Guardian seems happy to carry on Corbyn-bashing. Why?

Look how hard-left he is! He's wearing a cap and speaking in the open air! But anti-Corbyn hysterics in the media are the one's who look silly.

Look how hard-left he is! He’s wearing a cap and speaking in the open air! But anti-Corbyn hysterics in the media are the ones who look silly.

Wasn’t The Guardian forced to analyse its own coverage, only a few days ago, amid complaints that it was overly critical of Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn?

The verdict was that some articles had taken an overly-‘anti’ tone – but they’re still coming. Today’s Observer (the Graun‘s Sunday sister) has three in a row.

Yvette Cooper: ‘You can be strong without being extreme’ begins with the tagline, “The Labour leadership candidate says she understands the frustration and anger of Corbyn supporters but warns against losing the wider electorate.”

It continues: “The wholly unexpected obstacle to Cooper’s ambition to be Labour’s first female leader is the hard-left Jeremy ‘Jez We Can’ Corbyn.”

So Jeremy Corbyn is “extreme”, is he? He’s “hard-left”? When was that decided?

Most rational thinkers in the UK now accept that Corbyn is absolutely not “extreme” or “hard-left”. He’s left-wing in the classical Labour mould, in line with most of Labour’s loyal membership. If labels like “extreme”, or “hard” are to be applied anywhere, they would more properly belong with fellow candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and especially Liz Kendall, whose attitudes – in Labour terms – would be described most accurately as “hard-right“.

Here’s another article – no headline this time, just straight into the aggro: “With Labour fixated by Corbyn, the Tories have taken advantage of a feeble opposition. Here’s how they did it…”

The text itself makes no mention of Corbyn – he’s just a handy peg on which the sub-editors have hung a headline. The author, Daniel Boffey, accepts that Labour could not be at full strength while the future leader is unnamed and shadow cabinet members have no idea whether they are likely to remain in their posts.

Finally, we have Jeremy Corbyn suggests he would bring back Labour’s nationalising clause IV. Apparently we are supposed to think this is a bad thing but the text of the article betrays the headline once again.

“I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that’s restoring clause IV as it was originally written or it’s a different one,” is what Corbyn actually said.

He’s telling the country that, as Labour leader, he would listen to the wishes of his supporters and work to give them what they want.

That’s better than Burnham, Cooper and Kendall rolled together – and much more than the likes of David Cameron, Boris Johnson or George Osborne would ever willingly provide (although we know that their offers aren’t worth the air used to speak them or the paper on which they are written).

This Blog is happy to support Jeremy Corbyn – if only for one simple reason:

He is the only Labour leadership candidate to have shown any support for the Early Day Motion calling for the Conservative Government to publish statistics on the deaths of Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants (EDM 285).

In fact, he co-sponsored it.

It was signed by 93 other MPs in the week or so between its creation and the day Parliament went into recess for the summer. I’ve been reminded that Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall cannot sign EDMs because they are members of the shadow cabinet and are barred from doing so. Why haven’t they spoken in favour of it, then? How many of their supporters have signed it?

What does that say about those other leadership candidates?

Does it not tell us that they are happy to collude with the Conservatives in keeping the casualties hidden?

And here’s another good question:

Why aren’t newspapers like The Guardian asking Burnham, Cooper and Kendall about that, rather than stirring up non-existent muck about Corbyn?

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22 thoughts on “Guardian seems happy to carry on Corbyn-bashing. Why?

  1. clouty

    You missed one, Mike. Hidden in this article http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/09/tip-waiters-workers-rights-destroyed is this – and there’s more in there I haven’t copied.
    “The severity of the assault makes me wonder why so many unions are backing Jeremy Corbyn. It is not just that he has planted kisses on the backsides of half the tyrannies on the planet: including the posteriors of an Iranian regime, which persecutes its own trade unionists along with women and religious minorities; Putin and his kleptomaniac and irredentist Russian nationalist friends; Gaddafi, after his own people had executed him, and the Chavez gang, which somehow managed to reduce oil-rich Venezuela to penury.”

    None of the live links at the end of that para stack up to any real criticism of Corbyn.

  2. hugosmum70

    couldn’t agree more. those 3 disgust me to the extent that i no longer want to hear what they have to say because now i am feeling that even if they do say something about austerity, sanctions etc its only because they know that by not doing so, people are supporting Jeremy Corbyn, their arch enemy.therefore i wouldn’t trust them now at all no matter what they said about stopping anything of that sort..would be expecting them to do what the Tories have done and break every promise they make,

  3. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    If not one of the Tory party behind this it has to be one of the LabourTory ones with vested interests rather than public ones. I can only reiterate your comments, Mike, as there seems to be an undercurrent of Labour self-destruction here. Fortunately though we have Jeremy Corbyn to save the day.

  4. A-Brightfuture

    IMO, the only reason muck slinging occurs is fear.
    “We” Joe public, only know a fragment of what dodgy dealings go on within closed doors.

    Where there is muck there is a lot of brass, too many big organizations and corporate sleaze within government will be crapping themselves if Corbyn gets elected as leader, the tentacles of Westminster reach far and wide.

    If Corbyn gets to be leader, then he picks his team. Now that’s going to be fun to watch.

    I hope Mr. Corbyn carries on just as he is, as far as I can tell he has more dignity than all of Westminster put together.

  5. Florence

    The Guardian has long been the main antidote to the rest of the Tory press, but that doesn’t mean it is left-leaning. Witness the editorial a few years back “In praise of IDS” which despite the later activities of IDS, failed to ever retract or update with anything else. Or their support for the LibDems in 2010.

    The readership of the Graun is far more left / progressive than the paper / editorial , but then one suspects that is true of several other titles, too. We don’t have a national paper that is really in tune with the democratic socialism of the real Labour party.

  6. lucyjordan

    Why??? Because the Guardian believes that Andy Burnham is more likely to do their bidding than those who vote for him

  7. Pete B

    The Guardian is not a left leaning paper,when you think it supported the LibDems who propped up the most regressive Tory regime since Thatcher.It has become worse since it became a London rather than a Manchester based newspaper.

    We need a swing leftwards after the hard turn right in recent Governments.The Tories,in their arrogance are making a left turn in politics inevitable.They were lucky economically in the GE.Low Oil prices kept inflation low.

    The turkeys are coming home to roost for the Tories.What with hidden sex crimes in Thatchers time to IDS and his propaganda lies more and more likely to be exposed.CMD is a lightweight politician with no gravitas propped up by the right winged media.Its no surprise to see the Guardian,that published a ,In praise of Ian Duncan Smith article is following suit.

  8. Ian

    The Guardian’s real self has really come to the fore these past few weeks. They may talk the talk when it comes to social justice etc but when it comes to it, when there is a chance of someone getting himself into a position to make positive changes on inequaity, housing, wages, the economy… they get hysterical. The Guardian has been genuinely as bad as The Daily Mail in it’s leadership coverage. I mean that: genuinely. Some cretin even resorted to the old socks-and-sandals-wearing-lefty trope that was common in Private Eye decades ago (it wasn’t funny then, either). I mean, how desperate can you get? Have these corporate hacks no shame?

    I guess those Italian villas don’t pay for themselves (yes, I’m looking at you, Toynbee).

    It’s nothing more than privilege protecting privilege. Look at the backgrounds of Guardian top journalists. Oxbridge to a man and woman.

    And, of course, the UK is entirely corporate. The Guardian used to make a big thing about it being owned by a trust but it’s now the Scott Trust *Ltd*…

    1. Ian

      That list of Guardian writers

      Martin Kettle ? Balliol College, Oxford

      George Monbiot ? Brasenose College, Oxford

      Jonathan Freedland ? Wadham College, Oxford

      Catherine Bennett ? Hertford College, Oxford

      Zoe Williams ? Lincoln College, Oxford

      Tanya Gold ? Merton College, Oxford

      Marina Hyde ? Christ Church, Oxford

      Bidisha Bandyopadhyay ? St Edmund Hall, Oxford

      Emily Bell ? A. N. Other College, Oxford

      Allegra Stratton ? Emmanuel College, Cambridge

      Peter Bradshaw ? A. N. Other College, Cambridge

      David Mitchell ? Peterhouse, Cambridge

      Riazat Butt ? A. N. Other College, Oxford

      David Shariatmadari ? King’s College, Cambridge

      Timothy Garton Ash ? St. Antony’s College, Oxford

      Simon Tisdall ? Downing College, Cambridge

      Andrew Osborn ? Oriel College, Oxford

      Jane Martinson ? A. N. Other College, Cambridge

      John Hooper ? St Catharines College, Cambridge

      Ian Black ? A.N. Other College, Cambridge

      Sam Leith ? Magdalen College, Oxford

      Peter Preston ? St John’s College, Oxford

      Andrew Rawnsley ? Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge

      Simon Jenkins ? St John’s College, Oxford

      Alexander Chancellor ? Trinity Hall, Cambridge

      Alan Rusbridger ? Magdalene College, Cambridge

      Paul Sagar ? Balliol College, Oxford

      Richard Norton-Taylor ? Hertford College, Oxford

      Clare Armitstead ? St Hilda’s College, Oxford

      Janine Gibson ? St John’s College, Oxford

      Martin Wainwright ? Merton College, Oxford

      Victoria Coren ? St Johns College, Oxford

      Simon Hoggart ? King’s College, Cambridge

      Nick Cohen ? Hertford College, Oxford

      Ben Goldacre ? Magdalen College, Oxford

      Seumas Milne ? Balliol College, Oxford

      Rowenna Davis ? Balliol College, Oxford

      Hadley Freeman ? St Anne’s College, Oxford

      Paul Lewis ? King’s College, Cambridge

      John Harris ? Queen’s College, Oxford

      Sue Blackmore ? St. Hilda’s College, Oxford

      Madeleine Bunting ? Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

      Jackie Ashley ? St Anne’s College, Oxford

      Polly Toynbee ? St Anne’s College, Oxford

      Heather McRobie ? Keble College, Oxford

      Beth Stratford ? A. N. Other College, Cambridge

      Geoffrey Wheatcroft ? New College, Oxford

      Bryony Worthington – Queens’ College, Cambridge

      Tristram Hunt – Trinity College, Cambridge

      Michael Billington – St Catherine’s College, Oxford

      Tom Clarke – A. N. Other College, Oxford

  9. chriskitcher

    Corbyn is speaking what thousands of lost Labour voters voted for in Scotland. Just look at the SNP’s manifesto to see how closely it chimes with his proposals.

  10. tiddk

    I have been in two minds about Jeremy Corbyn for ages. Is he the future of the Labour Party, engaging with the young and bringing it back to its roots? Or is he an unelectable throwback?

    Yesterday I heard he was in favour of bringing back Clause 4. IF (and I do mean IF) this is true, then my vote will not be going his way.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He said he was open to discussion about it, if I recall correctly – he didn’t say he would bring it back, whether the rest of the party wanted it or not.
      So, if you’ve heard he wants to bring it back, you’ve probably been manipulated by the right-wing media. How does that affect your vote?

  11. John Gaines

    Scott trust…largess, makes Tories out of tepid water Grauniad Editors
    The Guardian’s sole shareholder, the Scott Trust, says the title’s future is “secure for generations to come” after Guardian Media Group today completed the sale of its 50.1 per cent stake in Auto Trader.

    GMG has received £619m from the disposal of Trader Media Group to venture capital firm Apax Partners, which becomes the sole shareholder after previously owning 49.9 per cent of the company.

    The news comes as GMG announced it was forecasting a 20 per cent increase in digital revenues for 2013/14, to about £70m. The group said net revenues are also forecast to rise for the first time since 2008.
    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/guardian-secure-generations-come-after-tax-free-bonanza-%C2%A3619m-auto-trader-sale
    As we know from our sad experience with so-called Labour MP’s and Councils, they come in as poor and soon become wealthy enough to shed the thin veneer of Social conscience they conned the Voters to elect them.

    Viz, Cooper, Burnham, Kendal, Harman, Brown, Blair, the Kinnocky gang, not least Fatty Presscott…et al. THE TORY LIGHT BRIGADE.

  12. James Hunt

    re: “Guardian seems happy to carry on Corbyn-bashing. Why?”

    Because since 2008 and the break up of the Scott Trust they have been part of the corporate mainstream media. They appear to ensure that the establishment’s narratives are no longer challenged. Look at who is on the board of The Scott Trust Limited.

  13. FibbingIsARationalResponse

    The whole political establishment has shifted to the right, so much so that right-of-centre is seen as centre and yes, anything slightly left of centre is seen as extreme. Plus the media and political class continually hammer down their message that their way is the only possible way, nothing else will ever work (check history: it has, for much longer and for more people than theirs). Two very good reasons why we need Corbyn. We need balance, we need more views, we need more solutions, we need at the very least to be open to the possibility of other solutions: because this way is leading us to social, environmental and I believe economic hell in an oligarchic handbasket.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Guardian isn’t – or at least wasn’t – a Tory rag. It was the only left-wing broadsheet left.
      Times do change, though.

      1. Ian

        The Guardian talks the talk but can’t walk the walk, as has been proven by their treatment of Jeremy Corbyn and their cheering on th invasion of Iraq.

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