No wonder Jeremy Corbyn got angry when a BBC reporter asked him about that train ride yet again.
He had called a press conference to discuss his plan to cut private companies out of the National Health Service – a move that some of us think is extremely important for the future health of the people of the UK.
But some BBC goon (does anybody know who it was?) saw fit to drag him back to this ridiculous and now wholly-debunked non-story.
“We’ve called a press conference on the NHS and I really hoped… that you would be able to find a question on the NHS,” Mr Corbyn told the reporter, who was determined to be persistent with his irrelevance. “But if you can’t, we’ll take another one.”
Anyone looking at the CCTV of Mr Corbyn passing apparently-empty seats will see children popping their heads out of the side, into the aisle – so they clearly weren’t empty after all. Obviously the reserved seats were marked and we all saw those.
But the BBC reporter, determined to wring every scrap of nothing from this non-story, asked him why he did not sit in those seats.
“I’m glad you watched the CCTV so carefully,” said Mr Corbyn, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “It’s a really important issue this; absolutely crucial to the future of the whole nation and the NHS.”
He was quite right to put the reporter in his place. The future of healthcare in this country is far more important than an argument that Mr Corbyn had already won –
Undoubtedly the reporter would have been happier if Mr Corbyn had denied his principles and upgraded to First Class, or perhaps sat on a child’s lap, but that merely demonstrates the trivialisation of BBC News.
-and the BBC has already blotted its copy book in this regard. Some of us remember the non-coverage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, that imposed private provision on the NHS.
Coverage of the pledge to renationalise is almost non-existent on the BBC’s ‘Politics’ page, whereas the train silliness is prominent as the second lead story. It demonstrates BBC policy clearly and that is why our verdict should be:
Mr Corbyn was right to give this reporter short shrift.
At his press conference, Mr Corbyn said: “Yes, I did walk through the train. Yes, I did look for two empty seats together so I could sit down with my wife, to talk to her. That wasn’t possible so I went to the end of the train.”
He said the train manager, “who was a very nice gentleman”, had offered him an upgrade to First Class, which he had declined.
“He then, very kindly, did find some seats and, after 42 minutes, I went back through the train to the seats that had been allocated.”
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