A Momentum petition launched at the Labour Live event will force the party’s internal arguments into the public. It’s about time
Labour Live was conceived in the spirit of solidarity, optimism, and a playful hubris. The idea behind it presumably went: if you could get all of Glastonbury festival chanting Jeremy Corbyn’s name, who’s to say you couldn’t bring such a crowd to see him headline? Well, there were lots to say it. People at Glastonbury are largely in an incredibly good mood – it would be prim to speculate as to why – and in such conditions, someone you love a bit becomes someone you love a lot. But that doesn’t mean you can be relied upon to chant again.
Primed for the fall after such an act of pride, Corbyn critics turned up ready for a soggy English summer’s day with sparse crowds huddled round a single Unite ice-cream van. A friend who went said she saw so many journalists it was like going to Hay. Yet many of the hacks will have been disappointed. Corbyn’s popularity – not by Survation poll or focus group, but by the sheer human warmth he generates – is unmatched by any other British politician. The doggedness and the petulance with which commentators wave away the fact that he could fill a stadium with people who’d actually paid, while Theresa May couldn’t half-fill a factory floor in Leicester where people were at work anyway, is becoming absurd.