Jeremy Corbyn reveals favourite book (and favourite biscuit)

Written by David Singleton on 19 September 2016 in Diary

Labour leader says he has read Ulysses at least four times.

The James Joyce novel Ulysees has been described by T.S Eliot as “the most important expression which the present age has found”.

More recently, it nabbed number 3 spot in the Top Five Abandoned Classics poll published by the Goodreads website. And it topped a list of the Most Difficult Novels on the same site.

So hats off to Jeremy Corbyn, who says he has read Ulysses at least four times.

The Labour leader was asked for his favourite novel during Mumsnet Q&A. He answered:

“Really hard choice as I love books and reading. I’ve just re-read Things Fall Apart, but I think the prize has to go to Ulysses on the grounds that it’s very hard to understand the first time and doesn’t get much easier on the third or fourth reading of it.

“I first read it as my companion on a complicated series of trains travelling from London to Marrakech.”

The Labour leader also plumped for shortbread when asked the staple Mumsnet question about his favourite biscuit. But only after declaring himself strongly opposed to sugar.

“I’m totally anti-sugar on health grounds, so eat very few biscuits, but if forced to accept one, it’s always a pleasure to have a shortbread.”

Corbyn’s response comes seven years since Gordon Brown famously got himself into a pickle by appearing to repeatedly dodge the biscuit question - and then eventually using Twitter to reveal that he likes "anything with a bit of chocolate”.

In other Mumsnet Q&As, David Cameron has opted for oatcakes “with butter and cheese”, Boris Johnson for chocolate digestives and Ed Miliband for jaffa cakes.

On a less frivolous note, Corbyn was also asked about his political influences and what socialism means to him. He said:

“Socialism is a natural instinct to me, one that shares wealth and resources, gives opportunities to all and recognises the limits of exploitation of our natural environment. I have many political influences, from my mother and father and also as a late teenager living and working in Jamaica and travelling throughout Latin America, I could see the dreadful levels of inequality there.

“Later as a trade union organiser seeing the way in which we can challenge injustice at the workplace and inequality through trade union membership. Socialism is about including all people and trying to create a world of peace.”


Picture by: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images

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