The “Left” British Media Respond to the Corbyn Threat

by William Skink

Allegations that David Cameron is a literal pig fucker is the type of salacious story the media loves. It grabs people’s attention, drives clicks, and doesn’t come close to being something that could threaten the establishment.

Jeremy Corbyn’s miraculous political victory, on the other hand, is not that kind of story because it’s a substantive political feat that must threaten the establishment, as evidenced by a shocking statement from a General mulling over the possibility of staging a mutiny if Corbyn is elected:

The unnamed general said members of the armed forces would begin directly and publicly challenging the labour leader if he tried to scrap Trident, pull out of Nato or announce “any plans to emasculate and shrink the size of the armed forces.”

He told the Sunday Times: “The Army just wouldn’t stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul to prevent that. You can’t put a maverick in charge of a country’s security.

“There would be mass resignations at all levels and you would face the very real prospect of an event which would effectively be a mutiny.”

The attacks against Corbyn are not just coming from the military and the political right. The left-leaning media gatekeepers at the Guardian and the Observer have also been busy savaging Corbyn. For a good look at how this is carried out, Jonathan Cook’s piece, titled Guardian’s terrible dilemma over Corbyn, is worth reading. From the link:

The reality is that Corbyn poses a very serious challenge to supposedly liberal-left media like the Guardian and the Observer, which is why they hoped to ensure his candidacy was still-born and why, now he is leader, they are caught in a terrible dilemma.

While the Guardian and Observer market themselves as caring about justice and equality, but do nothing to bring them about apart from promoting tinkering with the present, hugely unjust, global neoliberal order, Corbyn’s rhetoric suggests that the apple cart needs upending.

If it achieves nothing else, Corbyn’s campaign has highlighted a truth about the existing British political system: that, at least since the time of Tony Blair, the country’s two major parliamentary parties have been equally committed to upholding neoliberalism. The Blue Neoliberal Party (the Conservatives) and the Red Neoliberal Party (Labour) mark the short horizon of current British politics. You can have either hardcore neoliberalism or slightly more softcore neoliberalism.

Corbyn shows that there should be more to politics than this false choice, which is why hundreds of thousands of leftists flocked back to Labour in the hope of getting him elected. In doing so, they overwhelmed the parliamentary Labour party (PLP), which vigorously opposed him becoming leader.

Here is another article that looks at the attacks on Corbyn from the left:

But beyond the right-wing press, it was The Guardian and The Observer from which hordes and hordes of articles criticising Corbyn rained down as soon as the election was over. Other, formerly respectable ‘liberal’ outlets like the Telegraph were not backwards in coming forwards, either. The media, across the spectrum, had begun ushering Corbyn’s neck into their pre-prepared noose from minute one.

What’s wholly perturbing, though not astonishing, is the nature of the abuse. It’s personal. Numerous interviews, comments and pieces have referred to Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance and personal life. People appearing on TV to defend him have been few and far between. Those that are allowed on TV are usually young, and young people and their views are held with particular contempt across mainstream media. Young people fit into the media’s ‘naïve’ representation of left wing views. Overwhelmingly putting young people in the corner for Corbyn plays nicely into the ‘unelectable’ theorem. This is how young, ‘idealistic’ opponents to the Vietnam War were treated in the 60’s and later in the UK Uncut and Occupy movements. This feels similar. Besmirching appearance and character is the first stepping stone across a stream trying to flow in the other direction.

The liberal press attacks have been maintained with impressive consistency. The Guardian who thrive on a reputation of ‘speaking truth to power’ and protecting the vulnerable have proved themselves to be nothing more than a conduit for establishment rank closing. Guardian columnists, liberal paragons, defenders of the free world, appear more petrified than anyone. They have a striking similarity with the remaining twisted Blairite faction of the Labour party; they love the idea of social justice, until there’s a possibility it might creep too high on the agenda.

All of this is sounding kind of familiar. Too bad Bernie Sanders is no Jeremy Corbyn.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to The “Left” British Media Respond to the Corbyn Threat

  1. Generally leaders of all sides of the political parties are under control of the same people, and when someone is not controlled and might get out of line, the journalists tear him apart. But even that is not a guarantee that the opposition is real. Corbyn could be controlled opposition, just like Bernie. Proof will be in the pudding.

    It has been fun watching Donald Trump. No matter his words (he’s just a politician so they can be ignored anyway), he is upsetting people. I wonder if he is genuinely the unhinged crazy man he pretends to be, a true wild card, not bought. He could be a Corbyn lite.

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