“Oh Jeremy Corbyn! Oh Jeremy Corbyn!”
That was sung loudly, raucously, and with gusto to the tune of the White Stripes song “Seven Nation Army” as an exhilarated crowd left what the NME said might have been the best gig of 2017.
In 30 years of gig going (I started as a teenager) I’ve never heard anything like that in support of an elected politician. You’re far more likely to hear boos and ribald abuse when their names are mentioned. That’s part of the fun.
UK news in pictures
UK news in pictures
1/18 23 June 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a news conference at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 23, 2017
2/18 22 June 2017
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain
3/18 22 June 2017
Racegoers cheer on their horse on Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London
4/18 21 June 2017
A reveller walks among the tipi tents at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England
5/18 20 June 2017
A police officer lays some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, after one man died and eight people were taken to hospital and a person arrested after a rental van struck pedestrian
The Borough Market bell is seen in Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
Two women embrace in Borough Market, which officially re-opens today following the recent attack, in central London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attends the re-opening of Borough market in central London following the June 3 terror attack
People walk through Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, with one of his daughters, visit Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack
A woman reacts in front of a wall of messages in Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack, in central London
Vivenne Westwood walks the runway at the Vivenne Westwood show during the London Fashion Week Men's June 2017 collections
Millwall fan and London Bridge hero Roy Larner on 'Good Morning Britain'
Richard Arnold, Roy Larner, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on 'Good Morning Britain'
15/18 11 June 2017
England players celebrate after defeating Venezuela 1-0 to win the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
16/18 11 June 2017
England players celebrate with the trophy after the final match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 between Venezuela and England at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
17/18 11 June 2017
Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee celebrates winning the Elite Men Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
18/18 11 June 2017
Two men drink beer outside the Southwark Tavern which reopened for business today next to an entrance to Borough Market which remains closed in London
It all leads me to ask this: is all this Corbyn-mania starting getting a bit much? Is the hero worship going a little too far?
However nice they may seem, however charming they may be, however much you may like their programme, and however sure their touch, a politician with a God complex is still a dangerous thing. History teaches us that.
Let me state for the record: I’m a moderate (but not a Blairite) and I started off as a Jeremy Corbyn sceptic.
I voted Labour on 8 June, but at least part of the reason was because my local MP (Wes Streeting) is extremely good and was in a marginal going into the election (he now has a majority of more than 10,000).
I also continue to advocate progressive parties working more closely together, and I would vote for the party most likely to defeat the Conservatives were I in a different seat.
That is in no small part because I can’t actually remember a time when I disliked like the Tories more – and I lived through Thatcherism.
The current lot are a thoroughly nasty bunch, and were so before the Grenfell Fire showed them up. By the way, don’t even get me started on Boris Johnson.
So I know which side my bread is buttered, and I know who the real enemy is. As such, I was both surprised and delighted when Corbyn gave the Conservatives the bloody nose that they richly deserved. I hope he does so again – in what, three months? Six? – when their minority Government falls apart.
But my contempt for the current incarnation of the Conservative Party comes from the same place as my concerns about the Corbyn hero worship. I really don’t want to see them ushered back in after a single term in opposition.
Given where the Conservative Party is right now, it getting back into power after a short Labour interlude is not a pleasant prospect, for reasons that go beyond the fact that I have disabilities and need the NHS.
The trouble that a Corbyn Government might very well face is that he has made an awful lot of promises to an awful lot of people. Public sector and private sector workers. Unions and small businesses. Young and old. Poor and actually quite rich when it comes to preserving winter fuel payments for pensioners with comfy incomes. Personally, I’d rather that money went towards helping the growing number of people who have to resort to food banks, but that's just me.
Politics is the art of the possible, and however much we’d like it to happen, Corbyn won’t be able to get Britain storming the gates of heaven overnight, particularly given the economic situation that confronts it as it prepares for the historic mistake of crashing out of the EU.
He will almost certainly struggle to deliver on some of those promises. That's not a particularly knock on him. Most politicians struggle to deliver on all their promises even when they present relatively modest programmes. Jeremy Corbyn’s is not that.
As a result of that, he may quickly start to look like what he is: another politician. A well intentioned one, maybe, but a politician all the same. It would be a tragedy if the injection of youthful enthusiasm he has overseen were to be dashed on that rock.
I’m not saying that his experiment isn’t worth trying. I’m not saying that there isn’t an appetite for something new; a departure from the neo-liberal economic consensus that has served to concentrate wealth at the top while everyone else struggles, particularly since the financial crisis.
Bu just as Corbyn would do well to lower people’s expectations just a bit, so should his supporters lower them for him.
If both of them need an example of the dangers of what can happen when they are over inflated, just look at Theresa May.
Let’s not forget she won the election in terms of seats, and is still the occupant of No 10. But she has been declared the loser because her supporters, and her party, had expected so much more and she did nothing to suggest that they shouldn't do so.
By contrast, Corbyn lost. He won, however, by exceeding expectations that were low when the campaign started out.
They won't be so low next time around.
He and his supporters need to bear that in mind, because while they might not believe it, I’d like to see him succeed and treating him like the headline act for the best gig of the year won’t help him to do that.Reuse content