Don’t vote for Corbyn because you think it’s ‘indie’

There are better reasons to vote Labour

I’m not sure how this has happened, but a 60-something year old socialist in dire need of a shave has become the epitome of ‘cool’.

Yeah, there was the Milifandom, but it’s almost nothing compared to the trappings of being a so-called ‘Corbynista’. Since when did it become ‘indie’ to support a certain political party? Of course – there are people that call her ‘Theresa Bae’ and I would probably wear a shirt with Tim Farron’s face on it unironically – but what we see with some of Corbyn’s following runs much deeper than that. Emphasis on some.

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With the advent of social media, creating and maintaining one’s personal aesthetic has never been more important. Everything you do, everything you wear, everything you eat – the pressure to conform to one particular ‘vibe’ has never been greater. In short: are you the type of person to Instagram photos of your IKEA cacti or your avocado on sourdough? And I don’t mean to be patronising – I will unabashedly stand up in the middle of a restaurant to take a photo of my food – it’s just the truth that in the 21st century, virtually everyone has some sort of personal ‘brand image’.

And, somehow, it’s become commonplace in indie culture to vote for Corbyn just because his whole image appeals to denim jacket-wearing, canvas bag-toting, bicycle-riding hipsters. It’s cooler to stick a little red badge stating ‘vote Labour’ on your edgy Kanken bag than it is to have one saying ‘vote Conservatives’. It just wouldn’t go with the look, right? It wouldn’t add up.

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The worst of these types are the ones that are better off financially. That is not to say you shouldn’t/can’t vote Labour if you earn over X thousand a year, but when people begin to vote for parties that don’t support them; they don’t know much about; just because it seems the ‘cool’ thing to do – there’s an issue there. That’s champagne socialism.

This obviously is a stereotype – but that’s half the point. People tend to play to stereotypes: sometimes that involves ordering a latte when you wanted a hot chocolate; sometimes it involves raving about a leader you don’t really understand.

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This is not to say all Corbyn supporters are voting for him because they think it’s ‘cool’ – obviously. Obviously the majority of true Corbyn voters will find his firmly left-wing stance appealing; will understand and support his policies; will vote Labour because it makes sense for them to vote Labour. And quite rightly so. There are better reasons to vote Labour besides it being ‘indie’ and you thinking ‘Harriet. 19. Corbynite.’ will make an edgy Twitter bio. Look into what Labour really stand for before you mindlessly vote for them – there are ample reasons to vote Labour, and ‘Jezza C being a g’ is not one of them.

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University of Leeds