DOES anyone remember Jeremy Corbyn in January? Bumbling and dishevelled, unable to answer the simplest questions. Fast-forward to May and we saw a very different person. He was sharp-suited, even slick, emerging unscathed from the questioning of the formidable Andrew Neil.
With this change in style and speech Mr Corbyn has become eminently more electable. So how has a man with links to the IRA and who refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” undergone such an image shift?
Is there something sinister going on here? There is evidence to suggest that he and his party used psychological techniques to sway the public.
A year ago, Mr Corbyn was marginalised as an extremist by his own Labour MPs. Now, when quizzed on his dubious past he employs linguistic reframing techniques to challenge perception. When asked if he supported the IRA he replies that he “supports a peace process”. When it is pointed out that he played no part in the peace process – the IRA themselves confirm this – he sidesteps again by referring to meetings with them as “dialogue”.
Corbyn transformed himself in the wake of the General Election
When quizzed on his dubious past he employs linguistic reframing techniques to challenge perception
I believe that Mr Corbyn is using something called coercive political methodology, described by American commentator Richard Hofstadter as “Paranoid Style”. According to Hofstadter, it centres around “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness and conspiratorial fantasy”.