It started as a strategy to encourage young people to register to vote in the general election on 8 June, but soon turned into something much bigger. With plenty of humour and creativity, a party is being thrown to celebrate a potential Labour victory.
“Comrades! Compatriots! Followers of the cause! Come far and wide to join us. We’re having a real Jeremy Corbyn victory party to toast our success!”
It was with these words that Josh Jackson, a student at the University of Cambridge and the leader of Grand Marshal Corbyn’s Patriotic Meme Collective, set out to organise a party to celebrate a potential Labour victory in the general election on 8 June.
While many view it as a joke, the event is taken very seriously by its organisers. In an interview with the Independent, Jackson said: “The event is very serious. It’s not a foregone conclusion, a lot of Labour’s policies are very popular and when you contrast it with what the Tories are offering today in their manifesto, there’s a genuine contrast and a real choice for voters.”
Jackson, who is 19, added: “When the media write Jeremy off and write Labour off, I think it can have an opposite effect.”
The initial goal of organisers was to encourage young people to register to vote in the election through the use of social media, comedy and messages put forward in an engaging way.
News of the victory party soon spread throughout cyberspace and 6,000 people have visited the page, including those who have confirmed that they will attend and those who are interested in attending.
The choice of a pub for the event was not taken at random. The Red Lion was where Jeremy Corbyn celebrated winning the Labour leadership in 2015.
“What will happen if Labour do not win the general election?” Jackson replies: “It’s never a bad day to have a ‘Tories Out’ protest. Either way it’ll be a party, to celebrate Jeremy’s victory or to celebrate our continuing struggle against this regressive Tory government.” In that case, he says, the party would be to celebrate the “moral victory” of the Labour leader.
Date: 9 June 2017 from 8pm. Location: The Red Lion Pub, 45 Parliament Street, SW1A 2NH. More information here.
Photos: Marcos Ortiz – (Translated by Roz Harvey)