I’ve not done a political post in a while because politics are in a mess and it’s nearly impossible what to say because so much is going on. Do I talk about Donald Trump’s willingness to use nuclear weapons?
There’s journalist David Torrence’s quite spectacular flounce from Twitter because he got pulled up for being an idiot, then there’s the ongoing clusterfuck of Brexit. There’s so much to pick from but in all of this insanity one story sailed under the radar and it’s this one from the Huffington Post (I know, I’m ill, I do a lot of reading) about Abby Tomlinson talking about rallies in support of Jeremy Corbyn.
Tomlinson you may remember was the person who came up with that cringeworthy Millifandom thing about Ed Milliband last year and has since been adopted by Labour as a face of Labour’s youth, and indeed, it seems the party are doing their best to absorb her into their matrix.
Reading her blog post about Corbyn is an interesting exercise in confirmation bias. This isn’t to say I don’t disagree with her, rallies are only a part of the democratic process and they serve not just as social events where activists can meet, and hopefully, mobilise in the future to convince others to vote for the party they’re part of. Where we diverge is that this is a ‘ego trip’ for Corbyn, because it isn’t Corbyn that’s decided to hold rallies this summer out of his own choice, it’s that part of Labour wanting to kick Corbyn out. If his party had united behind him this wouldn’t be happening, not to mention they could have held him more to account over things like calling for Article 50 to be invoked, something lost in the chaff of lies, smears and bullshit.
I’m no Corbyn supporter, he’s got massive issues to overcome of which he’s not got answers for, plus, as he’s a Unionist politician I have little time for his 20th century Red Unionism in a post-Brexit UK. But watching his support I can’t help but be reminded of how Scottish independence supporters were marginalised using the same argument-you can’t win elections with rallies-until the point when the SNP and did so consistently because they were smart enough to tap into the Yes Movement and use the activist network already built up to help them win every single election since September 2014, and look like winning for the foreseeable future.
There’s absolutely nothing to stop Corbyn supporters from using Scotland as a template to help him grow support in England. Rallies don’t win elections, the people there can. By adopting part of her party’s line it seems Tomlinson answers the question as to what Mhairi Black would have been like if she’d joined Labour and it’s a pity. In my time in Labour I saw people her age reshaped into being cogs in the party machine and it seems she has followed in a long line of people who’ve swallowed the Kool Aid.
The reason this wee story stood out is it tells us how the mainstream media shape one person’s views, and how the media use a person like Tomlinson (who is no longer an ordinary member of the public, but a media commentator) to launch an attack on Corbyn based upon a logical fallacy. It shows how quickly the media and the establishment can adopt, shape and then use people to help promote the status quo.
And what’s worse is there’s still weeks of this contest to go. God help us all…