Regular contributor, Richard Heller provides us with an unsual dosage of fake history. It raises the question, is this how Corbyn would operate?

As with the Gettysburg Address  there are several versions of the speech made by Jeremy Corbyn in an open-air rally in Swingtown which changed the course of the 2019 General Election, and in consequence the future of the United Kingdom. Corbyn's key passage, like Lincoln's effort, was delivered extempore. This text is based on a contemporary recording: unless challenged or corrected by the author himself it must be regarded as definitive.

"Brothers and sisters and comrades, here as everywhere else in this campaign I see the overwhelming evidence of why Britain needs a Labour government to bring real and permanent change for the better in people's lives.

"I have met the over-stressed doctors and nurses who struggle against impossible odds to deliver the care they were trained to give and which patients deserve to get. I have met patients waiting in hardship, even agony, for the operations or treatments they need. I have seen the hospital which needs urgent repairs with real money not the phoney promissory notes of Boris Johnson ? part of an NHS whose best assets are being stripped for private profiteers.

"I have met disabled people robbed of the allowances which might make life just about bearable by unqualified assessors working to targets to make profits for private companies.

"I have met the over-stressed teachers in schools starved of money, forced to beg parents and carers to pay for essential things in their child's education. Part of Boris Johnson's education system, with pockets of privilege for the plummy and the pushy and inferior chances for everyone else for the rest of their lives.

"I have met the families where four incomes are not enough to pay for their household bills ? forced to borrow more and more from extortioners.

"Above all, I have met the children forced to live like refugees in their own country* ? living off the rations handed out by food banks, going to bed at night with all their clothes on in cold, makeshift places which will never be a home.

"I have met such people all over the country. I think of them every day. I think too of all the people overseas we could help with a Labour government and a new international policy: victims of hunger, poverty, persecution, war and forced flight from their homes.

"To all these people we owe a duty to do everything possible to create a Labour government and nothing which could prevent one. 

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"Of course that duty applies to me and most of all, as Leader of the Party. I cannot put my personal feelings or interests ahead of their urgent needs. If I did, I could not look them in the face. 

"I must therefore confront the evidence that the prospect of myself as Prime Minister has become a deterrent to many people who otherwise want to vote Labour. Of course I think those people are wrong ? but the remaining days of this election give us too little time to persuade them to change their minds. 

"I therefore announce that I will not accept the office of Prime Minister, even if, as I hope, the Labour party obtains a majority of seats in the new House of Commons. 

"This will mean that everyone in our party will now able to focus the electorate on the catastrophe of a Boris Johnson government with a majority, and, much more importantly, on what they can gain from the most ambitious Labour manifesto since the one Clem Attlee used to transform our country in the postwar era. 

"Our party is rich in talent, and can offer many people in a majority Labour Parliament ready to take on the responsibilities of Prime Minister. I will not name them all: it would be unfair. The new Parliamentary party could meet quickly after the election and choose one of them. If, unfortunately, we fall short of a majority we will have to take account of other parties in the new House and find a Prime Minister acceptable to enough of them to form a non-Boris Johnson government. In either case, there is time in the next few days not just for Labour party members and supporters but for voters generally to express their views on who would make the best Labour Prime Minister. 

"I would propose to continue as Leader of the Labour party, and to play any role that I can in delivering Labour's manifesto in government. There is no law or rule which says that Labour's Prime Minister must be the same as Labour's Leader. But if the party wants me to step aside from that role, this I will do. 

"I realize that this decision will shock and disappoint many people whose love and support has meant a great deal to me, especially those who joined our party recently to help me achieve our programme. I am grateful to them all, but I ask them to accept my decision, and think only of the people they know who need our Labour government."

The announcement amazed listeners, who had tended to switch off during the familiar tropes of the prepared part of Corbyn's speech. It was a total surprise even to those closest to him. It produced an immediate surge in Labour's ratings and those of Jeremy Corbyn personally. (To his annoyance, his allotment became a national shrine.) 

The election immediately became a referendum on Boris Johnson. He could no longer use Corbyn as a human shield against the voters, many within his own party, with real doubts about his honesty, general character, competence and basic awareness of the way other people have to live. Labour candidates, even those who previously despised him, extolled Corbyn's self-sacrifice and were then able to select the items in Labour's manifesto which they personally believed in and/or were most popular in their seats. 

The remainder of the campaign produced a clear frontrunner for Labour's Premier, with a dazzling performance by?

The event to fit this sensational story has not occurred. 

45 votes

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