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10 March 2016

Are the media ignoring Corbyn supporters’ #JC4PM tour?

Jeremy Corbyn is winning over the country, one former SWP comedian at a time.

By media mole

Last night in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, a bunch of Labour supporters and Jeremy Corbyn diehards came together to praise the Scottish National Party. This was the Scottish leg of the #JC4PM tour – a kind of festival of Corbyn love set up by Crispin Flintoff, a stand-up comedian and the founder of Momentum Hounslow (which meets in a very nice art deco pub in Chiswick).

As BuzzFeed reports, last night was a joyous celebration of a new kind of politics. For example, Radio 4 comedian Jeremy Hardy said that “if someone supports nuclear weapons … that kind of suggests depression”. Hahahaha mental illness. Good one, Jeremy! A better, kinder politics!

Mark Steel, a longstanding member of the Socialist Workers Party, offered a timely boost to Scottish Labour’s Holyrood campaign, saying: “I know it’s a Labour event, but I’m very impressed with the Scottish National Party getting all their MPs and I think they’re very brilliant in many ways and do lots of brilliant things.”

And Charlotte Church came and sang her 2005 number 2 hit “Crazy Chick” (“I think I’m crazy, think I’m stupid/Must have lost my mind”). Forward to socialism!

Actually, your mole is doing a public service by reporting this rally, the third in a seven-date tour. Before the tour’s first date (in north London, hardly fertile Corbynite territory), Flintoff blogged about how disappointed he was that the mainstream media was refusing to cover the tour. He wrote that: “The range of names backing the Labour leader despite all the media attacks on him undermines the media itself.” Quite right Crispin, it is truly newsworthy to see Billy Bragg, Ken Livingstone and Mark Serwotka supporting Jeremy Corbyn. Hold the front page!

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Whether the fault of the #MSM or not, it looks like #JC4PM is #struggling to sell #seats. There were lots of empty seats in Scotland yesterday, and when your mole looked at the booking website for Sunday’s event in Croydon about a quarter of the front stalls were free along with almost the entire upper stalls. Perhaps the tour would be more likely to sell if it were cheaper (tickets are £20 a pop) or if Jeremy Corbyn himself attended – so far he’s only made an appearance at the first rally. 

See the video below for footage of the Kentish Town rally last month, including an attendee who says he “thought it was a good way of supporting the Labour Party without going out canvassing and knocking on doors in the cold”. Yes, this mole would be horrified to see Labour members trying to persuade other people to support their leader. Much better to congregate with people who already agree with you.