I’ve considered not writing about politics on a website that is essentially dedicated to a hobby. However, I can’t help but feel that if you take Jeremy Corbyn’s outlook on life then place him in a top hat, long brown coat and hang a brass coloured Nerf gun on his shoulder he’s essentially a steampunk. Meanwhile, the Conservatives want us to go back to life at the end of the 19th century.
I love the Victorian era, but only certain elements of it. I love the design, the grandeur, the innovation, the industry, the acceleration of technology.. What I don’t like is that if you didn’t have money then life was extremely hard and I don’t like that the upper class tended to ignore those less fortunate. There was no buffer from the Government to aid people. There were no benefits. If you wanted to have provision you had to get a job and pay into a Friendly Society that would run things like clinics for if you were ill or hospitals for if you were really ill. If you lost your job, the Society would give you money to survive and if you died, they would take care of your widow financially. If you had no job or decided against paying into a Friendly Society, you could be looked after by the Parish which was run by the Church of England. They didn’t make life easy, but they ensured that you didn’t starve and had shelter. People who were born less than physically perfect had to work even harder and only a select few made their lives into something better than either begging on the streets or being looked after by their local community. While the disabled weren’t seen as surplus to requirements – and provision was made for them to better themselves – the ideology that one had to work to gain everything in life remained and that seemed irrelevant of your abilities.
Once Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party in 2015, I immediately took an interest in politics. You see up until that point I had been just like other people who didn’t vote (except I did); I felt that all parties were alike and simply argued for the sake of having an excuse to turn up for work. The Conservatives took a hold of Government and we started to see a drop in the quality of life for everyday people. The poor becoming poorer, disabled people losing benefit payments that kept them in a decent standard of living so that they could enjoy life independently just like any other human being. Then here came a grey haired chap with an outlook on life that wants fairness and equality for all. He wants to promote tolerance and acceptability from all walks of life. He wants to rid the world of unfairness; from bankers crashing the economy then taking the tax payers money to carry on as normal, to ensuring that the most vulnerable are cared for in a sympathetic way.
Mr Corbyn has led something near a punk life throughout his career in politics and I’ll illustrate that by looking at various outlooks that made the punk subculture what it was.
While being a member of parliament is arguably considered the ultimate in establishment careers, I can’t help think that he’s done this in order to try and provide a voice for those that can’t be heard. He was always the voice on the back benches arguing with the Tories about their policies that saw everyday people suffer. His indifference to the Monarchy is well known and while I personally don’t agree with that, I respect his views.
There’s been a few people point out that Mr Corbyn and one or two of the cabinet are now appearing more and more without wearing a tie. While this isn’t the height of rebellion, it proves as an example of how if Mr Corbyn doesn’t want to toe the line on what’s generally considered professional dress, he won’t. He’s regularly seen open collared with a bit of vest poking through and it doesn’t make a jot of difference to his performance of being a leader. On top of that he’s taken a unique approach to Prime Minister’s Questions by asking David Cameron direct questions from members of the public. He’s given a direct voice to the people where normally it’s via an MP.
Mr Corbyn has regularly been seen demonstrating about matters that he cares about, from rail fare increases, to government cuts.
Not selling out
It must be easy, when faced with the lavish lifestyle from the seemingly infinite funds of the public purse, to simply join the crowd and take advantage of everything that it has to offer. However, despite coming into his 33rd year as an MP, he still fights for the principles that he did when first elected to MP for Islington North.
I see these values reflected in steampunks everywhere I go. We are an inclusive culture and we cherish diversity and multiculturalism. We want everyone to be looked after fairly and we don’t like people who assume supreme power over anyone else by treating others badly. Steampunk has no strict rules in order to encourage individualism and to promote integration while the current government wishes to segregate people who aren’t like them and forget the ones who can’t keep up. I welcome this brand of leader we’re seeing in the Labour party and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we saw him sporting some copper goggles.