Corbyn will fit right in at Glastonbury
In a year of unpredictable events and upsets in British politics, the news that Jeremy Corbyn will address the muddied masses of Glastonbury to introduce Run The Jewels was not really a shock. Worthy Farm has hosted its fair share of political guests over the years, including the Dalai Lama in 2015 and fellow Labourite Ed Miliband last year. But Corbyn is the best fit yet.
In the early days of the festival, tickets were going for £1 a pop. Today, one will set you back £238. Similarly, the shock Labour gain of Kensington, one of the most well-to-do seats in the country, confirmed that Corbyn has only sped up Labour’s transformation into a party of the middle class. While it surged among wealthy urbanites, the Tories mopped up working-class votes. Labour, like Glasto, is a party of the middle class, not the masses.
But the biggest thing they share is their faux-radical vibe. Glastonbury may have grown out of the Seventies’ freedom-loving spirit, but today its website boasts of beefed-up gate security and offers stern instruction on waste disposal. This year, Ed Sheeran – the physical embodiment of the colour beige – is headlining. Just as Corbyn has had to soften his more radical edges (from his Euroscepticism to his anti-nuclear views) to hold on to power, Michael Eavis’s festival has become safe and sanitised.
Middle-class and middle-of-the-road, Corbynism couldn’t be more Glastonbury if it tried.
Fraser Myers is a producer at WORLDbytes.