Steve Coogan turns to Percy Bysshe Shelley to drive up Labour vote

Written by David Singleton on 7 June 2017 in Diary

'Rise, like lions from the slumber / In unvanquishable number!'

Steve Coogan has backed Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister and quoted one of the major English Romantic poets in a bid to get young voters out to vote.

The comedian and actor joined Jeremy Corbyn on stage for a rally in Birmingham as Labour sought to show off its celebrity backers at events across the country. The event also featured music from Clean Bandit.

In London, shadow chancellor John McDonnell shared a stage with comedian Ben Elton and rockers Wolf Alice, who performed a DJ set.

And in Warrington, Maxine Peake joined shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and there was music by from Reverend and the Makers.

In Birmingham, Coogan recited lines from The Mask of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The 1819 poem was written after the Peterloo Massacre of that year and is thought to be the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent resistance.





Coogan told the crowd of around 6,000:

"Rise, like lions from the slumber
"In unvanquishable number!
"Shake loose your chains like morning dew
"Which in sleep were placed on you:
"Ye are many - they are few!"

The Alan Partridge actor also laid into the prime minister, declaring that Theresa May has "got the charisma of a pancake".

He added: "So they've had to wheel out Boris Johnson, the Tories' upper class twit.

"Boris Johnson, the Tories' clown, except he's not that funny. He's about as funny as tightness in the chest followed by shooting pains down the left thigh.”


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