I’m writing this in response to the Twitter Corbyn storm that has taken place over the last few days, sparked by the Harry Potter author and multi-millionaire, JK Rowling, as she faces backlash and ‘trolls’ in light of her politically opinionated tweets.
My love for Harry Potter at a certain time would have definitely trumped any politically charged conversation, yet now I’m at a cross-roads trying to decide who to defend. On one hand I have a beloved author, my beloved author, who I felt I could relate to so much as I fell deeply in love with the characters of her immaculate and inspiring books in the Harry Potter series. Just like me, a generation of twenty-somethings owe this woman their childhood and their growth. She was my hero and probably partly plays into why I want to be a writer still to this day. She has been so inspirational to so many, everybody knows the story about Rowling, and how she grew from nothing and having very little, to being at the top. It’s true that JK Rowling has always stuck to her politically liberal and Labour views, and she has always been admired for staying true to where she came from. But now she is at war with my adult-hero, Jeremy Corbyn, and it’s awfully disturbing because I wouldn’t have grown into this person today without books, and certainly JK Rowling plays a huge part in that.
Yet I can’t help but jump to the defence of Corbyn. After all, Rowling, if there’s something he’s outwardly doing wrong, why aren’t you enlightening us on what it is? At least try to make us understand why you are so outwardly against him, otherwise we have all started to question who you really are and who is telling the truth.
Alongside this, a reoccurring theme has begun to emerge across debates in the UK. This morning I read an article by The Independent in which its writer was comparing Dumbledore to Corbyn, the head master of a fantastical, whimsical, but most importantly, fictional world in the Harry Potter books, to that of the very-real, socialist motivator, and Labour leader candidate, Jeremy Corbyn. (The comparison went over my head, too.)
And yet, Rowling is right, in a way. Corbyn isn’t like Dumbledore; he’s not trying to rule a school or engage in wizarding duels, he’s trying to govern the country in a way that is concerned with vulnerable, underprivileged and most importantly, real, people.
But it does make me wonder, what is it that Rowling and other journalists don’t like about him? It’s certainly not drawn from Owen Smith’s side, (because, let’s face it, the only thing Owen has in his favour is that he’s the only opposition to Corbyn), but there is something specifically that Corbyn is doing that is making their fists clench in anger as they furiously punch their laptops until something somewhat journalist-worthy can be mopped up from the mess.
“Corbyn’s supporters may have been raised on tales of Hogwarts but it’s evident that they didn’t take in much of the wisdom the books contained. Rowling’s Dumbledore was a twinkly-eyed and kind headmaster, full of Shakespearean wisdom and deeply powerful magic. Jeremy Corbyn just had a spat with Virgin Trains and doesn’t want you to go to the pub.” – The Independent
It really seems that Rowling and journalists alike are even struggling to find viable criticisms against Corbyn. Compared to a long and dull history of politicians entwined with tax avoidance schemes and throwing the country into war, a ‘spat’ with Virgin Trains is hardly catastrophic is it? And what’s worse, the article babbles on to mostly complain about the ‘Corbynista’s’, the online following Jeremy has sparked, which is no less described than a ‘cult’ or “vicious trolls” in other words implied by the Independent’s writer, but nonetheless irrelevant to actually Jeremy himself. JK Rowling has been trolled on twitter for openly slandering Corbybn, and somehow, this is Corbyn’s fault.
So what has happened over the last year that has got the not-so-ordinary billionaire writer and power-hungry elitist press so riled up against ordinary-man Corbyn? (Hint: the answer is in the question).
I’m going to rewind a little further back to the general election that took place last year. The one that had everyone screaming “this isn’t real democracy!” as the Tories won marginally due to the outdated ‘first past the post’ method of voting.
I grew up a leftie, so I naturally opposed the Tories before I even got my head around what ‘left’ and ‘right’ was. Then, as I became a student I grew increasingly aware of the devastating cuts that the Conservative party implemented that will affect me and my generation throughout our lives. Their attack upon the young, the poor, the old, and generally the vulnerable ‘ordinary’ working class citizen is a war that didn’t seem close to ending. However, when the general election came around, I just couldn’t put my whole heart into Ed Miliband. I’m sure that actually, a lot of ingrained lefties also weren’t entirely enthralled by Ed, and that’s probably why the vote turned out like it did. I was young, (I’m still young), but I was already disillusioned by politics. ‘It’s all corrupt, it’s one giant mess’, I thought. And that was before Brexit even came along.
So I never was a member of the Labour party. They didn’t really capture my socialist and humanitarian views, no-one did. Politics is for the big men in their fancy suits at the top, Labour or Tory, they’re all the same and wretched. We’re the proletariats, incapable of revolution, living life with “petty quarrels with neighbours, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling”, which George Orwell continues in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, “fill[s] up the horizon of [our] minds.” The proles only needed “primitive patriotism” in order to “accept longer working hours or shorter rations”, and even if they were to “become discontented, as they sometimes did,” Orwell continues, “their discontentment led nowhere…”
But that, too, is a fictional story, albeit a lot more relatable and relevant than Harry Potter, yet a story nonetheless. Besides, Orwell didn’t anticipate Corbyn coming along, otherwise I’m sure the sequel Two Thousand and Seventeen would have been published with perhaps a happier ending. (Two Thousand and Sixteen is already taken and captured by Lemony Snicket in his ‘Series of Unfortunate Events‘.)
Moreover, fast forward a year and the country is once again in turmoil over the tragic result of ‘Brexit’, but what’s more, a confusing inwards coup was building against Jeremy. Because that’s just what Labour needed at this point, more instability. For gods sake Labour, now is NOT THE DAMNED TIME, I recall shouting at my laptop screen.
So, why did the coup happen in the first place?
The MPs that organized the coup came to their seats during the Blair years, and, since Jeremy had criticized Blair for the Iraq war, they felt unsettled by Corbyn’s truly left wing policies. Yet the catastrophic result of Brexit only added fuel to their fire to bring about the motion of a vote of no confidence in their leader, with MP’s claiming that Corbyn had not done enough for the Remain campaign. The problem for these MP’s are that they highly underestimated the power of social media, and put all their hopes in the public press who have naturally smeared Jeremy’s name since day one. In actuality, Jeremy did more than enough in the Remain campaign, as he travelled 2,768 miles across Britain campaigning and made up to 123 media appearances, which is more than the entire Shadow Cabinet combined and six times as many as Alan Johnson made, Labour’s chosen leader in the remain campaign, which actually begs the question, isn’t he more to blame? Nevertheless, the idea that Jeremy didn’t do enough is simply not true, yet proves how the inner circles of the party are willing to use any ammunition to discredit him.
In June, Jeremy lost a landslide vote of no confidence by 172-40, yet refused to resign in honour of his undeniably huge online supporters. Despite Labour MP’s urging Jeremy to back down, as Margaret Hodge told the BBC, “No one person is bigger than the party”, it certainly sounded like they needed to practice what they preach. Especially when you consider Hodge’s constituency in Barking and Dagenham, which reported a massive 62.4% vote OUT of the EU, turning to blame Jeremy really is quite ironic.
Then came Angela Eagle, the party’s opposition to Corbyn, stepping up to her mark valiantly claiming that, “I’m not a Blairite. I’m not a Brownite. I’m not a Corbynista. I am my own woman.” So why would she oppose Corbyn at a time when the Labour party mostly just needed unity? Like the other MP’s who resigned and voted no confidence in Corbyn, Eagle it seemed wanted to overthrow Corbyn for her own selfish needs. Despite her claims that she is not a Blairite, she had supported the Iraq war, voted against any efforts to investigate it, voted for the bombings in Syria, voted for the introduction of tuition fees and for raising them to £3,000, and abstained on welfare cuts… She fits the perfect description of a Blairite in my eyes.
Quite simply this shows how Labour were not ready for radical change. They were not true to their supposed leftie values and over the years, had bent more and more to the right, thus presenting Jeremy as an extremist in comparison. They fear real change, they’ve lost faith in traditional Labour values, if indeed they ever believed in them.
Furthermore, Eagle’s downwards spiral that led to her eventual resign goes to show just how ridiculous the whole thing was. What were even any of her policies? It seemed that in the news the only thing worth discussing was that she was standing against Jeremy Corbyn, so if you agree with the old Blairite Labour, then I suppose you would have supported her. Yet her decision to launch herself off against Corbyn was probably the worst timing possible. The Tories were pulling their hair out over the Brexit mess, the economy was declining with the pound reaching an all-time low, and racial abuse was on the rise with a likely class war also emerging, it was very much a flawed strategy on her behalf.
Then, to stir the hot steaming pile of mess further, Owen Smith jumped it. #OwenWho? I believe was trending for a while across social media. Yet the emergence of Owen meant that he and Angela, who should have been competitors, instead conspired together in the best possible suit to check mate Jeremy out of the game, believing that one vs one against Jeremy is the only possible way. So naturally Eagle stepped down, ‘for the good of the party’, and Owen Smith quietly slithered up to the position. Ah, yes, more unrest from supposed “strong leaders”, what happened to “real leadership”, Angela? It seemed the Labour party were swapping their roles around like children in a school play to see who can best fit the part.
Apart from Jeremy, who stays stood on his pedestal no matter how many rotten tomatoes the BBC and JK Rowling throw at him.
To be honest the whole ordeal did Jeremy some good overall. He was the only strong standing MP in the Labour party altogether, and with his cabinet dropping like flies, a revolutionary Labour party emerged, a stronger one. Angela Eagle and Owen Smith may have tried to out run Mr Corbyn, but by doing so have removed themselves from the race, because if there’s one thing Labour members don’t want, it’s further instability and petty bickering. We want the man who’s going to do the job, and do it properly.
Next on the timeline of ‘ridiculous shit to oust Corbyn out‘, Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) were becoming increasingly aware of just how powerful Corbyn was to the people, so obviously under the guise of democracy or surely through some legal loop-hole, were able to invent and scheme up ways to pull his podium down altogether, seen as the tomato technique in the press had not been successful.
With Corbyn’s rallies drawing hundreds and thousands across the country and Labour membership rocketing through the roof because of him, the NEC had a brainwave to try to block his ‘lunatic fans’ from ever seeing their hero on the precious Labour leadership throne. That’s right, for the first time in history, if you had not been a Labour member before January 2016, then you were not eligible to vote in the leadership election. There’s no pussy-footing around it either, it was clearly and deliberately placed to push Corbyn out once and for all. After all, the 200,000 new Labour members, I being one of them in the past year, had signed up just to vote for Jeremy, and now suddenly we couldn’t. Smart. Democracy really is brilliant, isn’t it?
If anything though, Labour just shot themselves in the foot. Their corruption and inwards turmoil is becoming more and more clear to the public eye, and the people are starting to wake up and look to whoever it is they’re trying to slander, and wondering why? Why all this effort? What is Jeremy doing that is really so bad and so awful that they’re looking through loop-holes in the law to try to oust him out? In fact, some lawyers even did take the issue to court. Obviously they lost, but it’s a step in the right direction. The nation is built on the backs of the working class, the working class that could have been quiet and kept over until the end of time. But not anymore. This time, they have voices, and their voices are bloody loud.
The NEC then issued that you could become a ‘registered supporter’ by coughing up £25 to vote. What about the thousands who had become a member, and were left in the rain without the funds to pay to vote? After all, the Labour party is supposed to be for the working man, why are they going against their traditional values? We’re all very aware of the cuts in benefits, how are families supposed to seemingly pluck £25 out of thin air in order to vote for the only man in their eyes who is listening to them? I joined the Labour party earlier this year but I have been excluded from voting, unless if I paid to join in which there were only a few days that you could have signed up. Many financially well-off and frequent posters in the ‘We Support JC’ page were offering to pay for some people’s supporting fee, which is really a true sign of socialism and a united community. Again, the people will not be defeated!
The press are also largely to blame for slandering Jeremy, there was even a 38Degrees petition circling around demanding the BBC to hold account for the smear campaign against him, criticizing that they were unbiased and spread actual downright lies. One of which showed a Corbyn rally that was very cleverly edited to depict a much smaller crowd than who actually showed up. In actuality, there were people bursting from the doors and lining down the streets. But hey, we’ve always known the press is corrupt, so this is hardly news.
The main issue that the press is facing today, is that with the rise of social media giving Jeremy almost a rock star status, they are fighting a losing battle against his humungous Facebook and twitter following. The people have stopped listening to the mainstream press, or at least, are listening with a pinch of salt, and instead are turning to one another. When the press branded Corbyn “unelectable”, his unwavering iron-strong following laughed in journalist’s faces, and then again more-so when MPs started casually throwing it around. It became a dirty word that made Corbynista’s giggle like a teenager in a sex education class. It was like a private joke in the community of the real world, and the other politicians just didn’t ‘get it’. There are us, and there are them, and Jeremy’s with us. Their babbling unconcern about Jeremy only proved so otherwise, and cracked the divide open with an astounding shudder that is irreparable, like an axe through wood. We laughed on Facebook when the fancy men in suits disregarded Jeremy so haphazardly, but they knew he was a threat, and we knew that they knew. After all, have you ever known a politician to have pages dedicating to supporting him? To name my favourite, ‘We support Jeremy Corbyn’ is a public ran group, and it has 22,617 members of ordinary people sharing their ordinary experiences with Corbyn, and the occasional snipet of something exposing the elite of something we know they’re already guilty of, sort of like Wiki-Leaks but on a lower scale. His own ran Facebook page has 798,626 supporters, and the groups circulating seem to shriek support, such as ‘Jeremy Corbyn for PM’, ‘Jeremy Corbyn: True Socialism’, and ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s Dank Memes’, which posts photos such as this:
Moreover, Theresa May, our current prime minister who is running the COUNTRY, has only 239,507 supporters, and that’s on her most popular page. David Cameron, whilst he does have his own Facebook page with a considerable amount of ‘likers’, (1,222,245 to be exact), this is mainly because it’s his only credible page that publicised exactly what he was doing in No.10, and, after all, he did run Britain for six years. Yet there are no support groups in his favour, only reels of countless hate groups such as: ‘David Cameron Is Killing Britain’, ‘Take David Cameron Down’, ‘I Hate David Cameron’, and ‘I Bet I Can Find A Million People Who DON’T Want David Cameron As Our PM’.
It all boils down to the fact that Jeremy is making policies that ordinary people want, and what ordinary people do, is use social media. He is not doing what the ruling elite and Rupert Murdoch press want, so they are tarnishing his name for their own gains. And that’s my question to the likes of JK Rowling, which side are you really on?
After all, on paper Jeremy really is your extraordinary ‘nice guy’. He’s a humanitarian that has been defending human rights across the globe, he’s won an International Ghandi Peace Award in 2013, and he’s Britain’s only hope at defending our NHS and at refusing any involvement in war. Oh, and he’s a vegetarian. The welfare of others is of the utmost priority to Jeremy, and that is why he is adored so much. He is nothing that we’ve ever seen before in politics, and lefties across the country should be excited.
The issue that happened in “train gate” again shows how desperate the press and other money making corporations like Virgin are in trying to stop Jeremy in his tracks. The release of the CCTV footage just reeks desperation, surely there is another illegal flag popping up here? Isn’t CCTV used for security, not to call out politicians by making them seem like a liar? Yet once again, Jeremy comes out in top trumps because obviously, Virgin are trying to defend their backs and defend the company that Jeremy is trying to renationalise, thus losing them an unimaginable amount of money. To put the record straight, Jeremy couldn’t find a seat on the train, so sat on the floor with his wife and the rest of the people, until two became available forty minutes later into the journey. The CCTV footage that was revealed shows Corbyn walking among a carriage full of empty seats, yet you can clearly see all of them were reserved with tickets. The point was that Corbyn refused to upgrade and use tax payers money to buy a first class ticket, just like the rest of us have to do when the train is packed.
If this is the beginning of a new Labour, then I’m excited. This is fundamentally what Labour should be, what it ought to be, and what it could be. Dumbledore may have looked out for Harry and all his students at Hogwarts, but Corbyn is actively changing and improving the welfare of so many others across the country.
So no, Jeremy isn’t like Dumbledore at all.
Much, much, better.