Finally, Corbyn is gone. But let’s not trade the sainted Jezza for the cult of Keir

by Tim Carter

The results are in and the predictable groaning and cheering has started, people being stood down from the shadow cabinet and others promoted.

A new leader and a new approach. One of Starmer’s first acts was to send a letter to the Board of Deputies expressing his sorrow and shame on behalf of the party, a much needed action but also something that could’ve and should’ve been done years ago.

But what happens next is crucial and much is down to the membership.

Much has be written about the ‘cultism’ of the Corbyn era, whether the use of the word ‘cult’ is fair matters not, it became about one man, the talk of a movement was mainly baloney and the reactions from some prominent ‘Corbynistas’ have proven that point in bundles.

But sadly the reactions of some on the ‘anti Corbyn’ side have been difficult to witness, politics isn’t the x-factor and we should remember that in the coming days.

Sure we all have politicians we admire and want to have a ‘big role’ but we elect leaders to lead and it is the leader who has to be trusted to pick the right team.

So, I hear you ask, what is your fear?

My fear is of ‘cultism’ if we replace one cult with another we are doomed.

New Labour wasn’t about the adoration of Tony Blair, it was much more than that and looking back at that first shadow cabinet and the eventual first cabinet, it can clearly be seen – a team working hard, all with roles and all on top of their brief.

Over the years things have changed and now people, most of whom probably aren’t old enough to remember, or weren’t Labour voters at the time, have created something that didn’t exist “the cult of Blair.”

Then jump ahead a few years and ‘Milifandom’ became a thing and perhaps that is where the ‘X-factorisation’ of Labour politics started, sure fascist dictators loved being adored and often introduced measures to ensure the masses adored them but for our politics this is new and it isn’t good.

The rallies , the silly song and the “I am the storm” meme was at the  heart of Corbynism and his outriders and grifters didn’t promote the party they promoted him!

In the December election campaign one thing cut through on the doorstep, not Brexit, although that played a part, it was Corbyn, we had created a ‘monster’ he wasn’t marmite he was toxic and much of that was down to the ‘cultism’ the refusal to accept he was flawed.

Door after door was answered with the words “no thank you” (I’m being polite) and after a disastrous defeat the response from the ‘cult’ “we won the arguments” and maybe, just maybe that is true BUT if you believe that then you have to also accept the brand, the messenger and the ‘cultism’ you created destroyed us.

But looking at social media I’m worried that many want to replace one ‘cult’ with another and that won’t work.

Sure I’m pleased that Lavery is no longer party chair, that Starmer appears to understand the problem but we, as activists and members have a role to play and that role includes a pledge “don’t repeat the ‘cultism’ we hated.

If Labour is to recover and I believe we can, we need to let Starmer reintroduce adult politics. allow his team to lead on issues.

We need to stop allowing outriders and rent-a-quote activists appearing on TV, slavishly promoting the leader – our shadow ministers should be promoting our cause.

In TV interviews I want to hear “we” not “Keir” remember that, always remember that, if we can’t do that we will fail.

We need to take our campaigning back in-house under the Labour brand, promoting Labour and of course defending our leader. For the past four and a half years that has been lacking because it became about one man.

So has a new dawn broken?

It feels like it has but remember a new dawn doesn’t always bring sunshine, just as a new garden doesn’t always bring roses, it takes hard work – simply shouting how much you love the gardener doesn’t work

We are all the gardeners.

Tim Carter is a freelance communications advisor and is currently staring at herons

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3 Responses to “Finally, Corbyn is gone. But let’s not trade the sainted Jezza for the cult of Keir”

  1. John P Reid says:

    Don’t we all do it
    Apparently my grandad as A Attlee fan backed Gaitskell as success is because Attlee wanted Gaitskell as successor
    Say the 2005 0r 2019 elections
    I wouldn’t have canvased for labour if it wasn’t for Jon Cryer and Cruddas being the cancdidates cos I like their issues
    In 2017 my candidate was a brexiter so I know remainers in my seat went to canvass for Wes Streeting Feb the road Instead

    Because I disliked Blunketts time as Home Secretary, I admired Shami Chakrabarti (result alongside Blunketts successor to fight the authoritarianism of Blair at the time( its in Chakrabarti book

    I would say in cliques Kate hoey has never been into cliques
    Although John Cruddas Compass or blue labour would have fitted her wing,
    In fact many people who are labour are only labour as they hate the Tories and that is a clique in its own right
    Or opposite the , it’s better to lose as true labour, then be centrist as its a moral victory would have a clique sitting around at withervmonentum or Fabian meetings discussing how woke they are, sane as those who go as a group to a jolly at conference

  2. Anne says:

    ‘Going forward’ as politicians frequently say the sentence from this article which is sound is ‘we need to let Starmer reintroduce adult policies. Allow his team to lead on policies.’ Starmer has chosen a competent team – each one is more than capable of leading on policies.

  3. Dave Roberts says:

    I hope that Starmer now expels every Momentum member staring with Lansman.

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