Jeremy Corbyn has fought for decades to be taken seriously as a politician, so why is he throwing it away?
As a Labour supporter, it was amazing to see Corbyn attend debates left, right and centre in the build-up to the election, arguing his case with a passion not often seen in politicians.
“Listen,” he said in the Question Time Leaders Special, “I had the offer of free education. I didn’t take it up, that was my choice… I don’t think it’s up to me, and my generation, to pull up the ladder on the generation coming behind.”
There was a sense of honesty in his words and manner that most politicians don’t have. This was a man who’d spent his entire political career battling for equal rights, public sector funding and protecting the less fortunate.
It’s no surprise that when the Tory election campaign resembled a robot that needed oil, people gave him the chance to speak – and that he did, often putting across reasonable arguments.
Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour released a fully costed manifesto that was fairly well-received, while the Conservatives didn’t cost theirs (or even agree with it).
No matter your stance on the election, it’s easy to see why someone would vote for Corbyn. He seemed honest and his policies would directly and positively impact those who were often ignored in society.
Yes, he lost the election, but he removed May’s majority and gained Labour droves of new supporters. And then?
Well, then it went downhill.
It’s almost as if he prefers being a personality rather than a politician. Of course, a person can be both, but only to an extent. His sense of humour is appreciated and certainly makes him more likeable, but it shouldn’t be the main method of getting into the headlines.
Take, for instance, someone who doesn’t read much news. They’re far more likely to hear the chanting and the jokes than the actual reason he’s speaking. To switch it around, they’re going to hear a lot about Theresa May dealing with Brexit and other serious matters.
It’s visible in Google search results. This week, Corbyn’s highest rising search result is about him using a meme at the Labour Party Conference.
Aside from how horrific the delivery of it was, how can a politician be taken seriously by the public when that is what we see of them?
To put it into perspective, this week, in Theresa May’s highest rising search results was “theresa may debate”. It might be boring, but that’s exactly what you’d want to see a politician getting involved in.
Being ‘cool’ can only get you so far. When you’re throwing ‘relatable’ things in just for the younger audiences, you end up on a dead-end road, stuck with talking about things you don’t know or care about – for example:
Jeremy Corbyn is a good speaker and he’s got ideas that could make a real difference. The biggest problem lies with whoever is telling him that blatant, scripted pandering is okay.
Google search statistics were correct at time of publishing.