At last, a politician who appreciates the social media


Jeremy Corbyn was keen to ring the changes in his speech to the Labour Party conference – not just regarding politics.

He took a few swipes at the mainstream media response to his election as Labour leader, before going on to praise the social media as an instrument of information – and change.

“You might have noticed in some of our newspapers they’ve taken a bit of an interest in me lately,” he said.

“Some of the things I’ve read are this. According to one headline ‘Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid “wiping out” humanity.’ Now, asteroids are pretty controversial. It’s not the kind of policy I’d want this party to adopt without a full debate in conference.

“Another newspaper went even further and printed a ‘mini-novel’ that predicted how life would look if I were Prime Minister. It’s pretty scary, I have to tell you. It tells us football’s Premier League would collapse, which makes sense, because it’s quite difficult to see how all our brilliant top 20 teams in the Premiership would cope with playing after an asteroid had wiped out humanity.

“And then the Daily Express informed readers that – I’m not quite sure how many greats there are here, but I think there are three or four – great-great-great grandfather, who I’d never heard of before, was a very unpleasant sort of chap who apparently was involved in running a workhouse. I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time to have a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.

“But then there’s another journalist who had obviously been hanging around my street a great deal, who quotes: ‘Neighbours often see him riding a Chairman Mao-style bicycle.’ Less thorough journalists might just have referred to it as just a ‘bicycle’, but no. So we have to conclude that whenever we see someone on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao. Thus, the Daily Express has changed history.”

So much for the mainstream media!

What about the social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the like?

“Our new members want to be active and involved – want to have a say in our Labour Party’s policies; want to lead local and national campaigns against injustice and the dreadful impact of Tory austerity; want to work in their local communities to make people’s lives better,” said Mr Corbyn.

“They don’t want to do things the old way. Young people and older people are fizzing with ideas. Let’s give them the space for that fizz to explode into the joy we want of a better society. They want a new politics of engagement and involvement. Many of them are already active in their communities, in voluntary organisations, in local campaigns. And we’ve convinced them now to take a further step and join our Labour Party.

“What a tremendous opportunity for our Labour Party to be the hub of every community! The place where people come together to campaign; to debate, to build friendships, to set up new community projects; to explain and talk to their neighbours about politics, about changing Britain for the better.

“That’s going to mean a lot of change for the way we’ve done our politics in the past.

“Our new Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, is well up for that challenge. He’s leading the charge and leading the change of the much greater use of digital media as a key resource.

“That is the way of communication. It is not just through broadsheet newspapers or tabloids – it’s social media that really is the point of communication of the future. We have got to get that.”

This Writer couldn’t agree more.

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8 thoughts on “At last, a politician who appreciates the social media

  1. Martin Odoni

    My favourite bit was, ‘If these people were sports reporters, writing about a football team, they’d be saying this; “They’ve had a terrible summer. They’ve got 160,000 new fans. Season tickets are sold out. The new supporters are young and optimistic. I don’t know how this club is going to get through this crisis.” ‘

    I thought it was a beautiful sum-up not only of the mainstream media’s delusions, but also the delusions of the Blairites that Corbyn’s success is ‘bad news’. He’s completely reinvigorated the Labour Party, he’s the best thing that’s happened to them in a generation, and there’s still talk of chaos and turmoil!

    No greater madness is there than the madness of following the official narrative.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      My favourite bit was the standing ovation he received when he said that the British people don’t have to accept what they’re given by people who want all the money for themselves.

      1. AndyH

        It does seem extraordinary how the Murdoch and Dacre media hammer home the idea that a political party having a surge of new members is a failure – as if to suggest the last thing political party needs are grassroot members doing leaflet drops, raising money and shaping policy. Impressive to see Corbyn is taking this criticism head-on. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for all us to start boycotting murdoch and the tabloids and to focus on the positive alternatives.

  2. stephen brophy

    I’m well pleased after hearing response from people who vote lib or tory at the last election saying he won them over! Can’t ask more than that!

  3. Larry McCauley

    What makes me smile is that the Tories do understand the importance of social media, but completely fail at it. It’s one thing to buy likes and retweets. Another to counter the anti Tory feeling that fills each post and tweet. Perhaps with such an ageing membership they should stick with writing angry letters to the Times?

  4. mrmarcpc

    Not bad for a supposed old dinosaur who hasn’t got a clue about what’s going on in the UK, showing up the pompous tories for what they are and no mistake!

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