If false arguments are all the Uptight Right can use to attack Jeremy Corbyn, they’re on a hiding to nothing.
The latest attempt to disparage the Labour leader cherry-picks words from a speech he made in 2013 regarding the centenary commemoration of World War One to build what is known as an ‘Argument by Selective Observation’.
In other words, they’ve found a single line that – used out of context – might make Mr Corbyn’s views seem bad. They’ve ignored everything else he said, in the hope that you will, too.
Here’s the Huffington Post, setting the record straight:
The right-wing press have launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn claiming a video from 2013 shows him calling WWI commemorations “pointless”.
Only it doesn’t.
The papers – the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Telegraph – concentrate on one line from the speech in which the Labour Leader says: “I’m not sure what there is to commemorate about the First World War.”
[His full speech] paints a more nuanced picture.
Corbyn says: “[Scottish socialist and first Labour MP] Keir Hardie was a great opponent of the First World War and apparently next year the government is proposing to spend shedloads of money commemorating the First World War. I’m not sure what there is to commemorate about the First World War other than the mass slaughter of millions of young men and women, mainly men, on the Western Front and all the other places.
“And it was a war of the declining empires and anyone who’s read or even dipped into Hobson’s great work of the early part of the 20th century, written post World War, presaged the whole First World War as a war between monopolies fighting between [inaudible] markets.
“The reason I say this is next year the government are planning this celebration and I think that’s an opportunity for us. It’s an opportunity to discuss war and discuss peace and to put up an alternative point of view.”
We know the Conservatives have an extremely romanticised view of World War One – a view that Michael Gove tried to force on our schoolchildren when he was education secretary. His attack on what he described as Left-Wing “myths” about the conflict, including one of our most revered TV comedies – Blackadder Goes Forth – attracted a harsh rebuttal from Tony Robinson, one of the show’s stars.
The final humiliation for Gove came in November last year, when in the run-up to Remembrance Day, Blackadder co-scripter Ben Elton said Gove’s jingoistic rantings had been the inspiration for his novel Time and Time Again, in which a man travels back in time in an attempt to prevent the war from ever taking place.
Having tried to revive myths about World War One last year, it seems the Tories are trying to use the war to create myths about Jeremy Corbyn. It all tends to indicate just one thing:
No matter how hard you try, you can’t teach Tories anything they don’t want to learn!
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