After giving Theresa May the two-finger salute, Facebook love-bombs Jeremy Corbyn [VIDEO]

Corbyn manifesto launch
Support us and go ad-free

On Monday 15 May, Theresa May’s first live-streamed interview on Facebook was met with derision and a deluge of ‘angry face’ emojis. One day later, Jeremy Corbyn live-streamed the launch of the Labour Party manifesto, and the people of Facebook love-bombed him.

The love-bombing

The Prime Minister’s Facebook Live Q&A session on 15 May did not go well. She lied repeatedly. The Labour leader gatecrashed her appearance. And more than 13,000 Facebook users responded to her broadcast with ‘angry face’ emojis.

But when Corbyn’s launch of the Labour Party manifesto was live-streamed from the University of Bradford on 16 May, he received a very different response. More than 20,000 Facebook users love-bombed the Labour leader’s broadcast with ‘loves’ and ‘likes’.

And if the Conservative campaign went looking for solace in the comments, it wouldn’t have had much luck there either. Here are the top five comments on May’s broadcast:

Compare these to the top five comments on Corbyn’s:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Two very different broadcasts

Facebook users were responding to two very different broadcasts. One, obviously, was a manifesto launch. And the other was an interview. But the differences went way deeper than that. While the PM shielded herself from the public by using Robert Peston as an intermediary, Corbyn invited members of the public onstage to share his platform. While May retreated into subterfuge and spin, Corbyn relied on substance.

That substance was a “radical and responsible” manifesto, the leaked version of which had already proven extremely popular with voters. In his speech, the Labour leader ruled out rises on VAT and National Insurance and on income tax for all but the richest 5% of high earners, and pledged to:

  • Increase the living wage to at least £10 an hour by 2020.
  • Scrap tuition fees.
  • Expand free childcare provision for two, three and four-year-olds.
  • Guarantee the triple lock to pensions.
  • Build over a million new homes.
  • End zero-hour contracts.
  • Hire 10,000 new police officers and 3,000 new firefighters.
  • Set up a National Investment Bank.
  • Create a National Education Service.
  • Renationalise railways.
  • Bring water into regional public ownership.
  • Take a public stake in the energy sector.

The manifesto

And that was just for starters. The manifesto [pdf] also pledges to:

  • Increase corporation tax from 19% to 26% by 2020.
  • Introduce a 45p rate of income tax for those earning more than £80,000.
  • Introduce a 50p rate of tax for those earning more than £123,000.
  • Reverse the privatisation of Royal Mail.
  • Commit more than £30bn in extra NHS funding over the next parliament.
  • Scrap the NHS pay cap.
  • Legislate to ensure safe staffing levels in the NHS.
  • Guarantee the rights of EU staff working in health and care services.
  • Create a new £250m Children’s Health Fund.
  • Spend an additional £25.3bn a year on education.
  • Reduce class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds.
  • Keep the Human Rights Act.
  • Review legal aid means tests.
  • Recruit 3,000 more prison officers.
  • Build no new private prisons.
  • Set new standards for tackling domestic and sexual violence.
  • Ban letting agency fees for tenants.
  • Make 4,000 additional homes available for rough sleepers.
  • Roll out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 in the public sector.
  • Ban unpaid internships.
  • Extend rights of employees to all workers.
  • Refuse to accept Britain leaving the EU without a new trade deal.

A blueprint for Britain

The manifesto is a blueprint for a very different kind of Britain from the one we have endured over recent decades: a country which takes care of all of its inhabitants – and pays for it by increasing taxes only for the very richest, who have benefited at the expense of ordinary people under successive Conservative governments.

The establishment media were predictably unimpressed. It took Laura Kuenssberg minutes to misrepresent Labour’s proposals on tax increases for the wealthiest.

But the recent love-bombing of Corbyn – on Facebook and on the streets – tells a very different story from the one being peddled by the mainstream media. Facebook ‘loves’ and packed rallies don’t necessarily translate into electoral success. They do show, however, that despite a sustained media smear campaign against Corbyn, there is a hunger for his vision of a fairer, more progressive Britain. And on 8 June, for the first time in many decades, voters will be offered a real choice at the ballot box. It’s an opportunity we cannot afford to waste.

You can watch the full manifesto launch here:

Get Involved!

Register to vote in the 8 June general election.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

– If you want to vote tactically to keep the Conservatives out, sign up to the Progressive Alliance and find out how to build a progressive majority in your constituency.

– Are you being targeted by Facebook adverts by political parties? Tell ‘Who Targets Me?

– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed