Tag Archives: ceremony

Mail’s ‘Corbyn wreath’ front page is a desperate lie

This image is from the Skwawkbox article about the Mail‘s fairy story – and is absolutely right: This is fake news.

How desperate are the writers, editors and publisher of the Daily Mail to discredit Jeremy Corbyn?

Desperate enough to fabricate a story about him laying a wreath at the graves of terrorists, it seems.

The paper has resurrected a smear story from last year with new photos of the location, and is trying to say that the official version of events is a lie – and that Mr Corbyn was commemorating terrorists.

The fairy story runs as follows: “A memorial wreath in his hand, Jeremy Corbyn stands feet from the graves of terror leaders linked to the Munich Massacre.

“The picture was among a number taken during a service to honour Palestinian ‘martyrs’.

“Buried in the cemetery in Tunisa are members of Black September, the terror group which massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

“One picture places Mr Corbyn close to the grave of another terrorist, Atef Bseiso, intelligence chief of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

“Bseiso has also been linked to the Munich atrocity. Another image shows the Labour leader apparently joining in an Islamic prayer while by the graves.

“Last night sources close to Mr Corbyn insisted he was at the service in 2014 to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.

“But on a visit to the cemetery this week, the Daily Mail discovered that the monument to the air strike victims is 15 yards from where Mr Corbyn is pictured – and in a different part of the complex.

“Instead he was in front of a plaque that lies beside the graves of Black September members.”

This means nothing.

Mr Corbyn was in a cemetery. Lots of people are buried in cemeteries. Not all of them are likely to have led wonderful lives.

Being a member of the press, This Writer has attended many photocalls, and you know what?

Not all of them happened exactly on the spot of the events they were intended to depict.

There are all sorts of reasons for it. There might be more people than would fit in the space where the picture should be taken, so they move a little way along. Perhaps some people aren’t allowed in that space, for reasons particular to the place and culture. I’m sure you can think of a few possible reasons yourself.

So the Mail‘s circumstantial suggestions prove nothing.

Alternatively, we may consider the Labour leader’s own version of events – that he was laying a wreath to commemorate 47 Tunisians and Palestinians killed by Israel in an air attack on Tunisia in 1985,and that this was nothing whatsoever to do with Munich Olympics.

As this is a story from last year, we have Mr Corbyn’s own words on the subject: “I was in Tunisia at a Palestinian conference and I spoke at that Palestinian conference and I laid a wreath to all those that had died in the air attack that took place on Tunis, on the headquarters of the Palestinian organisations there.

“And I was accompanied by very many other people who were at a conference searching for peace.”

This should be easy to corroborate. I wonder why the Mail does not appear to have bothered. Is it perhaps because a desperate lie is more acceptable to that rag’s staff than an uncomfortable truth?

Tory disrespect stains WWI centenary commemoration

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

This is a new low for the Conservative Party.

Leaders of British political organisations laid wreaths at Glasgow’s cenotaph to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War – but only David Cameron was allowed to write a personal message.

Worse than that, the Conservative Party and its allies then attacked leaders of the other parties – in particular Ed Miliband – for failing to do the same.

Former Tory MP Louise Mensch showed exactly why she deserves to be out of Parliament by tweeting: “Really we need to ask where we are as a society, when politicians are so casual as ‘hand me the wreath’ without asking to write on it.”

And Telegraph blogger Dan Hodges brought his paper into disrepute by tweeting, without checking the facts: “Just seen the wreath. Ed Miliband is becoming a parody of Ed Miliband.”

Asked to explain Mr Miliband’s actions, a Labour spokesman told the BBC that his wreath – with a card stating only “From the Leader of the Opposition” – was handed to him by a representative of organisers the Department of Culture, Media and Sport only seconds before it was laid.

“Ed Miliband was not given the opportunity to write a personal message on the wreath,” he said.

Perhaps an even worse indignity was that into which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was forced. His read “From the Deputy Prime Minister” and a Liberal Democrat source said the gap between Mr Clegg being handed the wreath and laying it had been “a 10-second thing”.

The BBC checked with the manufacturers of the wreaths – Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, and was passed on to Poppy Scotland, whose spokeswoman said: “We were asked to send [the cards] to the DCMS and the wreaths were sent through to Glasgow in advance, but the blank cards to London.”

So what happened, in fact, was that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport – which is run by the Conservative Sajid Javid – decided that the Conservative Prime Minister should be the only person allowed to write a personalised tribute. Every other political leader – including those of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – had to lay wreaths with a laminated description of their job, so they could not even scribble something quickly in the few seconds available to them.

The tell-tale was the fact that all messages other than Cameron’s were written in the same handwriting.

Worse still is the fact that Cameron’s message wasn’t even appropriate. He had written “Your most enduring legacy is our liberty. We must never forget.” Very stirring, but it would be more appropriate to attribute that to those who died in the Second World War, rather than the First.

Also, as Thomas G Clark pointed out adroitly in his Another Angry Voice blog:  “I´m pretty sure that most would agree that the practice of remembrance is a much more tangible and enduring legacy than the general concept of “liberty“, especially given that Cameron and his rotten government have striven relentlessly to undermine “liberty” with grotesque totalitarian and anti-democratic legislation such as the “secret courts” bill, retroactive workfare sanctions, the “Gagging Law” and the “DRIP spooks charter“.”

Worst of all is the fact that the sacrifice of more than a million British lives, and the suffering caused to more than 1.5 million British people who were wounded, some so severely that they suffered the consequences for the rest of their lives, has been overshadowed by a petty squabble engineered by small-minded Tories who wanted to make themselves look better than everyone else.

It was a silly tactic, easily exposed. David Cameron’s only logical move was to apologise for what happened, for the insult to his fellow political leaders and for the upset it has undoubtedly caused to all those who lost loved ones in the war and wanted them commemorated respectfully.

True to form, he showed he had a yellow streak instead. Our gutless Prime Minister had nothing to say.

We should all send him the White Feather.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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