Jeremy Corbyn called John McDonnell into his office one day and said,
"John, I have a great idea! We’re going to go all out to win back Middle England.”
“Good idea Jeremy, how will we go about it?” said McDonnell.
“Well,” said Corbyn “we’ll get ourselves two of those long Barbour coats, some proper Hunter wellies, a stick and a flat cap –, oh, and a Labrador. Then we’ll really look the part”.
“Lets find a nice country pub in the heart of Middle England and get started on our campaign”.
Right Comrade,” said McDonnell.
So a few days later, all kitted out and with the requisite Labrador at heel, they set off. Eventually they arrived in a quiet little village and found a lovely country pub and, with the dog, went in and up to the bar.
“Good evening, Landlord. Two pints of your best ale, from the wood please,” said Corbyn.
“Good evening, Jeremy,” said the landlord. “Two pints of best it is, coming up.”
Corbyn & McDonnell stood leaning on the bar contemplating taking over the country, nodding now and again to those who came in for a drink, whilst the dog lay quietly at their feet.
Suddenly the door from the adjacent bar opened and in came a grizzled old shepherd complete with crook. He walked up to the Labrador, lifted its tail with his crook, looked underneath , shook his head, gave a big sigh and then walked back to the adjacent bar.
A few moments later, in came a wizened farmer who followed the same procedure to the bewilderment of Corbyn and McDonnell.
People of all ages and gender followed suit over the next hour.
Eventually, unable to stand it any longer, McDonnell called the landlord over.
“Tell me,” said McDonnell, “Why did all those people come in and look under the dog’s tail like that? Is it an old country custom?”
“Good Lord no,” said the landlord. “It’s just that someone has told them that there was a Labrador in this bar with two a**eholes.”