A year ago Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party, and I said back then how he and his supporters were like the Tea Party. It has since been explained to me by Corbyn supporters that this comparison is cheap and unfair. So in light of that I would like to start this piece by saying I was wrong to do so and would like to whole-heartedly apologise to the Tea Party Movement, it was unfair of me to say that Corbyn supporters act in the same way as their activists, they act so much worse. In fact, in the last few months I have found that actually Corbyn and his supporters seem to have more in common with another group of American fanatics: Trump Supporters.
They have a lot more in common than you may think. For a start Supporters of Donald Trump have a fanatical loyalty to their leader, who is always seen as being in the right about everything and can do no wrong. A bit like the way that Corbynistas worship their God King Jeremy of Islington. Don’t believe me, well let’s look at a case study. Corbyn was accused by many members of the Labour party of not doing enough for the Remain campaign during the EU referendum, in fact when he should have been on the campaign trail he went on Holiday. Despite this, many pro-EU Corbyn supporters forgive him, and further to that his PR team tried to spin it that he had travelled further than any other leader during the Campaign and was in the right to go on holiday. In a similar incident, Trump back peddled when it came to the issue of abortion. At first he was in favour, and then he wasn’t, and then he was again, and now no one is any the wiser as to what he believes but whatever it is his supporters seem to agree. Confused? So is everyone else.
Of course it’s impossible to explain the inconsistency of their beliefs to them, especially if you’re from the press. Both Trump and Corbyn supporters share yet another common trait in a distrust of the media. Time and time again you will see Trump and Corbyn kicking journalists out of press conferences for asking difficult questions that they don’t want to answer. Youtube is full of videos of both men refusing to answer the press or booting them out of rallies. And if that isn’t enough many journalists will receive abuse on social media afterwards. These fanatic supporters are more likely to believe their own spin than what the independent media says. They live trapped in a bubble of their own making. Examples of this can be found on social media, were for example supporters of Corbyn will try and discredit opinion polls on the grounds that they have never personally met a Conservative Voter. In many cases I’m sure they’re closer than they think.
And as if the mistrust and abuse of the media isn’t enough, the way both sides treats their enemies is even more abhorrent. Both Trump and Corbyn are backed by militant factions that are prone to the use of violence. One need only look back at the start of the Labour leadership election, and the incident in which a brick was thrown through the window of Angela Eagles office. Or the death threats that Corbyn supporters send to Labour MPs who don’t agree with them. In fact, these death threats often make their way to anyone who says anything critical of Jezza. I myself have received some interesting tweets from his supporters. Trump fans are no different. Violence is a common occurrence at his rallies, especially xenophobic attacks.
And when it isn’t the supporters themselves who use violence or have questionable motives, its their allies. Corbyn and Trump both seem to have a habit of cuddling up to those who have had sketchy pasts. Trump has refused time and time again to deny that he has any link to the racist KKK and other xenophobic groups. Whilst Corbyn has found his connections to middle eastern terror organisations, authoritarian states and anti-Semitic groups. Both groups also enjoy the confidence and support of Russian President Vladimir Putin through the RT new network.
It’s no wonder then that these two figures and their movements have so successfully split the Republican Party and Labour Party up respectively. Parties that have lasted for over a hundred years a piece, brought to the brink of destruction by demagoguery and populism. Both destroyed by leaders who can’t control their own supporters. Both torn apart by the use of intimidation and fear mongering. And there is perhaps little hope that either organisation will be able to rebuild itself and recover from the damage caused by these “well intentioned” figures.