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For 40 years, Jeremy Corbyn wandered in the wilderness, but now he is ready to lead his people into the promised land. The privations of the journey are behind them and they are about to step into a land flowing with milk and honey.

In that land there will be no more tears, except from the hedge funders and speculators, the profiteers and neo-liberals, the establishment pundits and the editor of the Daily Mail.

And there will be no more Grenfell Towers, Donald Trumps, Saudi Arabian warmongers, oppression of the Palestinian people or “undemocratic fetters on the right to organise”.

No, the Moses of Finsbury Park assures his band of followers, which used to be small and is now large, “we have left the status quo behind.”

Politics has “finally caught up with the crash of 2008”. The “broken model forged by Margaret Thatcher” is being thrown on the scrapheap of history, the utilities are about to be nationalised, and “a modern, progressive socialist party that’s rediscovered its roots and purpose” is “setting the agenda”.

The Conservatives are finished: “We are ready and the Tories are clearly not.”

What is more, the Conservatives deserve to be finished, for they are contemptible, while Corbyn’s people are incorruptible: “We will never follow Tories into the gutter of blaming migrants for the ills of our society.”

As the camera played over his audience, it revealed two different reactions. There are many true believers in Corbyn’s vision, who have embraced the happy faith that he is about to usher them into a socialist paradise.

But one also noticed many uncertain faces, of Labour members who are by no means convinced things will turn out that well, but applauded with a kind of willed vigour, for they do not wish to be accused of wrecking the party.

They know they are stuck with him, for they have concluded that they have to give him the chance to show what he can do, but they are by no means confident he is up to the task of playing the part of prime minister in waiting for very long.

Corbyn wore a complacent look. The ten percentage points which Labour gained at the general election have enabled him to persuade himself that although for most of his life he was a marginal figure, “we are now the political mainstream”.

There is a kind of hubris about him. He has convinced himself that he and his colleagues are more grown up than Theresa May and hers. For him, the centre ground has moved.

The world now revolves around Corbyn. He kept the faith, and is about to be rewarded. He has the conceited look of an unfashionable author who suddenly finds himself with a bestseller on his hands.

Traditional socialism is back in vogue. Corbyn certainly believes this, and so do John and Diane and Emily, his friends from London who with him kept the faith. No one in his circle dares question his optimism.

Corbyn thinks he is about to carry all before him, and in Brighton he did carry all before him. The cult of Corbyn flourishes. He has become a prophet, a religious leader, an inspiration.

And yet the greater his self-confidence, the greater the target he offers to sceptics and unbelievers. Corbyn is an over-inflated balloon, who floats high above his opponents, but has not shown whether, at this bloated size, he can survive rough weather.

80 comments for: Andrew Gimson’s conference sketch: the Moses of Finsbury Park is ready to lead his people into the promised land

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