An “expert panel” at Prospect, meanwhile, composed of people with little sympathy for Corbyn, tried their best to discredit the leadership candidate. His “robust rebuttal of George Osborne’s economic strategy”, for example, was called “pure soapbox” and “economic amateurism” by UBS senior advisor George Magnus. Without backing his claims up with evidence, Magnus argued that Corbyn’s set of policies “lacks credibility and is dangerously inexpert”, calling it a “tax fantasy”. For Schools Week editor Laura McInerney, Corbyn’s promise of “Free lifelong education” was “noble, but naïve”, as the “corporation tax hike” it would require “may push businesses overseas”.
In the opinion of Inside Housing Executive Editor Nick Duxbury, Corbyn’s plan to “bring down house prices” was “sensible, albeit electorally toxic”, because “homeowning turkeys [wouldn’t] vote for a Christmas of negative equity, and the demographic of younger, priced out renters rarely vote at all”. In this case in particular, Duxbury failed to acknowledge that many youngsters who did not previously vote were being encouraged by Corbyn to participate in politics.
Regarding gender equality, CEBR Chief Economic Adviser Vicky Pryce asserted that, although Corbyn’s policies were “hardly radical”, they were “along the right lines with pay reviews and better education for women” – seeking to reduce “the “ghettoisation” of women in low pay activities”. The idea of free childcare, meanwhile, may seem “costly in the short term” but would have a “major impact in redressing balance between work and welfare and will more than pay its way as women earn and pay taxes”. And, finally, Corbyn’s “target of having 50 per cent women Labour MPs and cabinet members” was, stressed Pryce, “a no-brainer”.
Labour Uncut Deputy Editor Jonathan Todd, meanwhile, compared Corbyn to former Conservative leader William Hague, speaking of how the latter had “adopted policies that appeared popular” but were “a low priority for many voters”. For Todd, Corbyn’s ‘big theme’ of public ownership may have been one such idea, appearing to have widespread support but carrying the risk of making Labour seem “overly statist”. In short, Todd argued, Corbyn’s “individually popular policies” might “sum to an unpopular package”. This assumption, however, appeared to ignore the fact that the Corbyn campaign had set out detailed and comprehensive policies developed alongside both experts and grassroots activists.