by Martin Odoni

Observe this characteristic moment of childish petulance from Boris ‘Bojob’ Johnson in 2013, during his time as London Mayor…

…when Andrew Dismore was simply stating the facts about fire safety policy in the capital. See what happened to Grenfell Tower in the summer, and then perhaps we can ask Johnson to explain to us why Dinsmore is the one who should ‘get stuffed’.

Now compare the above with Jeremy Corbyn’s endless patient dignity in the face of a two-and-a half year barrage of insults and false accusations from every corner of the media and every shade of the political spectrum. Such as this. Or this. Or this. Or this.¬†Or this. Or this. Or this (by Johnson himself).

(NB: The above links are just taken from the first couple of pages of a Google search. I could make the list about a hundred times longer if I thought it worth the bother, and still not exhaust the possibilities.)

As the Skwawkbox blog highlighted yesterday, Corbyn has risen above the waves of abuse and never retaliated. Indeed, he almost never loses his temper during debates or interviews, even when being personally insulted. The aftermath of the very low insult thrown by Andrew Griffiths across the House of Commons during the Autumn Budget debate on Wednesday was the first time I have seen Corbyn get angry in well over two years (the only previous instance being during a Channel 4 interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, in 2015, in response to a measurably false accusation). And as Skwawkbox noted, Corbyn’s anger was not at the insult, but at the arrogant, trivialising attitude of Conservative MPs to the victims of budget cuts in social care.

So Corbyn genuinely does not care about being insulted. What he cares about is ensuring discussions critical to many of the nation’s most vulnerable people are not derailed by the usual descent into puerile House of Commons slanging matches – which Tory MPs are now being instructed to do every time he is at the despatch box. (On a side-note, that they are resorting to this sort of dirty tactic shows that the Tories are clearly now terrified of Corbyn, because they can find no effective way to combat him.)

These last two years prove that when Corbyn claims he wants a new way of doing politics, he is not just soundbiting; he is living up to that aspiration.

Johnson, as his behaviour when questioned by the London Assembly four years ago demonstrates, measurably wants to continue the obsolete fashion of throwing insults around in order to evade accountability and to silence criticism.

Theresa May, the lamest duck to sit in 10 Downing Street in over a century, is almost certainly nearing the end of her unhappy time as Prime Minister. When she finally falls from an office she has merely occupied rather than governed from for nearly six months, she will either be replaced by Johnson – if the Tories can somehow form another minority Government – or by Corbyn, if instead another General Election is called.

The above comparison clearly demonstrates that the country will have a choice between Johnson’s selfish childishness and Corbyn’s altruistic maturity.

In that light, is there really any choice to be made at all?