Glastonbury crowd erupts into shouts of 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' after Radiohead condemns 'useless politicians'

'The highlight of their set was when the crowd rebuffed Thom Yorke’s disparaging remark about 'useless politicians',' says Ed Balls

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 26 June 2017 13:18 BST
Glastonbury crowd sings 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' as Radiohead condemns 'useless politicians'

Three simple words dominated this year’s Glastonbury: “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn”. Belted out from all corners of the 900-acre festival site, the chant could be heard everywhere from Shangri-La to the Silent Disco to the Pyramid Stage for Radiohead’s headline performance.

But the anthem did not materialise spontaneously during the latter instance. Instead, it was a direct response to the iconic band’s rebuttal of “useless politicians”.

Thom Yorke, the frontman, told the crowd: “Our children for our f***ing future - worth having - not one decided by useless politicians”.

But the crowd took issue with the apparent suggestion those in government had no use and used the scornful remark as an opportunity to erupt into chants of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn”.

Ed Balls, former shadow Chancellor, drew attention to the moment in a review of the festival. Branding it a highlight, he said: “For anyone other than hardcore Radiohead fans, the highlight of their Friday set was when the crowd rebuffed Thom Yorke’s disparaging remark about “useless politicians” by repeating the “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” chant.”

But this was not the only time chants about the Labour leader, who increased the Labour vote by the largest margin in any election since 1945 in the recent election, broke out during the acclaimed set which coincided with the 20th anniversary of their OK Computer album.

After Yorke said, "See you later Theresa; Shut the door on the way out, chants of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” set to The White Stripes' 2003 hit "Seven Nation Army" again broke out.

The band, who are from Abingdon in Oxfordshire, also poked fun at Ms May’s “strong and stable” campaign slogan, swapping one of the lyrics of "Myxomatosis" with the much repeated and criticised saying.

Mr Corbyn was the name on everyone’s lips at this year’s Glastonbury as so-called “Jeremania” swept the Somerset event. Patrons have been pictured sporting the words “Jezza” surrounded by hearts on their foreheads and “I heart Jeremy Corbyn” flags have been spotted blowing in the crowds.

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The Labour leader also made a number of public appearances and despite having little to no musical talent was one of the most keenly anticipated acts of the weekend. Taking to the Pyramid stage to address thousands of revellers before Run The Jewels’ performance, Mr Corbyn received a rapturous and frankly deafening response from the crowd.

Blurring the line between pop and politics, Mr Corbyn said: “There’s a message on that wall for President Donald Trump. Build bridges, not walls.”

“Politics is actually about everyday life. It's about all of us, what we dream, what we want, and what we want for everybody else.

“The commentariat got it wrong. The elite got it wrong. Politics is about the lives of all of us, and the wonderful campaign that I was involved with, that I was so proud to lead, brought people back into politics because they believed there was something on offer for them.

“But what was even more inspiring, was the number of young people who got involved for the first time. Because they were fed up with being denigrated, fed up with being told they don’t matter. Fed up with being told they never participate, and utterly fed up with being told that their generation was going to pay more to get less in education, in health, in housing, in pensions and everything else.”

It goes without saying that Mr Corbyn’s appearance at Glastonbury is something of a turnaround from last year when he was forced to cancel his festival appearance after Britain voted in favour of leaving the EU and uncertainty about his future as Labour leader rose.

Dramatically defying expectations in the recent general election, Mr Corbyn’s party grew its share of the vote by 9.6 per cent, leaving the Conservative’s with no overall Commons majority and dented legitimacy.

In the weeks that have followed, Mr Corbyn’s popularity appears to have grown yet further. The Labour leader has stormed ahead of Ms May in a new opinion poll carried out by the Sunday Times this weekend – with Labour five points ahead of the Tories at 46 per cent.

The survey, which looks at a random sample of 5,000 people, also found Ms May’s approval rating is at minus 17, a mirror opposite to Mr Corbyn’s plus 17.

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