Sunday 8 November, as all British and Commonwealth citizens know, is Remembrance Sunday. Normally there are no intriguing news coming from the ceremony held at the Cenotaph in central London. This year, however, it drew more attention than usual, mainly because it was attended by Jeremy Corbyn, who was elected as the Labour party leader two months ago.
Ever since the election he has been under attack by the right-wing media because of his unorthodox behaviour, most famously his refusal to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ at the Battle of Britain commemoration in September. On Sunday he was at the Remembrance event standing next to David Cameron and near the former warmongering Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Labour leader came under scrutiny because apparently he did not bow in front of the Cenotaph monument after laying his wreath. The right-wing newspapers exploited his actions yet again in order to produce slander. The Sun’s Monday front-page had a terrible pun as a headline: “Nod in my name”.
However people on social media have defended Corbyn by sharing a vine in which you can notice his nodding if you watch carefully.
It is definitely a stark contrast to what Cameron did. His bow was so low it took the cameraman off guard.
This debacle led to the creation of humorous guides to respectful bowing, including this one.
The progressive media outlets managed to point out that after the Remembrance ceremony, when the television cameras were gone and the other politicians headed to a VIP lunch, he stayed behind to meet, chat, and take photographs with or for the World War Two veterans that were present. You certainly didn’t see this published in copies of The Daily Mail, The Sun etc.
What is particular, though, about the defamations Corbyn receives in right-wing newspapers is that they focus mainly on what he says and does rather than his ideas, which is what the general public needs to be informed about.
This is a position maintained by the comic TV celebrity Sue Perkins who recently tweeted: “The sooner we drop this vicious ad hominem sideshow, the sooner we can have a proper debate about the issues us voters care about.” Corbyn is getting worse treatment than Ed Miliband did. The biggest reason for this is because he is a greater threat to the establishment than the latter who, to be honest, was already considered a joke by many on the British Left. All we need now is an embarrassing picture of Corbyn eating his food in an unusual way on the first page of The Sun and we can state that history keeps repeating itself.
One of the best tweets in defence of the current Labour leader is the one posted by the Guardian journalist Owen Jones. It presents a snapshot of Cameron bowing to King Salman of Saudi Arabia while the latter is placing a green ribbon over his head and the caption underneath reads: ”Give Cameron credit. He bows deep. To a regime that beheads gays and exports extremism that threatens our citizens.” Here Jones highlights a gesture that people should be more worried about. One could affirm that the PM was in some ways disrespectful towards his citizens especially those from the LGBT community.
As long as Corbyn is around, the right-wing media will say anything to discredit him. The good news is that the other media outlets are more sympathetic to or attempt to be objective about him. His popularity shows no sign of fading away. Thanks to him Labour has gained more vigour and increased membership.
Published on the InQuire website: http://www.inquirelive.co.uk/comment/article-14177/as-long-as-corbyn-is-around-the-right-wing-media-will-say-anything-to-discredit-him/