Dear Aunt Agatha,
People sing silly songs about me because my name sounds like that old guy that had a farm where animals made noises and everyone sang E-I-E-I-O. Little do they know that when I get to run the economy it will be Animal Farm, and my animals in control will be more equal than the others.
My problem is my past. People don’t look at my boring career in local government, or even at my sleep-inducing stint as a TUC researcher. Instead they dig up statements I’ve made honouring the IRA’s “bombs, bullets and sacrifice” that brought Britain to the table. Or they quote me citing “Marx, Lenin and Trotsky” as my most significant intellectual influences. I actually meant Groucho Marx and John Lennon, and only included Trotsky because I wanted to pick his brains.
People think that signing that letter 3 years ago calling for armed police and MI5 to be disbanded makes me some kind of extremist. When I tossed that book across the table towards George Osborne, I was signifying that I was “throwing the book” at him. It was pure coincidence that it happened to be Mao’s Little Red Book. Look, as a young man I trained as a Roman Catholic priest, and when I get the chance, the Spanish Inquisition will look like wimps. But first I need people to forget my past. How can I do that?
Although politicians are usually expected to be consistent, embracing their past and never changing their views, this does not apply to born-again Christians. Uniquely, they are allowed to forget their previous sins. I’m not suggesting you do this, but you could do the equivalent, making a public declaration that you were wrong to say those things, and repudiating them. Then you’ll be allowed to renew yourself, and those old expressions of your real beliefs won’t hold you back from power. People will be lulled into thinking you sincere.
The hard Left will regard you as a renegade and a traitor, but they regard just about everyone as renegades and traitors, and there isn’t anyone to the Left of you they can turn to. You’ll coast in on a tide of wishful thinking because everyone wants something new, and you’ll look like a new man. Oh, and don’t worry about being a vegetarian and a teetotaler. It never stopped Hitler.