17 September 2016

I Accidentally Attended a Jeremy Corbyn Rally

Whilst in the secret rooftop garden on top of the Library of Birmingham, something was going on below us in Centenary Square. There was a small stage and a couple of adjoining stalls but from the distance we couldn't make out what the event was in aid of. But then, a man on the rooftop spoke of what was happening and described them as ‘Corbynistas’… I jumped up from the bench and had another look. This time I noticed the singer on stage was wearing a red t-shirt and people were holding red signs. I then remembered that on the way to the library, the Socialist Party were handing out leaflets on mass. I then took to Google… ‘Jeremy Corbyn Birmingham’… The first result said: “Crowds expected in Centenary Square for Corbyn Rally”. Without knowing, I had gone to Birmingham on the same day that one of my political idols was hosting a rally. Moreover, we were metres away and minutes away from it starting. What a coincidence.

Without hesitation we left the rooftop garden and made our way to the front of the rally. Prior to the messiah making his way onto the stage, the shadow health secretary Diane Abbott said a few words. The crowds reaction was solum as expected due to her lack of charisma. Though Ms Abbott is liked within Corbyn’s fanbase, she doesn't get people excited in the same way as Corbyn does. By the time Jeremy Corbyn stepped onto the stage, there were an estimated 2500 people in attendance - all there to see one man. 

The atmosphere was electric and goosebumps covered my body for the entirety of the rally. Corbyn was enigmatic, charismatic, passionate and powerful. He really knows how to get his supporters going. He even made the crowd laugh a few times with some funny remarks. His speech was filled with warmth and struck a cord with everyone in attendance. He spoke with so much passion about opposing the Tories on austerity, grammar schools and the new NHS contracts. Corbyn outlined his plans to invest £500billion into Britain’s infrastructure, hospitals, and schools. He spoke of the need to reintroduce the education maintenance allowance, to scrap PFIs, and to build a million new homes in the first five years of his premiership. Not once did Corbyn attack Owen Smith or the backstabbing MPs who caused this mess in the first place. Corbyn kept it firmly on policy and firmly against the Tories. 

It was truly amazing to actually see one of my political idols in person. I never thought I’d get the chance to see him as every time he entered Gloucestershire it would be at short notice and on a week day. The support Corbyn had at the rally optimised the wider support he has in the party from the members. It would seem impossible for Jeremy Corbyn not to win the leadership election and it wouldn't surprise me if he won an even bigger mandate that before. 

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