not. Jeremy, at his best, may be able to distinguish a rhododendron from an anecdote, but I fear that’s as far as he’d get. He’d be about as well suited to writing my memoirs as I would arranging the croquembouche.

Its not a question of superiority. It’s a question of being reasonable.

Sometimes, when taking a break from my memoirs, my factotum, Diane, brings me a copy of the Guardian. And there I see reason. I look out to see my roses still there and am comforted. At the Guardian they’re reasonable.

Jonathan Freedland is reasonable. Polly Toynbee is reasonable. Nick Cohen is reasonable. Owen Jones, thank God, is reasonable. (I look forward to reading their memoirs.)

What some people don’t seem to understand, and you would think gardeners of all people would get this, is that you have to be reasonable. Gardens are not reasonable. A garden has to be watched and kept in order. If you let your eye slip away from it for a minute, it creeps up on you. Before you know it plants are covering the window to your study, blocking the light while you’re trying to write your memoirs.

Chapter 1 was hard going, but now I’ve all but completed it, and chapter 2 I plan to begin any day now.

I can’t remember the last time I saw an éclair.

When Jeremy returns next year I won’t bear him any grudges.

More articles by:
October 17, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
When Saudi Arabia’s Credibility is Damaged, So is America’s
John Steppling
Before the Law
Frank Stricker
Wages Rising? 
James McEnteer
Larry Summers Trips Out
Muhammad Othman
What You Can Do About the Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
Binoy Kampmark
Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson
David N. Smith
George Orwell’s Message in a Bottle
Karen J. Greenberg
Justice Derailed: From Gitmo to Kavanaugh
John Feffer
Why is the Radical Right Still Winning?
Dan Corjescu
Green Tsunami in Bavaria?
Rohullah Naderi
Why Afghan Girls Are Out of School?
George Ochenski
You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
Cesar Chelala
Is China Winning the War for Africa?
Mel Gurtov
Getting Away with Murder
W. T. Whitney
Colombian Lawyer Diego Martinez Needs Solidarity Now
Dean Baker
Nothing to Brag About: Scott Walker’s Economic Record in Wisconsin:
October 16, 2018
Gregory Elich
Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Diplomacy Survive Maximum Pressure?
Rob Seimetz
Talking About Death While In Decadence
Kent Paterson
Fifty Years of Mexican October
Robert Fantina
Trump, Iran and Sanctions
Greg Macdougall
Indigenous Suicide in Canada
Kenneth Surin
On Reading the Diaries of Tony Benn, Britain’s Greatest Labour Politician
Andrew Bacevich
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate: a Letter to Elizabeth Warren
Thomas Knapp
Facebook Meddles in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Muhammad Othman
Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos
Gerry Brown
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics: How the US Weaponizes Them to Accuse  China of Debt Trap Diplomacy
Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker – Peter Lehman
The Brazilian Presidential Elections and “The Rules of The Game”
Robert Fisk
What a Forgotten Shipwreck in the Irish Sea Can Tell Us About Brexit
Martin Billheimer
Here Cochise Everywhere
David Swanson
Humanitarian Bombs
Dean Baker
The Federal Reserve is Not a Church
October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail