Celebrities4Corbyn: New Article in Election Analysis 2017

As mainstream media coverage of the campaign converged around the two main party leaders to the exclusion of smaller parties in 2017, you were also less likely to see celebrity faces. In 2015 Labour brought its often high profile celebrity supporters to the heart of their campaign, sometimes giving the impression these celebrities were standing in for Labour’s less telegenic leader.

But a closer look at the 2017 campaign shows that while celebrities were less likely to make headlines, they had far from abandoned Labour. Old faces such as Steve Coogan and Eddie Izzard continued to canvass and make speeches to crowds at rallies. At the same time, celebrities outside of the mainstream in their own fields (most notably young grime artists) were attracted to the Corbyn for his outsider appeal. They were happy to share their newer media platforms with the leader, as well as appearing on television to argue that mainstream media was not giving him a fair hearing.

I’ve written a short piece for this for Election Analysis 2017, a great collection of articles on the election hastily and expertly compiled by Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson, and Darren Lilliker at the University of Bournemouth.

You can take a look at my article here: http://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2017/section-8-personality-politics-and-popular-culture/celebrities4corbyn-continuity-and-change-in-labours-use-of-celebrities/

See the website for 92 great contributions on media and the 2017 General Election: http://www.electionanalysis.uk/  

Just don’t ask me to predict when we’re going to have another election.



Anti-Austerity Rally Speech

Singer Charlotte Church has become increasingly politically active since the General Election, making her anger at the Conservative government known. On June 20th she gave a speech at The People’s Assembly protest against austerity.

Criticism of Church has intensified since this much-publicised speech, with continued accusations that she’s a hypocritical champagne socialist being served up with a predictable sad side dish of misogyny. This week I’ll write a post about the reaction to Church’s turn to anti-austerity activism, asking whether her case demonstrates that it is impossible for a celebrity speaking out on political issues to be seen as authentic.

This is the transcript, posted on her blog. You can also watch her address the crowd of anti-austerity protestors here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Vk2EAT8go


It’s so heartening to see so many people here. I’m not going to take up much of your time. But I do want to talk to two specific groups today. The first is those economists, academics, journalists, lawyers, public figures, celebrities, artists, who consider themselves progressive. We need to stop genre defining our politics, and harking back to old ideologies, and start talking about the future of government, the future of democracy, our children’s future; how we can be innovative in our thinking, how we can captivate the attention of the disengaged demographics, and how we can re-engage those at the most disaffected desperate fringes of society who were convinced to vote for a new-age fascist party by “Chicken Licken” trickery from an ale-swilling, pinstripe, Enoch Powell.

One of the main reasons so many young people are turning towards the agendas of consumerist capitalism, is that it’s advocates have embraced…

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Westminster All Stars? Celebrity and the 2015 General Election

I’ve written a piece for the Crick Centre’s Understanding Politics blog about what role celebrity might play in the upcoming election, and why it isn’t as simple as endorsements equal success.

You can read my post here: http://www.crickcentre.org/blog/westminster-stars-celebrity-2015-general-election/ 

The Crick Centre is based in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. Their blog, Understanding Politics, is part of their aim to promote public understanding of politics.