It seems like the Corbyn show atm. Following the general election the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has no intention of stepping aside and going back to business as usual, while he didn’t win the election what he did do was undermine Theresa May’s conservative majority and her shallow attempt to get the backing of the public behind her and Brexit. The election was a huge upset for the once majority Tory government and unsurpisingly gave Labour the chance to flex their political muscle. Although they didn’t win, they certainly defied the odds and sounded a clear threat to the current government, showing that they are in demand and biting at their heels.
Labour seem that empowered by the amount of seats they won and the huge support they gained that they have been celebrating since, Jeremy went on air to give and interview with the BBC after the results and declared that Labour are “ready to serve this country” because it was “what we fought this election for.” Naturally he was mocked for this statement on social media with many seeing him as being delusional and acting as if he had won the election, after all it was first down to the conservatives to try and form a government so it was highly unlikely that the role would be handed over to Labour.
While it looked like the leader might be having a moment the same message was being echoed by other members of his party and this seemed less likely to be an act of denial and more likely an act of defiance, the party leader and his fellow MP’s seemed to be doing something that was considerably tactical and something more that has become recognisable since…
The Grenfell fire quite frankly was dealt with poorly from the very beginning by the Prime Minister and the government, Jeremy has been ahead of Theresa every step of the way, from social media to interviews and even in meeting the residents and victims of the fire before the Prime Minister did. This is unacceptable in anyone’s eyes, especially at a time when people are coming to terms with the magnitude of the situation.
It seems like the PM hasn’t come to terms with the situation herself.
The Labour leader really used this to his advantage and has acted somewhat as a proxy leader; showing humility, empathy and most importantly urgency to those affected by the fire by spending just 40 minutes with the locals the day after the event. 40 minutes is all it took to make the Prime Minister look cold and heartless, she had been down to the scene of the fire but it was strictly business with the aim of getting a briefing from the emergency services but she didn’t make any time for those affected which lead to one resident telling Jeremy Corbyn that “she was s**t.” Comparisons between the two leaders were then being made in the media and the situation added to the mounting rage that local residents were beginning to feel, the fact that she’d avoided the public altogether certainly helped exacerbate people’s feelings.
By the time the PM met actual residents involved there was absolute bedlam, the pot had come to boil and people were taking aim at the news media, politicans and even the Queen. Protesters were on the scene and burst into the church the Prime Minister was speaking in, as she left the building cries of “coward” were heard from the baying crowds outside who were wanting answers, the PM was forced to quickly rush towards her shofared veichle to escape the situation, quite the opposite scene to Jeremy’s visit.
The Media Assault
Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow cabinet were quick on the draw from the very beginning and have been regularly in the media almost every day since the fire, he appeared on Sky news on the same afternoon of the incident to give his condolences to those affected and seemed to insinuate the conservatives were to blame before saying it was too early to point the finger and ask questions.
Later on he went on to call for empty flats to be “requisitioned if necessary,” to house those in need and also calling Kennsington “a tale of two cities” with the south being one of the richest areas in the country and the north being one of the poorest.
When Theresa May failed to meet the local residents the media got Jeremy’s opinion, when the PM met with local residents and seemed to have back-tracked on the promises to house people locally he voiced his disgust, the man has kept his eye on everything going on around Grenfell since the beginning and the media has kept a keen eye on him, reporting on his every move. This new allience although an interesting one may be short lived but one thing that both parties agree on is things are not running smoothly for the victims and that rightly reflects badly on the PM and the goverement.
Most recently Jeremy was on ITV’s Preston on Sunday show and continued talk of requisition and also urged his supporters to occupy empty properties in the area for residents in need of housing. Luckily he’s not able to implement such an act though, in fact he wouldn’t be able to even if he was in charge, it’s really not an option.
It hasn’t just been Jeremy in the news, London mayor Sadiq Khan has given regular input too and so have members of the shadow cabinet; most notably was John Mcdonnell the Shadow Chancellor who has called for 1 million people to take to the streets and oust May; asking union bosses to help saying we need “every union mobilised.” It is believed that a mass protest is being organised for July 1st and is calling for Theresa May to step aside as she failed to gain a majority. It seems that heavy pressuring and bully tactics are back in politics, far left tactics that refuse to recognise the election result and have no time for the democratic process, especially when the aim is to ‘get Labour into power by any means possible.’
Which brings me onto…
Jeremy’s supporters are often quick to react, with the growing anger towards the PM by the local residents and the general public there has also been considerable quickness in mobilising a number of organised protests, for example the people that stormed the church where the PM was speaking to local residents was so blatantly organised that you could tell from the quality of their signs and the momentum tshirts seen in some of the pictures; this was not something just thrown together by local residents.
Momentum is labour’s grassroots campaigning wing of the party which was born out of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 run for Labour leader and they aim to get get the party into goverement so expect to see much more of them in the future.
Protests also errupted in London this weekend, one outside of downing street and another in and around north Kennisngton, both calling for Theresa May to be forced out from power. As well as Mcdonnell organising one for July there’s one scheduled for Wednesday during the Queens speech and is being organised by a group called “Movement for Justice.” The protest is being called the “Day of Rage” and will be an attempt to shut down London and overthrow the government according to the fliers being handed out. It sounds rather delusional and naive and like more people unwilling to accept the election result, this will no doubt end with them feeling the brunt of the currently underfunded UK police force and them looking rather stupid, still the dream of revolution doesn’t die with the use of riot shields and batons.
Looking through their Facebook page they look to be Labour supporters with #DefendCorbyn regularly seen on their posts so it seems they are indirectly connected to the party but could be directly behind closed doors.
Turns out Jeremy Corbyn is going to appear on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury this year with festival founder Michael Eavis calling him the “hero of the hour.” While many are legitimately sick of the way that the current government has been running things over the last few years, what i fear is it’s going to be a homecoming parade for the left and in particular the socialist left. John Mcdonnell is also appearing and so is Billy Bragg, so i hoping that it won’t be a leftist circle jerk or an attempt to gather the troops, lets also hope it doesn’t have the same mentality as this year’s award shows which were at times unbearable to watch. As someone who watches Glastonbury every year, one thing I don’t watch it for is politics; on the contrary, i watch it to get away from that world and to enter one that is universal through the medium of music but if turns out to be some sort of self masturbatory celebration for a party that doesn’t even run the government then i may find myelf turning it off, even more likely being that I’m still somewhat skeptical of the Labour leader, his Shadow Chancellor and other members of his party.
The way he seems to be all over the newspapers, social media and television at the moment already seems somewhat excessive, even though it may only be a brief period of frequency, maybe it will be a red summer in the news, who knows! if it does carry on it could be the signs of something more going on and a sign of things to come.