Jeremy Corbyn appeared to remain silent during the national anthem at the Battle of Britain memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral…
The Guardian – Caroline Davies – Tuesday 15 September 2015
You have to wonder just how bad things are going to get when this is the first sentence of an article about Jeremy Corbyn in The Guardian. When did it become mandatory to sing the national anthem? In another part of today’s Guardian Polly Toynbee gave a very lukewarm support of Corbyn which makes you wonder just how many people on the left side of politics has Corbyn pissed off when he can’t even get Polly Toynbee to support him wholeheartedly.
Of course he doesn’t help himself by trying to pretend he is still just a back bencher MP who suddenly people listen to. I know I suggested the he should do his own thing but I didn’t think he would not even accept there is a difference between being a back bencher and leader of the opposition. His current refusal of talking to the media isn’t going to help in the long run as all it does is leave a vacuum which will happily be exploited by his political enemies on both sides of the House of Commons.
Of course it is still early days and I am sure he will adapt and become a little more media savvy because to win the next election he will need to appeal to more than the frenzied world of the Internet and left wing politics. He needs to find a voice that goes beyond the safety zone of his fans to the far greater world outside who, I suspect, are very sceptical because they are reading the drip drip scare stories about Corbyn.
Then there are events, dear boy, events. I am not convinced he has yet woken up to the fact just how damaging his previous pronouncements are going to be to him and the politics he wants to pursue. I will give you one possible scenario. The IRA, or one of its splinter groups, murders a policeman or soldier in Northern Ireland (such as the 2009 attack) which given the current political turmoil in Northern Ireland is perhaps not too far fetched. How will Jeremy Corbyn react to this? He certainly can’t run for cover and not talk to the media and when he does he will have all his so called IRA sympathy comments thrown back in his face. Even if he does refuse to talk directly to the media but rather issue a press release this would be an utter disaster. Suddenly, all that frenzy on line during his campaign will look what I suspect it really is, not a great deal.
This doesn’t mean that Jeremy Corbyn can’t win as he has some interesting ideas that need to be fleshed out but once they have been might actually be vote winners. It is just that if he keeps leaving a vacuum the media very quickly will fill that void with their own stories, few of which will be favourable to Corbyn. I guess this is one of the difference between sitting on the back benches carping and actually having to lead. A lesson I am not convinced Jeremy Corbyn will ever truly learn.
As an antidote to this piece I found Chris Mullin’s Corbyn’s first 100 days as Prime Minister a fascinating read. Mullin wrote a book in the 1980’s called A Very British Coup and this article was a very good update to that book.