Labour leader Corbyn is a rockstar at iconic Glastonbury festival

Corbyn said: “Look at the wall that surrounds this festival. There’s a message for President Donald Trump. You know what it says? Build bridges, not walls.”

world Updated: Jun 25, 2017 20:15 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,Glastonbury festival,Theresa May
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Michael Eavis, the founder of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts, acknowledge the crowd after addressing revellers from the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday. (REUTERS)

Pepped up by better results in the recent election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was given a rockstar-like reception by thousands of people at the Glastonbury festival on Saturday, marking a remarkable turnaround in his stature that wasuntil recently seen as ‘disastrous’ for the party.

Corbyn’s own party MPs passed a no confidence vote against him, veterans such as Tony Blair believed he was unelectable, while Conservative leaders lampooned him for his choice of ties as well as his vision for Britain that sought tofocus “On the many, not the few.”

The Corbyn speech hit headlines and went viral, while Brexit-related politics continued to dog Prime Minister Theresa May – there was speculation that she could soon be ousted to make way for chancellor Philip Hammond as the consensus prime minister.

Britain’s parliament was also targeted in a major cyber attack, weeks after the National Health Service grappled with a similar attack, crippling several services. Email accounts of MPs were targeted, a parliamentary spokesperson said.

“We have discovered unauthorised attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users and are investigating this ongoing incident, working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre.”

But it was Corbyn’s speech and therapturous reception that was the talk of many over and beyond the Westminster village. The iconic festival in Somerset is attended by large numbers who book months in advance to enjoy five days of performing arts.

Corbyn said: “Look at the wall that surrounds this festival. There’s a message for President Donald Trump. You know what it says? Build bridges, not walls...Politics is actually about everyday life. It’s about all of us: what we dream, what we want, what we achieve and what we want for everybody else”.

“The commentariat got it wrong, the elites got it wrong. Politics is about the lives of all of us. The wonderful campaign I was a part of and led, brought people back to politics because they believed there was something on offer for them,” he said, on the election results that saw Labour improve its tally of MPs and votes.

Dressed casually in an untucked light blue shirt and trousers, Corbyn ended the speech with his favourite line from P B Shelley’s poem, ‘The Masque of Anarchy’. The line was evidently the inspirationof his and Labour party’s election slogan.

The line is: “Ye are many — they are few.”

First Published: Jun 25, 2017 20:14 IST