When one thinks of the hordes of new Labour Party members, it is easy to buy into the media’s assertion that Corbyn supporters are young, metropolitan, left-wing students. The media are yet to drop their slurs against Labour members, as recently proven by The Independent, who claimed that “Corbyn supporters tend to be depressed vegetarians” and “they also tend strongly to be female – as much as they do being young”.
There is a continuous media bias against Corbyn supporters as well as the man himself. Despite this, if you were to attend a Corbyn rally or a constituency meeting, you would see for yourself that this is simply not a fair reflection of reality.
Whilst the swell of Labour’s membership is indeed supported heavily by young adults, there has also been an increasing number of new members of all ages. Having attended Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership rally on College Green in Bristol, it became fundamentally clear that the thousands who turned up were not the young socialists the media would have you to believe, nor the arm twisting Trotskyites we have heard so much about. The crowd was filled with people of all ages and ethnicities, from young children to grandparents, refugees to British nationals; all of which retained something in common – a desire for genuine and much needed change in Britain led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Expecting to be surrounded by other like-minded young enthusiasts was a mistake. In fact, that could not have been further from the truth. Thousands of smiling faces of all ages, all there to stand in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn. One thing is for certain – people of all walks of life are propelling this movement forwards. Being stood shoulder to shoulder with someone in their 70s makes you quickly forget how age had seemingly divided us politically just a short while ago.
Our local Constituency Labour Party meeting was another situation where the age barriers had been broken down by people of all ages showing their concern for current issues in Britain. It was an incredibly well-mannered affair, none of the histrionic booing exaggerated by the mainstream media. In turn, people expressed their reasons for supporting Jeremy Corbyn, many of which revolved around the current issues of housing, young people being priced out of an education and issues around work contracts.
The problems facing modern Britain have a resounding impact on all ages – creating solidarity across what is normally a dividing line in British politics. People of all ages were making a stand to express the importance of a socialist movement in Britain, congratulating one another for their bravery to stand up and be heard; as well as older members expressing their delight to see young people in attendance to ‘continue the fight for social justice after I’m gone’, as one lady put it.
According to a recent YouGov poll, Corbyn is shown to be ahead of Owen Smith with 62% of the vote, as well as being ahead in all age categories. It may come as a surprise to those in the Westminster bubble, but Corbyn has more support in the 40-59 years’ category of Labour members with 63% than that of the 18-24 years’ category which is at 61%. This challenges the current media stigma that Corbyn appeals to a minimal audience that are mainly young and an indication that members of all ages are supporting him.
The current media bias against Jeremy Corbyn and the new Labour members is slowly being dismantled. The evidence for the inaccuracy of articles against the leadership and membership is blatant to see, as it would only require minimal experience of a rally or CLP meeting to recognise their biased assertions. The plain and simple truth is that people of all ages are coming together to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – and the sooner the media get to grips with that, the better.