Of the second type is Euan McColm's piece in The Scotsman. Reading like a desperate bid to get the thousand words necessary to hit pay dirt, Euan's piece is at turns insulting, at turns patronising, and is nothing we haven't read already. But what it does do is condense the common sense among plenty of journalists and politicians. And because it so often persists that Jeremy supporters are mendacious or brainwashed or thick or naive, we have to ask why it is the view is so widespread.
First up is the worldview of most media and politics people. Politics, as in big P politics, is a tightly circumscribed field. It's all about parties winning elections and forming governments. The province proper to political thinking and commentary therefore are the personalities (and occasionally, the policies) that grip the legislature of one's choice, be it Westminster, Holyrood, or the council chamber. Analysis, though mediated to greater or lesser degrees, is determined by electoral calculus in the last instance. Hence the motif of electability goes forever unchallenged. This is more than an ideology of politics, it is how it is practiced, reinforced by the repetitive actions of generations of politicians, journalists, and activists. This has two consequences for the reception of politics that cannot be assimilated to the vote-catching/vote-winning merry-go-round.
There is an expectation that everyone knows the rules of the game. Hence genuine bewilderment as to why Jeremy's support remains so stubborn in light of awful polling, a parliamentary party in revolt, and reports about the leader's incompetence. Yet from the point of view of Corbynism, it's the unquestioning adherence to the rules that have been Labour's undoing. A Labour government is always a lesser evil to what the Tories have on offer, but for two goes on the trot our party have lost while playing it by the book. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, you can begin to see why Corbynism might want to try something else. As it happens, I believe Labour can win a general election by adopting a different approach, but as there's a campaign on and it requires a thorough critique of Jeremy's leadership, that's something you can look forward to reading after the polls have closed.
The second is the perception of political activity. For those wedded to the conventional view, elections are the be-all and end-all. Hence campaigning for a party with a view to winning an election and voting are the standard means of doing politics. Other forms, such as internet activism, protesting, going on demonstrations, holding rallies are, at best, tolerated and at worst viewed with some suspicion, and seen as distractions from "proper" politics. But in the main, the allotted role of the mass is to participate at set intervals and go home again once the polling stations call time. Given their walk-on, walk-off part the sudden eruption of huge numbers into the Labour Party at the behest of Jeremy Corbyn of all people makes no sense. Lacking a sociological imagination and not appreciating how social and political change are intertwined, it can't be anything other than the agitations of sundry Trots, or their being cultists predisposed to hero worship, or so-called "virtue signallers", or the utterly deluded. Without a sense of what's happening and assuming Corbynism is one or all of these things, there is little realisation that calling this constituency - which is now a large majority of the party - thick, brainwashed, etc. will only swell their ranks and firm their resolve. And if recent years should have taught us anything, establishment finger wagging benefits anyone but the establishment.
The sad thing is Jeremy's opponents in the party and wider society have now had over a year to understand Corbynism, and with very few exceptions, they haven't. It's not like they're incapable - sociological analysis isn't voodoo, after all. It's as if they don't want to.