Jeremy Corbyn has been leader of the Labour Party for precisely seven days now, at the time of writing, and during that time he has been on the receiving end of attack after attack in the media, be it over the way he dresses, his refusal to sing along with the National Anthem, his decision ‘only’ to appoint more than half the positions in his Shadow Cabinet to women, or his decision not to attend the opening match of the Rugby World Cup.
My personal response to the, clearly-manufactured, outrage expressed in the media over these largely trivial details has been, “Oh will you people please grow up?” But of course the media will not grow up, and so they are throwing tantrums when they see things are not going their way. They do not like socialism, by and large, and so when they see a socialist doing well, they have to invent reasons for other people to get angry with him. In the cold light of day, Corbyn has done nothing notably wrong all week – certainly nothing that merits one-tenth of the controversy that should be raging over David Cameron violating an Election pledge – and it is clear that all of the controversies surrounding him are entirely artificial. And yet even supposedly ‘reasonable’ assessments are making Corbyn’s start as leader sound hapless and blunder-riddled.
Tantrums have been the general tendency of the media, especially the right-wing tabloids, for at least a hundred years, and they have sad consequences that go far beyond Jeremy Corbyn.
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