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. Steve Larson

    You mightn’t but millions of those who elect Labour MPs and also those whose votes you need do.

    It makes radical copy but as for changing the State and power, its a dead end gesture.

  2. Steve Larson

    Attlee wanted to implement his policy in power and wasn’t that concerned whether he was viewed as ideologically pure or not.

  3. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    The State and power are not going to be changed by cringing conformity to right-wing political correctness. Deference serves merely to reinforce the status quo, not to change it.

  4. Steve Larson

    The only thing that changes the State and how power is used is being in Govt.

    Blair for all his faults knew that, Cameron for all his faults knows that.

    They were interested in getting elected and making what they want happen.

    Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change, an unusual approach if the Left tired of being a vocal opposition and became an active control of direction.

  5. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    Wouldn’t it be a refreshing change, and an unusual approach, if we had a genuinely left-wing government?

    Don’t forget, Blair managed to shed millions of Labour voters during his years in office, losing vast swathes of the party’s core vote, while his enthusiastic embrace of Tatcherism laid the groundwork for the unprecedented assault on the welfare state by the current administration. The devastation wreaked by Osborne, IDS and Gove was enabled by the wholesale capitulation of New Labour to neoliberal dogma.

    But even if power is to be regarded as the end in itself, the fact remains that reheated Blairism is not likely to get Labour back in office. It failed in 2010, and it failed again in 2015. Why should it succeed in 2020?

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