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Member since: 2001
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I've been thinking about the Personality cult bit recently

I'm slightly too young to know about Thatcher on this point, but in my adult life two UK politicians have had a major cult of personality about them. Tony Blair and Nigel Farage.

I may heartily dislike both, and certainly disliked the ginormous egos of both men, but both were hugely successful in their own ways.

Looking at Jeremy Corbyn, he is not an obvious candidate for a cringing cult of personality. He's not a brilliant orator like Obama, he doesn't come across as a raging egomaniac, or even somebody who takes much pride in his appearance and in stark contrast to media whores like Blair and Farage he actively shuns mainstream media.

And yet the faction of Labour he heads seems utterly dependent on him staying as Labour leader come what may and has built up a cult like base of followers who seem far more attached to the man than any wider cause. In my experience, you can object to policies like Railway Nationalisation and they won't argue with you about it, but the moment you suggest that he isn't doing a very good job as Labour leader they go apeshit.

So there is a bit of the personality cult with Corbyn, but it's quite different what you usually get with personality politics IMHO.

I live in an old coal mining area in England

The Industrial Revolution started in Britain due in large part to the fact that we had plentiful supplies of coal to fuel steam engines, and in later years power stations. Coal was the most important industry in Britain for many, many years and the British Labour party became a major force in politics thanks to the power of the miners.

In old pit villages you had a situation going back generations where people left school and went straight off to work down the mines. it was the only life people in many pit villages knew. And when the mines shut it was utterly devastating for those communities.

Some of the old pit villages are recovering well from the closure of the mines, others are still in a dreadful state.

Also worth remembering that old pit villages tend to be very insular places. Outsiders of any description are often looked on with suspicion, which can easily turn into strongly anti-immigrant sentiment, or just plain old fashioned prejudice.
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