Jeremy Corbyn goes from court jester to Queen snubber in 24 hours – so says the Sun

The press attacks have begun, with Corbyn blasted as hypocrite and traitor


The Sun didn’t waste time this week before attacking the new Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Monday’s front page ran with ‘Corbyn: abolish the army’, citing a speech from three years earlier. Is this front page news?

Since then the paper’s eagerness to paint Corbyn in a bad light has seen it commit a massive contradiction worth highlighting.

Here’s yesterday’s front page:

Sun 15 9 15

As the Sun Says column explained:

“Corbyn, a lifelong republican, will kiss the Queen’s hand and swear allegiance to secure millions in funding for Labour. […]

How many other ‘principles’ will be jettisoned before the scales fall from the eyes of his naive young supporters?”

It turns out the Sun’s own source for the story claims there was no link between the deference and the cash. But on today:

Sun 16 9 15

The story says:

“Jeremy Corbyn was last night accused of snubbing the Queen after he refused to sing the national anthem.

The left-wing Labour boss remained tight-lipped at the Battle of Britain memorial.”

In other words, within 24 hours the Sun went from calling Corbyn a court jester to saying he snubbed the Queen.

Imagine for a second what would have happened if he had declined to swear allegiance to the Queen but then did sing the national anthem at the memorial. Would the Sun have just reversed its front covers these last two days?

Whatever Corbyn does here he’s going to be accused of both hypocrisy and treachery. Such is the fate of a backbench rebel suddenly in the national spotlight. The Sun has clearly started as it means to go on: attack, attack, and attack again – consistency be damned.

Today’s story deserves another point, especially as every paper bar the Daily Mail has run it on page one.

There may be an argument that as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn should swallow his pride and sing the national anthem to avoid causing a row or annoying much of the electorate – especially at a memorial service for the country’s fallen.

But the fact is, neither Jeremy Corbyn nor anyone else may be forced to sing the national anthem.

As Graham Smith, CEO of Republic and Left Foot Forward contributor said today:

“If we live in a free country we must be free to not sing God Save The Queen. […]

Whatever your thoughts about Corbyn he has always been clear about his republicanism.

But moreoever, whether republican or not it can’t be right that people are brow-beaten into singing a religious ode to the Queen.”

Even the most ardent monarchist would hopefully consider this reasonable.

The freedoms we are told were defended by the war must surely include the right not to sing if one chooses.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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24 Responses to “Jeremy Corbyn goes from court jester to Queen snubber in 24 hours – so says the Sun”

  1. stevep

    Let the Sun have it`s say, it`s a dying rag and it knows it.
    It was never as influential as it claimed to be, less so now.
    The peoples propaganda comic outlook has seen it`s day, most people will be using the internet for information via phones and tablets from now on and absorbing different views and opinions.
    Jeremy`s warmth, honesty and integrity will shine through all the vile crap the mucky rags can throw at him.
    There may well be a sea change coming.

  2. Cole

    However, JC made a prat of himself by not singing the national anthem, pointlessnessly pissing people off – including many Labour sympathisers. After all, it was at a ceremony to honour those who had fought and died in the battle against Nazism. He might have showed a bit of respect – and who cares if the words are a bit daft?

  3. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    Those who died fighting against Nazism, died in the cause of defending the right not to be forced to conform to mindless nationalist tribalism. It is therefore entirely appropriate, and respectful, that Corbyn exercised that right.
    It’s the 21st century: are we still expected to defer to meaningless rituals? What would have been the point of hypocrisy of singing? Personally, I’d rather Corbyn stuck his principles – at least he has some to stick to.

  4. Cole

    Of course. But Corbyn isn’t any old citizen nowadays. I’d have thought the least he could do was to sing the national anthem. Many of us who are Labour voters think of ourselves as patriotic and think he should have shown more respect to the people who saved us from Nazism – instead of indulging in leftist tokenism.

  5. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    I just don’t see how singing a notably naff song, expressing sentiments with which Corbyn very pubically disagrees, can be taken as a mark of ‘respect’.

    Rather, singing the song would have been a meaningless and hypcritical act of nationalist tokenism.

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