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My View - Wednesday March 29 2017


What happens when six middle-aged mums are let loose in Leeds on a Tuesday night? They mob Jeremy Corbyn then go to a hip-hop gig, obviously.

De La Soul were at the 02 Academy and I'd agreed to go as part of my new plan to be windswept and interesting. The week before, I'd started an evening at an Italian in Bingley and wound up in a barn full of donkeys in Keighley - so I was on a roll.

Head of bookings for fun nights out is my friend Sharon. If there's something going on, she's set up a WhatsApp group, bought the tickets and sent a screenshot of train times before you've even booked your babysitter. Everyone needs a Sharon in their gang.

Our journey in was fairly tame. Conversation meandered around the need for sensible shoes and a good quality coat 'in weather like this'.

Anyway, we were queueing up for the cash machine at the station and Emma says, "You'll never guess who's having a sandwich." So I casually craned my neck and clocked him. It was Jeremy Corbyn. In Upper Crust.

I feel I should come clean at this point and tell you I'm not a Corbynite. His wispy beard and maudlin aura saw me running from the reds a while back, but I slapped on my starstuck face and sashayed on over.

"Hiiiiiii" I simpered, "I just couldn't walk past. We're HUGE fans" (I'm going to hell) "Is there any chance of a photo?". Poor guy, he still had half a baguette left, but was most obliging, even enquiring where we were heading. I sensed his surprise that, contrary to our appearance, we weren't off for Pollo Pesto at Pizza Express, but bound for a sweaty club to watch some Long Island rappers spit rhymes. 

The next part was a bit of a blur. I can't remember if we shook his hand, gave him a kiss or just giggled off. My more politically motivated friends have heaped scorn on me for not pinning him down on managed migration or budget deficits. But where's the fun in that?

Next month, I'm going all rave. I've got tickets for something called Classical Hacienda at The First Direct Arena (glow stick and whistle not included). 

But after my Corbyn encounter, I doubt my night will feel complete unless I first bump into Theresa May in Subway, or at the very least, Tim Farron in Greggs.

@beckymenston
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