I think my record of creatively insulting Jeremy Corbyn and his politics speaks for itself, suffice to say that I would rather be exiled to the loneliest and coldest little enclave of Siberia than see him droning on about Palestine on behalf of Britain. Nonetheless, can we admit how embarrassingly hysterical and censorious the media is in its coverage of him? It should be enough to point out the absurdities of his ideas and rhetoric but journalists are resorting to falsehoods and overreaction.
John Rentoul, the Independent’s resident Blairite, feels that accidentally implying equivalence between Israel and ISIS, a charge that itself requires an uncharitable interpretation of a bland denial of the collective responsibility for Jews and Muslims of states and groups that claim to represent them, is grounds for the Labour Party to hand him his notice. Invading a country on false pretenses, and dooming British soldiers and Iraqi civilians to early graves, was perhaps a less significant offence. The Telegraph, meanwhile, declares that Corbyn “appears to lunge” at a female reporter in a recent video – a slimy implication of aggressive behaviour towards a woman that is preposterous given that all the beleaguered Marxist did was stop and turn around, in response, no less, to the journalist accusing him of running away. How soft are journalists nowadays? Do they have no memory of dealing with Alastair Campbell?
I think we know why Corbyn is mistreated in this way. It is because his ideas roam beyond the boundaries of mainstream opinion. Well, I’d like to keep them outside of mainstream opinion too, but I know ideas I promote are beyond these borders as well, and that such shrill and disingenuously moralistic tactics have been aimed at people who represent them. Thus, on this narrow little piece of common ground, I have no choice except to say I stand with Jeremy Corbyn.
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I see you read SlateStarCodex so maybe you’ve already seen this quote from commentator Dan Simon there:
“There is a common misunderstanding that politicians get embroiled in “scandals” when they say or do embarrassing or appalling things, which result in “political damage”, or even their “political demise”. In reality, the cause-and-effect relationship is the opposite: a politician’s opponents are constantly trying to characterize what he or she says or does as embarrassing or appalling, and the politician’s friends and allies are constantly dismissing these accusations as minor and irrelevant. If the politician is politically strong–that is, if his or her friends and allies are more numerous and powerful than his or her opponents–then the friends’ and allies’ dismissals work, and the accusations don’t stick. Conversely, if the opponents are more numerous and more powerful, then their characterizations win out, and the politician is embroiled in a “scandal” with potentially serious consequences.
Note that the actual nature of the allegedly embarrassing or appalling words or deeds is scarcely relevant–a politician with sufficiently numerous and powerful friends and allies can, say, drive a woman off a bridge to her death and flee the scene without reporting it, without significantly damaging his career, while a sufficiently embattled politician can be utterly destroyed by, say, repeating a sentence too many times in succession during a debate.”
Thank you. Good comment.
I think Corbyn has allies have let themselves in or a few of the attacks – talk of the IRA, for example, is completely fair, and while McDonnell may have been joking about Mao’s Little Red Book it was fantastically stupid – but it’s all overblown.