Today’s Jezfest, AKA Labour Live, event is yet more proof of the absolute joke the party is becoming under Jeremy Corbyn. Having sold a handful of tickets, Labour’s union fixer Len McCluskey bought up a load of tickets paid for by UNITE members, prices were reduced from £35 to a tenner and eventually they were given away for free. And it looks like Labour has lost over a million quid. Even the Workers Brewery pulled out because they thought they they might not make any money. Talk about piss ups…
Labour Live was an exercise in trying to prolong the hard left myth that Corbyn is what he obviously isn’t: a breath of fresh air, preaching a kindler, gentler form of politics bringing in a new kind of politics. To which I say, bollocks.
I suspect the organisers believed that following the hysterical reaction from some at last year’s Glastonbury festival which seemed to suggest that the whole world loved this supposedly amiable man of principle. “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!” they sang. To those of us who knew all about the real Corbyn, it was truly mystifying. An elderly man who spent a career – yes, a career – protesting, being heavily involved in numerous shady organisations and campaigns, avoiding the hard work of being in the cabinet and generally voting against his own party, even when they were winning elections and saving the NHS, among many other things.
I wondered whether there might be a Road to Damascus moment when Corbyn’s fan club realised the truth, that the old boy was a political featherweight who never had an original idea in his life. Even today, he still punts the same old failed reheated Bennism from the 1980s which saw Labour in opposition for 18 long years.
I suspect today’s fiasco confirmed what we all knew all along which is that we have passed peak Corbyn. His complete inability to lead, to offer any kind of convincing opposition to the weakest and worst Tory government in living memory and a prime minister for whom the word useless would probably be a compliment. In the face of the Tory incompetence, Labour is floundering in the polls. And why? Because Corbyn for all his plus points – whatever they are – is not up to the job and a festival featuring bands no one has heard of, headlined by Corbyn, the thuggish John McDonnell and Corbyn’s cheerleader, Owen Jones, was never going to change anyone’s mind.
Today, those Labour members who demonstrated about Corbyn’s support for a hard Brexit were ejected from the event. When Labour names were mentioned who were not from the hard left, they were loudly booed, not least the man who won Labour three elections. These members are the sort of people who swear by their so called political purity by wishing for a Corbyn-led government or nothing. If a hard left government was not possible, then just allow the Tories to have a free rein to do what they like. They really do believe that. Some socialists.
Jezfest, whatever you say about it, was an almighty failure. It has lost Labour a small fortune, it will not make the slightest dent on the public psyche and it is further proof that the sick joke of Corbynism is in decline. It really is about time Corbyn’s cult following woke up and smelled the coffee.