Politically, Corbyn and Trump are of course diametrically opposite. (I backed Corbyn in the leadership election of 2015: I was swayed by his political history and the inevitable avalanche of support which would make the Labour Party a social movement again, financially strong, with hundreds of thousand of leaflet-deliverers and Facebook warriors.) But there is an unfortunate similarity between the two groups of followers, which requires discussion.
Until this recent leadership election, no labour leadership campaign in my lifetime was so personality-driven, so…. cultish. Like the relationship between Trump and his cult, who refuse to see his many flaws, for Corbyn’s arch-followers, he can do no wrong.
Sure, there are many Labour Party members who run logical arguments as to why Corbyn is the right person to lead the Labour Party – and I respect that, though I forcefully disagree. Alarmingly, however, there is a cohort of Corbyn followers who will support him like disciples – many of whom are new to politics, hanging onto to his every word. “If Jeremy loses the leadership, I shall leave the party”, they say. No great loss there. Corbyn has politicised these (misguided) people – and they will climb over broken glass to attend his rallies. These people will decide the fate of this country, and it makes me sad/mad.
Not only are there newbies to the Labour Party – who have never knocked on a door(but please do stay for the long-haul, if this is you) – who follow Corbyn in a lemmings-like way, but there are the armchair Ches, politically educated/brainwashed by radical communists, who spell the deepest trouble. I have evidence that many of these members would rather the Labour Party was pure in its pursuit of a socialist/communist utopia and lose the next general election, than have more moderate (and electable!) Labour Party and win the next general election because, they say, it is all part of a greater plan to convert the Labour Party into a revolution-leading vehicle. Ergo, some members would rather have the Tories in power than Labour. This is intellectually, morally and politically bankrupt thinking. Please leave. Now. You know who you are.
And what many of the Corbyn cult have missed is that Corbyn has won, even if Corybn loses to Smith. As compelling evidence, to woo the Labour electorate, Smith is trying to out-Corbyn, Corbyn. The Labour Party has, therefore, irrevocably changed for the better, in terms of its political direction and its membership: all Labour Party policy for the next decade will have a socialist tint for the first time in a generation.
The only question for the Labour Party membership is this: which potential leader is most likely to be the next Labour PM. The answer is not JC.
My money – if I gambled – is on Corbyn, because of his cult. As one member quipped: “The only hundreds and thousands at a Smith rally are on the ice creams.”