Corbyn's conference speech: a rapid-fire assault of blancmange pellets


"Now, I'd like to talk a little more about how we're going to change policy making in the party".
It was at this stage in Jeremy Corbyn's hour-long conference speech that I started to bang my head on the table. 
How different things had seemed just half an hour earlier, when Labour's new leader was all japes and banter.
"according to one headline” he told us, “Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid 'wiping out' humanity.” 
(If we're going to get technical about it, he did actually sign up to a motion welcoming rocky oblivion, and about 45 minutes into his speech, I would have welcomed it too)
In TV interviews, Corbyn is calm, funny, and largely unflappable. Last Sunday’s encounter with Andrew Marr was one of the most refreshing political interviews I have ever seen.
But in a conference hall filled with Labour party supporters, he morphs into an angry ranter, flailing furiously from one subject to another.
Applause was an unwanted inconvenience -- Mr Corbyn ploughed into his next pronouncement regardless of how well his last one may have been received.
Even a standing ovation was a thoughtless inconvenience: "I haven't finished yet" he said, as his audience stood and clapped. He really ought to have cut to the song.
There were long, worthy sections — railing against alleged gerrymandering by the Tories, the breathless excitement of those much-previewed changes to policy making.
But to any normal person accidentally straying on the speech while looking for Countdown it would have meant little — a rapid-fire scattergun assault of blancmange pellets.
Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal is that he’s different from most politicians, unspun, straight-talking. 
The Corbyn on display today may as well have been straight talking in Swahili.
The good news for him is that almost no normal people actually watch conference speeches. Their perception of his performance will be based on the soundbites selected for TV news bulletins — the very thing he stands against.
Anti-austerity, pro-jobs, pro-houses. A few simple messages might just make Jeremy Corbyn’s job a little easier. And perhaps a tougher line on asteroid defence.