Sun jokes about Jeremy Corbyn ‘getting the ice pick like Trotsky’

Beware of newspapers that claim to be your friends


There are few things more irritating in the British press than elite media organisations posing as the voice of the working class.

Perhaps the chief offender in this corporate performance art is the Sun newspaper, ‘Britain’s best-selling paper’ and organ of the Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

A feature today called a ‘Bluffers’ guide to sounding cultured’ instructs its readers on how to drop famous names or facts into conversation to sound clever, (or as the subheading puts it: ‘DROP SOME NAMES IN YOUR BANTER’.)

This rather presumptuous idea (who says Sun readers aren’t ‘cultured’ already?) is compounded by the tone of the ‘examples’, all of which imagine their students as boozy louts, sick with covert sexism – and all in the tones of salt-of-the-earth common sense.

Examples: ‘My cheating ex is as fat as Socrates, who was as famous for his girth as his brains’.

‘My best mate’s no stranger to paying for it. He gets through more ladies of the night than Charles Baudelaire and Emile Zola on a stag do.’

Perhaps my favourite: ‘Sure, this Platt family murder story on Corrie is tough going and Kylie’s in real trouble. But remember what Nietzsche always said about morality being the herd instinct of the masses.’

(One wonders if Mr Murdoch agrees.)

All of this sounds more like a Pete and Dud sketch than advice for readers of a national paper, but as ever, the subtle political content in all of these quotes spills out into open propaganda given the opportunity.

Under the heading ‘politics’ we read:

THERE’S nothing like a dash of Russian revolutionary and grisly murder victim Leon Trotsky, right, to spice up a political opinion: 

‘I’ve had it up to here with Jeremy Corbyn. I hope he gets the old ice pick like his idol Leon Trotsky.’

Who knew the Stalinist rot had spread so far! Here we have the Sun newspaper encouraging jokes about the assassination of the leader of the Labour party, (who has never been a Trot, incidentally).

One could be generous and say this was meant as a desire for political assassination only, that is, Corbyn being forced from power. But Trotsky had already been exiled by the Soviet Union when Stalin’s agent finally broke open his skull.

Regardless, the assumption here is that Sun readers want to see the back of Corbyn one way or another – not a safe one since a big chunk of the Sun‘s readers voted Labour. And that was under the last leader the Sun told them was a dangerous Leftie.

As so often, this fake populism hides an attempt not merely to reflect or condescend to public opinion, but to shape it. That it comes in the guise of friendship has been true, as today’s feature might put it, of every betrayal since Judas.


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

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22 Responses to “Sun jokes about Jeremy Corbyn ‘getting the ice pick like Trotsky’”

  1. guidofawkes

    One of the reasons for The Sun’s success is a sense of humour. Not something you appear to share.

    [Full declaration, am in the pay of The Sun.]


    Hear hear Guido. They are upset because Oldham Labour Party has selected an SDP Candidate against Jeza’s wishes.

  3. Mann T.

    Show us your tits then. Oh you are one.

  4. hederer

    Mud Rock lives in a mental swamp and the little creepies things (hacks) that slither around in it have partial synapses.

  5. Sid

    Good joke !!!

  6. keeshond

    Oh, the footballer Emile Zola. I put on Gianfranco’s scarf in a Sardinian restaurant and made a better crack than Guido’s fellow comedians.

  7. Maria Josephine

    Don’t they know that Trotsky was finished off with an ice axe, not an ice pick? (Bad translation that stuck). That’s why he was in such a bloody mess. Ice pick murders are quite neat and tidy.

  8. Julia

    His own politicians will do the job for the neoliberals….meanwhile in Scotland

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  10. treborc

    The Sun is the working man paper or it was, most of the people I worked with on large building site with 4,000 men working to build Power stations or Oil Refineries in the 1970’s 1980’s all bought the Sun the page three pictures were plastered all over the walls of the canteens . The rest of the articles were thrown in the bin . But of course the Sun has always had a better back page sport reporting.

    The sun will always attack the labour party and what the hell do you expect with Blair and Murdoch’s love affair with one lady.

    Lets not kid our selves the Sun and the right wing Press have not even started , and the infighting within labour are going to get much worse.


    It is a bit of fun. Trotsky was the leader of the Red Army and a great man. Corbyn is the leader of people who hate their own country.

  12. thruthseeker

    Corbyn getting an ice pick is this because a certain labour leader gave his wife an iced Pri*k


    Both kill.

  14. David Lindsay

    The Sun is being given away free again, and it has had to take down its paywall. Yet it bankrolls The Times, with its stable of charming and delightful opinion-formers.

    But I have a lot of respect for Tony Gallagher. Doubtless, he will re-emerge somewhere. Perhaps editing a genuinely popular newspaper, in the sense that anyone was prepared to pay to read it? Even without Page 3, The Sun belongs to the twentieth century.

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  16. Dave Stewart

    really everyone that supports Corbyn hates their country. What a lot of rot.

    How about maybe those people think that he is the best person to try and improve our country. While you don’t have to agree with this view to suggest that they actively hate the country is nonsense.

    I don’t like this Tory government and think it is sending the country down the pan but I don’t think the people who voted for them actively hate the country. They clearly voted for what they thought would be best for them/their families/the country, it just happens that I disagree with them on the conclusions they have drawn.

    These sorts of juvenile ad hominem attacks against huge swaths of the electorate lower the level of political debate to the cost of everyone.


    The Tories according to the left have always been putting the country down the pan however often they have been voted in. Corbyn and the lefties cannot be trusted with our defense they seem to think we live in a nice world where WW1 and 11 never happened. Sorry pal but anyone who associates themselves with Islamic fascists will never get my support. However I will not give up my party membership just because the £3 ers have infiltrated.

  18. Dave Stewart

    I was not asking for your support. I was asking you to perhaps curtail your hyperbolic rhetoric to discuss issues with a little more reason.

    I have a few questions for you, who are “the left” that you seem to have a problem with, who presumably are some form or organised group given the way you speak about them.

    Likewise where is your evidence that Corbyn and “the left” (again) think world war 1 and 2 (I presume you didn’t mean 11 as you typed) happen? To me it seems like you have exaggerated their actual views (namely that war is best avoided) to some nonsensical extreme and then claimed that they can’t be trusted with our defence based on that. In other words a classic straw man and argument ad absurdum.

    Also on your first point, it is fine to claim that you think (or “the left” in what you have written) that the Tories have run the country into the group, but to claim that everyone that votes for them hates Britain is not OK. As I explained previously I cannot believe that anything but a vanishingly small minority of people actively vote in groups to purposely ruin the country because they hate it. Using such obviously nonsensical arguments will mean that you will never be able to connect with these people, understand the reasons they vote the way they do and then offer them (from my point of view) a better option to vote for.

    Politics in this country is rapidly heading the way of America where reasoned and respectful debate is jettisoned in favour of cults of personality, smear attacks and general incivility. Rather than attacking your opponent why not work with them to find compromise for the betterment of everyone, especially within your own party.

    Just a thought.


    I stated cleary the left I have a problem with.

  20. Lamia

    Are you seriously suggesting there is something offensive or alarming about that metaphor, Adam? Presumably when you read of Harold McMillan’s ‘Night of the Long Knives’ you broke out in palpitations of horror also. Poor thing.

    Bear in mind it’s Corbyn, McDonell and co who have a record of supporting actual political murderers (rather than just figurative ones).

  21. Dave Stewart

    No you didn’t actually. At least I can’t see it. Would you mind reiterating for me so that I can be clear on what you meant.

    I also find it telling that you have not engaged with any of my other points.

  22. Phil Wright

    Rupert Murdoch is an American citizen. I understand he became one in order to buy Fox.

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