The Orange Tabard

When Jeremy Corbyn stood for the Labour Party leadership for the first time I paid £3 to become a registered member. I also volunteered to be active in his campaign. I've never done anything like that in my life. I've always had lots to say for myself and an opinion on everything, but as for actually doing anything,I don't think so!

So I was asked to be a steward at his Cambridge meeting at the University Church. It was my job to shepherd those without tickets into a separate queue on the basis that if there was any room after the ticketed had got into the venue then they would be allowed entry. I was even given a nice bright orange Unison tabard to wear.

There was a young guy at the front of my queue, all shorts and spectacles, who turned out to be a passing academic who was drawn because of the crowd. We ended up having a short conversation which ran along these lines.

"So tell me then, why I should vote for Jeremy Corbyn"

"I'm probably the wrong person to ask, I'm not really sure."

"Well, you're wearing a Unison jacket, I would have thought if anybody would have been sure it would be you."

I explained that I had simply volunteered to do a job, and that the Unison costume did nothing more than indicate that. He was curious about Corbyn, so his next question was:

"Was he here?"

This is Cambridge speak for did he attend Cambridge University.

"I don't know, but I don't think so"

"Must have been at the other place then"

This is Cambridge speak for he must have attended Oxford University"

At this point the obligatory smart phone came out and Google was consulted. It transpires of course that Jeremy Corbyn attended North London Poly. A fact which completely nonplussed him.

If I was being mean, I would probably have described him as having considerably more self esteem than self-awareness. But I'm not being mean and in truth he was just some bright young thing going about his business.

But as a vignette it stuck with me...


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