Corbyn's detractors need to realise that his supporters aren't cultish—he's just a popular politicianby Julia Blunck / November 21, 2017 / Leave a comment
Labour was taken over by a cult of personality. A grasp so firm on the party that the cult has rewritten its history; reset it to a sort of year zero, relegating all history before it to non-existence. So rigid is the control and adherence to their line that they have rewritten party statutes to better fit their philosophy. So driven and obsessive with the image of their leader is their creed that the front cover of the party’s manifesto is a large picture of his face.
If the last item comes as a surprise, then maybe you were thinking of a different cult. The one mentioned above is, of course, the “cult” of New Labour and Tony Blair. Comparing Corbyn and Blair is a tiring game because the tendency is to ascribe to one all faults and to the other all value. But on this occasion, a comparison is useful. The truth is that not Corbyn’s Labour, nor Blair’s, nor even Margaret Thatcher’s Tory party—another example of a party changing itself to better fit its leader—were taken over by a shadowy cabal of evil masterminds. What happened was simply that thing that drives politics: their leaders won the argument.
The term “personality cult” is thrown around Corbyn and his supporters with some frequency. It follows them in with the smallest of things, like singing “Happy Birthday” to Diane Abbott or having his picture on the party’s Christmas card. This is easy to explain to some extent; when Corbyn was made leader in the most unlikely of circumstances, he seemed out of step with the general public and propped by a small segment of people with a very narrow agenda, willing to ignore the toxic image of their leader.