Jeremy Corbyn vs the media: why character assassination has failed


The media, along with their MP collaborators, try to portray Jeremy Corbyn as a weak, feeble and inadequate leader.

This article was posted by People and Politics last year, after Jeremy Corbyn was confirmed as Labour leader, for the second time, with an unprecedented majority. Its conclusions are even more relevant for the 2017 snap general election called by Theresa May.

‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. Or so, at least, goes the old proverb. The British media had hoped that their choice of a pen (or a microphone), rather than a conventional weapon, would have long since finished off the prospects and ambitions of Mr Jeremy Corbyn.

Little did they know that after 12 months of the most malicious, sustained and coordinated media attacks on a political figure in this country’s history, Mr Corbyn would still be standing. Not only is he still standing, he is unbowed and as determined as ever to change the face of this country. The media, along with their MP collaborators, have tried to portray Mr Corbyn as a weak, feeble and inadequate leader.

I can think of no stronger indicator of strength and of leadership than taking whatever the British Establishment could throw at him for the last 12 months and actually emerge as leader of a party with a membership that has soared past 500,000 people. To emerge with his beliefs and his principles intact. To emerge more popular than before.

The media conspiracy hadn’t taken long to gather pace. Almost as soon as Corbyn was in post the attacks started. He has a beard, he doesn’t wear a tie, he won’t bow for the queen, he won’t sing the national anthem. On and on they came. The lies, the smears. The Daily Mail thought the fact that Mr Corbyn had dated Diane Abbott in the 1970’s was headline-worthy. Yes. The Daily Mail thought that a heterosexual relationship between a consenting white man and black woman was gasp-inducing for their readers. I don’t know what they believed was the most disappointing aspect of the story – that Corbyn was a normal, red-blooded male or that he had clearly never indulged in any kind of racism. Either way, on the front pages it went. The paper-that-shall-not-be-named went a step further and actually brought a body language expert in to assess the angle at which Corbyn had bowed his head at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. They should have been rather more concerned about the inappropriate and sinister presence of Tony Blair at the ceremony – a man whose loyalty to George W. Bush had sent so many British soldiers to their deaths.

The drip, drip, drip was constantly coming from those famous ‘Labour sources’. You know, the ones Laura Kuenssberg is so fond of quoting but a lot more reticent in naming? The BBC obsession with canning Corbyn culminated in a coordinated resignation of a Shadow Minister live on air. This should have been condemned by Ofcom and punished severely. Instead, the BBC were let off and are now acting as if they have impunity from any kind of accountability. They recently REFUSED an FOI request for statistics of complaints of anti-Corbyn bias. You have to wonder why it was refused and what it would illustrate if the information requested was provided. I will be voicing my protest by not renewing my TV license when the time comes.

So how does Jeremy get his message across when so many news outlets are hostile? One way is through social media. If people on mediums such as Twitter and Facebook are made aware of the extent of the lies and the smears, then maybe the nature of debate in this country will change and mainstream media will henceforth be treated with a rather large pinch of salt. There is evidence that the public are more aware of media manipulation following well-publicised cases such as the vile reporting of the Hillsborough disaster by the paper-that-shall-not-be-named. But sadly, there will always be those who naively believe that everything you read in the paper is in fact true or those that are so anti-Corbyn in their politics that any reporting which affirms their own view is eagerly hoovered up.

From the numbers attending rallies on Corbyn’s behalf, it is clear there is an appetite and enthusiasm to hear what he has to say. I think this is potentially the route that he has to rely on. The media WILL NOT promote Mr Corbyn’s politics or ideas and therefore he has to take his message to the electorate himself. The way he can do this is to continue to host rallies so that people can hear from him directly and in the process form their own view, free from rabid media bias.

The question remains; how has a media so foetid and so consumed by the need to destroy Corbyn singularly failed to uncover ANY dirt on this man? The answer is that they simply can’t – it doesn’t exist.

The closest the media got to a ‘scoop’ was that his great, great, great grandfather, three times removed was in a senior position in a workhouse. The man has no skeletons and no scandals. Hence the need to distort even the simplest of quotations to try and defame him. Hence the need for the disgusting ploy by Labour MPs to park any bit of trolling at his door. To make false accusations of homophobia and anti-Semitism and try to provide a tenuous link to Corbyn – a smear by association, if you will.

The media are horrified by the thought that this man is incorruptible. They must have made every effort to entrap him and all their efforts have come to naught. The thought that someone involved in politics could have a 24 carat gold bar placed in front of them and not even flinch, let alone consider it, terrifies them to their core. He cannot be bought. He is not for sale. Would he actually follow through with his threat to make life better for people? Well, he has the lowest expenses claims of any sitting MP, so possibly, yes.

They are horrified that he has principles and morals and sticks to them, even at the cost of personal relationships. He is the complete antithesis of careerist politicians such as Wes Streeting, who seemed to think he had an entitlement to a place on the front bench because he studied at Oxbridge. Oxbridge probably had very little to do with it. It was quite probably a case of him being talentless as well as a pompous, preening diva. Lets hope for a better class of Labour MP going forwards.

If the first 12 months have taught Labour members anything, it is that the party needs a lot more Jeremy Corbyns and a lot less Wes Streetings.


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