The killing of Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn. Screen grab from "The exclusive interview with Jeremy Corbyn"

JVL Introduction

Neither David Hearst nor Peter Oborne, highly respected journalists and authors of this savage indictment of the British media, are Labour Party members.

But both care greatly about accurate, truthful journalism, fair play, decency.

They show how these values were traduced in a prolonged and vengeful campaign against Jeremy Corbyn which they describe as a political assassination.

This article was originally published by Middle East Eye on Fri 5 Jun 2020. Read the original here.

The killing of Jeremy Corbyn

The former Labour leader was the victim of a carefully planned and brutally executed political assassination

Throughout his parliamentary career, the mild mannered, infuriatingly calm Jeremy Corbyn has never failed to excite strong emotions.

For his enemies, he will go down as one of Labour’s worst leaders. He failed to unite his party. He sent too many contradictory messages on Brexit, which was the greatest issue of his time. He never dealt with Labour’s antisemitism problem. And he ultimately went down to a catastrophic defeat in the 2019 general election.

For an equally vociferous and ardent army of his supporters, Corbyn tripled party membership, banished austerity, shifted the mainstream political discourse leftwards, and presented a genuinely radical alternative to the quagmire of post-industrial capitalism.

Truthful journalism

We don’t hold a candle for Corbyn.

Neither of us are Labour Party members, and indeed one of us has worked as a political correspondent and commentator for The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, three stalwarts of Tory opinion-making. Both of us care greatly about accurate, truthful journalism. Both of us, as British citizens, cherish the tradition of fair play and decency.

That is why we believe everyone should be concerned about the picture painted of Corbyn by the British media for the four years he was leader.

Corbyn was never the monstrous figure presented to the British people. He was never a Marxist. He was not hell-bent on the destruction of Western capitalism. He was a socialist. Nor was he an antisemite, and there is no serious evidence which suggests that he was, though we certainly do not absolve him of poor judgement, for instance  in joining various internet forums in his years on the backbenches.

And he was not a divisive figure – the claim made against him by so many of his right-wing opponents.

Political assassination

Indeed, one of Corbyn’s problems was that he was too soft with his internal enemies as he tried to unite the Labour Party after his shock leadership victory in 2015. He was a flawed politician who made mistakes.

We wanted to give Corbyn a chance, which was largely denied him as Labour leader, to tell his side of the story

But he also possessed personal decency and authenticity, which has scarcely been acknowledged amidst the thousands of hatchet jobs conducted against him in the press and wider media. That is why we thought it was important to conduct the first major interview with Corbyn since he stepped down as Labour leader on 3 April this year.

We wanted to give him a chance, which was largely denied him as Labour leader, to tell his side of the story. We also wanted to expose one sombre truth; Corbyn was the victim of a carefully planned and brutally executed political assassination.

He was never given a chance. Not by the bulk of Labour’s parliamentary party and many officials, some of whom (we are now learning) campaigned harder against their elected leader than they did against the Tory government. Not by senior figures connected to the British state, including former spy chiefs, military officers and civil servants, all of whom should have known much better.

Take the claim that Corbyn’s director of strategy Seumas Milne would not get security clearance at 10 Downing Street because he “hobnobbed” with Putin.

Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose antisemitism in London on 26 March 2018 (Reuters)

The former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, told the Mail on Sunday: “Anyone with his sort of background could not be let anywhere near classified information. It would be out of the question,” Dearlove said.

“That means Corbyn could not make the judgments and decisions a PM has to make unless he stopped consulting him.” Dearlove’s successor at MI6 and former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Sir John Scarlett “hobnobbed” with Putin and took his hospitality at the Valdai Club the year before Milne went.

One of us had a drink in a bar in Moscow with a supremely relaxed Scarlett who evidently enjoyed his time talking to Putin and his mates.

Falsehoods and misrepresentations

Lie after lie was told about Corbyn, day after day, month after month. For the last four years very few journalists have bothered to do their job to fact-check the claims and report fairly on him.

In our review of Tom Bower’s book “A Dangerous Hero”, we investigated and exposed a farrago of falsehoods and misrepresentations in what was presented as a major biography of the Labour leader published by Harper Collins, one of Britain’s most significant publishers.

We showed how Bower misrepresented a meeting of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC). Bower accused the PRC of being a group that blamed Jews for the Holocaust. Nobody affiliated with the PRC has ever expressed such views, as was accepted by an inquiry led by the Commissioner of Standards.

Harper Collins and Bower agreed not to repeat the allegation. The Mail on Sunday, which lavishly serialised Bower’s book, withdrew the allegation and apologised. The point to note here is that when such claims face the prospect of being examined properly in a court of law by judges who are led by facts and evidence and who conduct their inquiry with due process, they tend to fall apart.

Sir Keir Starmer, a barrister by training, please note: due process matters. It has been absent for the last four years in the party you now head. We showed how Bower misrepresented Corbyn’s dealings with the National Health Service (NHS). He reports that the junior doctor strikes organised by the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2016 were “under the control of Momentum”.

Both the BMA and Momentum denied this. The BMA said “there is no evidence to suggest this was the case.” Bower certainly didn’t provide any. We showed how Bower misrepresented a confrontation between Labour activist Marc Wadsworth and Labour MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch for Shami Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in June 2016.

Supporters hold placards as Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses a rally calling for a General Election now, in Parliament Square, central London on 25 July, 2019 (AFP)

This was another incident seized upon by the media to attack Corbyn. Bower writes that “Wadsworth snapped at her that not only was she ‘working hand-in-hand’ with the right-wing media by speaking to the journalist, but she was also a Jew”.

The brief incident is recorded on video. Nowhere in the footage does Wadsworth say that Smeeth is Jewish. MEE spoke to two eyewitnesses to this event, both of whom confirmed that at no point did Wadsworth say that Smeeth was Jewish.

Against all types of racism

As the election loomed, much of the press presented Boris Johnson, Corbyn’s Tory opponent, as a national figure and a saviour of the nation.

Racism against any religious minority is unacceptable in our society and for that reason Islamophobia should just as ardently be hunted down and identified – wherever it appears

This – as the nation is learning the hard way – was as grievous a lie as anything told about Corbyn. By one of life’s strange ironies, Johnson, unlike Corbyn himself, has indeed been guilty of producing offensive antisemitic stereotypes.

A group of Jewish academics and campaigners pointed out that one of Johnson’s novels invoked one of the most pernicious antisemitic stereotypes when he describes “Jewish oligarchs” who, in the words of the academics, “run the media, and fiddle the figures to fix elections in their favour”.

As Corbyn told us, and we believe he is being sincere in this, antisemitism is an evil which has been tolerated and accepted for far too long in British society. It is, however, not the only form of racism tolerated in political circles. The fight against this scourge should not be party political, nor should the fight against racism be confined to racism against Jews.

Racism against any religious minority is unacceptable in our society and for that reason Islamophobia should just as ardently be hunted down and identified – wherever it appears. The two campaigns should go hand in hand. They should be in lockstep.

But they aren’t.

Lynch mob justice

By another irony, once he had won the election, Johnson adopted a number of Corbyn’s policies which he had previously denounced as unworkable.

Since becoming prime minister, Johnson has abandoned planned cuts in corporation tax, announced plans to nationalise Northern Rail and announced £100bn funding for infrastructure projects.

The heritage of the British press means what appears in its columns carry a weight far greater than remarks made casually in a pub or a workplace. It’s very hard to see how any decent person reading much of the newspapers or absorbing the broadcasting coverage of the last few years could have possibly voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

Indeed, Corbyn said as much in his interview with MEE, noting the coverage was so hostile that even he would “not want to live on the same street” as the man he read about in some British newspapers. The media abandoned any form of the objectivity or fact-checking they apply to almost everyone else.

Accusers became judge, jury and executioner.

There was no due process, no independent inquiry after the facts,  no suspension of judgement until the facts were uncovered. Within seconds, the accusation became the new reality. This was lynch mob justice.

The mob have got their way. Corbyn is back to where he was at the start of this bizarre journey, an MP well respected locally in North Islington and on the back benches. His allies have been purged from the front benches.

But this episode should concern all of us who believe in means as well as ends. The simple question that any MP of whatever political shade should ask themselves is what they would do, how they would feel, if the same tactics were used against them. They would scream foul. They would be right.

This kind of mob politics threatens democracy itself because without truthful and honest public discourse, dark forces make their presence felt.


The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

 

Comments (41)

  • Rafi says:

    Decent Corbyn may be, but he lacks the ability to discern how easily he was manipulated by both the left and the right and could never respond appropriately to such manipulation.
    He also came across as indecisive and weak on economic policy ( refer his interview with Andrew Neil where he had no grasp of the effect of the party’s taxation policies on tax payers earning less than £80,000 pa etc etc )
    Sorry to say but we lost the most important election since the war mainly because he appeared an indecisive ditherer prone to preaching.
    Being the leader of a major political party requires very different skills from being a backbencher and Jeremy was found wanting in his leadership and management skills.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    The utter sordidness of the right-wing’s (and fake left’s) filthy campaign against Jeremy Corbyn beggars belief. I hope those who took part in it are proud of being rats.

  • Peter Hockley says:

    Oborne, you kicked lumps out of Jeremy as much as any other journo invoved.

  • geoff rouse says:

    ‘threatens democracy’? We really need to get real, wake up and smell the toast burning. True democracy cannot exist in a capitalist state. The media are bought and paid for and act as the propagandists of the rich and in this country rich means powerful. Our recent election was stolen from us by money and self interest. No way was it fair or honest but what can we do? Elections can’t be rerun when there is a blatant foul. We have to face four years of being governed by liars and scoundrels. So tell me…. where is democracy in the UK?

  • Chris Cheetham says:

    Many many thanks for seeking the truth. Let’s hope for a better world without lies and false accusations.

  • KateAdams says:

    I think you are correct. There has been a concerted effort by the PLP and MSM to trash and smear Jeremy Corbyn and those close to him who shared his politics. I have tried with colleagues in the party to stand up for Corbyn and those we believe have been wrongly suspended and expelled because they supported Corbyn’s policies including support for Palestine. Those of us who did this wanted a Labour government led by Corbyn and an end to the environment of austerity and hostility promoted by the Tories. We were vilified for our stance. It has been a depressing and disappointing experience. I believe none the less we must keep fighting for socialism.

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    That is a remarkable, an astonishing, a terrific, an amazing piece. All liberal journalists should hang their heads in shame – a Tory coauthored this and showed them what liberal values really comprise.

  • Julia Anderson says:

    This article makes me hopeful that there are some decent journalists left in this cesspit of a country. Mr Corbyn was vilified, lied about and slandered. The General public read so much disinformation and lies all propped up by those in our Party that now sit on the front benches. A man of great personal integrity and decency has been treated so badly it both breaks my heart and makes me spew with anger and frustration. We had a chance to have a better quality of life. That is now gone and Starmer’s Labour is bearing back to the days of New Labour.

  • It is an excellent article, especially as it is co-authored by a Tory journalist Peter Oborne.

    They are right. Corbyn was subject to a political assassination though not just by the media.

    The tragedy is that Corbyn, who had the benefit of a number of well paid advisors (Seamus Milne etc.) never once seemed to be aware of the main component of the campaign against him, viz. the false antisemitism campaign which is now hoovering up anti-Zionist Jews.

    Corbyn bought into the idea that there were ‘pockets’ of antisemitism in the Labour Party, which there were not. Yes there were a few, very few, genuine antisemites but there always have been.

    People are aware of the ‘Jew ridden’ comments of the founder of the Fabians and New Statesman, Sydney Webb, but I doubt they are aware of the record of Herbert Morrisson, Home Secretary during the war. During the course of research I discovered that Morrisson was implacably opposed to Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi occupied Europe coming to Britain. Even when the polls, in January 1943 showed 79% of the public in favour.

    Unlike Corbyn’s ‘antisemitism’ this antisemitism clearly caused hundreds if not thousands of deaths. But Morrison was a strong Zionist supporter and never received a word of criticism from the Board at the time.

    The tragedy is that Corbyn became in effect his own gravedigger. Everytime someone was expelled for ‘antisemitism’ it just proved that the Zionist allegations were true. There is no defence for Corbyn’s Office pressing for the expulsions to be sped up, as was revealed in the leaked report.

    Nor was there any justification for Corbyn supporting the fast track expulsions. Contrary to what was said at the time they are being used for ALL cases involving anti-Semitism not just the ‘egregious’ cases. Unfortunately Corbyn did not learn that the Right cannot be appeased.

    The result is, contrary to Lansman’s posturing, that the Left is now in a weaker state than ever. And Starmer is no ‘centrist’ as some have claimed. He is Blair and Mandelson’s man

  • John Pinkerton says:

    The shadow secretary of state for health is married to one of the alleged conspirators named in the leaked GLU report. Was he not aware of what was going on? Did he and his wife not talk about the alleged undermining of the leader of the Labour Party and the alleged sabotaging of the 2017 general election campaign? Was the current leader and current shadow foreign secretary not aware of what was going on, particularly as they both allegedly led the 2016 attempted coup against the then leader? Isn’t it a bit disingenuous for the current leader to be discussing with members about how to win trust? What will happen if the current leader doesn’t carry out the wishes of his parliamentary colleagues; will he then face a coup? Will there be an attempt(s) to end One Member One Vote in internal elections for leader and deputy leader? Is suspension of members, who are under investigation, only applicable to some members and not to others?

  • JanP says:

    I hope somewhere, someone is writing a book about the BBC’s despicable role in this, especially Radio 4.

  • Hal England says:

    It’s all too late. Journalism like this needed to have been produced while JC was campaigning.

    But the simple truth is: JC did not have sufficient funds to fight a media war – for that is what was actually going on… and still is – over an economic ideology, which while making absolute economic common sense, at a heart, the proletariat were not ready not believe.

    To me, I felt then, as I do now, it was like asking someone at the top of a cliff to trust in the safety net of economic reforms JC, John McDonnell and the Labour Party held out for them – and jump. They just couldn’t bring themselves to TRUST.

    Undermining the people’s ability to ‘trust’ was and is still, the poison spread liberally over everything by Dominic Cummings PR war machine, in order that the voters would distrust the economic reforms JC offered.

    DC’s aim was clearly to create a credibility gap between the voters and JC.

    Worst, by increasing the promised spending on reforms in the final moments of the election, Labour made the ‘credibility gap’ even wider. In the circumstances.

    Who could really blame the voters for distrusting their basic instincts.

    And that’s the challenge for Keir Starmer today – to educate voters on the underpinning economics, narrow the credibility gap and rebuild trust.

  • Delvin Nelson says:

    As I get older I see totalitarianism creeping into our culture. Young people accept it as the norm while older generations seem far too tired to address it. The media hate for Jeremy Corby was beyond anything I’ve witnessed in this country before and I‘m starting to wonder if there is any point to voting in the future.

  • The introduction says “Neither David Heart nor Peter Oborne, highly respected journalists and authors of this savage indictment of the British media, are Labour Party members”. I think there is a lesson for JVL here. If you want to help the Palestinians and challenge mendacious media narratives, you need to reach out beyond the left-wing bubble, and team up with that small minority of public figures and journalists who are by nature honest and principle, even those who are Conservatives. Many left-wing people (like Geoff Rouse above) are so blinkered by the idea of class conflict, and ignore the scope for working with people of other political persuasions.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Brillliant setting the record straight.

  • Neil Chamberlain says:

    After the way Blair and co treated Jeremy who i believe would have become Labours greatest leader i no longer support the party i voted for all my life even when conservative Blair was leader now l no longer vote and i hope England gets the country it deserves one led by TRUMP number 2 and 3 DORIS AND KUMKUAT(cummings)

  • A man who could sustain all those lies and all that venom, with grace and patience, and without hitting back, is extraordinary indeed. Talk about ,’ turning the other cheek.’Now, who does that remind me of?

  • Rosie says:

    A timely article by two journalists of integrity. Good to be reminded that there are still some left though I wonder where they all were when they could have made a difference?
    The way Corbyn was treated was scandalous, and in my opinion, it has been deeply destructive to our country, and also to the values he stood for.

  • Jacob Ecclestone says:

    I have the highest regard – admiration, indeed – for the journalistic skill and moral courage of Peter Oborne and David Hearst. They are rare exceptions to the general level of lazy, sheep-like behaviour of most British journalists when dealing with political issues in our print and broadcast media.

    All the more disappointing, then, to read the following in the introduction to their article: “Corbyn was never the monstrous figure presented to the British people. He was never a Marxist. He was not hell-bent on the destruction of Western capitalism. He was a socialist.”

    Why should two experienced journalists begin their article by stating as a matter of fact that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party for almost five years, was not a Marxist? It comes across as if they felt the need to establish their own defence for trying to set the record straight – making a half-hearted apology in case they were accused of trying to rehabilitate someone who is morally and politically beyond the pale.

    I don’t know whether or not Jeremy Corbyn regards himself as a Marxist. But that is not the issue. What troubles me – and I think undermines the value of this article – is that politics in Britain today has been reduced to the level where the ideas of a German-Jewish philosopher cannot even be considered as something fit for discussion in polite society.

    Some of Karl Marx’s ideas have certainly been abused by people acting in his name, but the same could be said of Jesus of Nazareth – though on the whole we don’t use his name as a term of abuse.
    PS. David Hearst, not Heard [thanks – corrected, ed.]

  • Ian Bruce says:

    This is as accurate a representation of the vilification of JC as any comments I’ve seen on social media. But it wont be published in mainstream media, as it should be, because they have shut down any alternative view of the political world. It’s a dictatorship, pure and simple.

  • Geoff Davey says:

    At last an interview with real journalists.
    Not once in 4 years did anyone give Jeremy the opportunity to put his case fairly.

  • Emma says:

    Excellent to read true and objective words,it is rare these days you have to search for the truth.
    You can hold your heads high in your pursuit of writing the truth for present and future reference.please keep up your high standards of journalism it provides some hope.I believe Mr.Corbyn has been so badly wronged by so many,I wonder if all those people are proud of what they did and what it has achieved? Which in my opinion has been utterly shameful and undemocratic in many ways.I believe Mr.Corbyn to be an amazing human being,very strong,a great character and clever man who’s aim was to do good for the British people,this country and the rest of the world,it is a great loss that he was so bitterly obstructed and so didn’t reach the goal of being the prime minister of this country.I feel the life has gone,the energy has gone,the imagination has gone and the drive and honesty.I wish things had gone his way.

  • Glenys Turner says:

    How wonderful to see this analysis of what happened to Corbyn

  • Allan Howard says:

    And it wasn’t only Jeremy Corbyn that they ‘killed’, but many other good, decent individuals as well, along with democracy itself, and WHAT sort of people do THAT!

    Anyway…… We know that there have been ten thousand plus newspaper articles re Anti-semitism and Jeremy Corbyn during the four years or so whilst he was leader of the party (and at least as many TV and radio news items), but there have probably been several thousand articles in relation to Ken Livingstone (and at LEAST as many TV and radio news items as well).

    Anyway, I was doing some related research a few days ago and happened to come across the following Guardian article from March 2017 with the headline and sub-headline:

    Ken Livingstone repeats claim about Nazi-Zionist collaboration.

    Former MP makes fresh remarks about ‘real collaboration’ between Nazis and Zionists ahead of tribunal hearing over bringing Labour party into disrepute

    The article was written by Rowena Mason, the Guardian’s Deputy Political Editor, and quotes Ken Livingstone at length. So here’s how the article begins:

    Ken Livingstone has claimed there was at one point “real collaboration” between the Nazis and Jews, ahead of a hearing concerned with whether he has brought the Labour party into disrepute.

    The former London mayor made the fresh series of highly controversial remarks before the start of an internal party tribunal that is hearing evidence about his suspension from the Labour party a year ago.

    Livingstone’s comments expanded on his claim that Hitler supported Zionism because the Nazi government signed the Haavara agreement, which facilitated the relocation of Jews to Palestine in 1933 before the Third Reich turned to mass murder and extermination.

    As you can see, it actually mentions the Haavara Agreement (which was what he was alluding to in the interview with Vanessa Feltz), so why on earth would Rowena Mason descibe what Ken said as a ‘fresh series of highly controversial remarks’ AND that his ‘comments expanded on his claim that Hitler supported Zionism’ etc. Even if she DIDN’T know about the Haavara Agreement PRIOR to writing the article – which is HIGHLY unlikely – she obviously knew about it by the time she came to write the article, so WHY would she descibe something that she knows happened – ie knows to be an historical fact – as a ‘claim’ on Ken’s part. It is of course totally mendatious and corrupt journalism, and any journalist worthy of the name would have been saying that what he said was true and factual. But No, there’s no commentary by her, just Ken ‘claimed’ and that his explanation amounted to a ‘fresh series of controversial remarks’. It DIDN’T, and Mason knows it of course and, as such, she was lying through her teeth, in much the same way as the Nazi regime lied about the Jews.

    Hopefully, in the not too distant future, ALL these so-called journalists (and columnists etc) who collaborated and conspired in all the falsehoods and smears and demonisation will be exposed to the British public for what they are and what they did, and how they ‘participated’ in subverting democracy on the one hand, and colluded in causing concern and consternation amongst a large section of the Jewish community on the other, never mind deceiving their millions of readers (and viewers and listeners):

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/30/ken-livingstone-repeats-claim-nazi-zionist-collaboration

  • Liz Gledhill says:

    I admire Jeremy Corbin, a very gentle kind person, who cares about people. But he was not strong enough to battle the might of the powerful Tories who had the newspapers behind them plus millionaires. But changes can come. No-one is infallible, no matter how much money they have.

  • Allan Howard says:

    In a word, Emma, the HOPE that so many of us had has gone (with the Smearers finally ‘burying’ Jeremy). The hope so many of us had that – with Jeremy at the helm – we could create a better, fairer, caring and more equitable society. But the PTB and their propaganda machine were never going to let that happen, as soon became evident in the months after he was elected leader, and ESPECIALLY when they took out Ken, the most high profile of Jeremy’s allies(THAT’s precisely WHY they took him out!).

    And ‘strength’ doesn’t come into it Liz…… No one can win no matter how ‘strong’ they are when your enemies hold all the cards, and control the narrative, as such – the lies and smears and demonisation – dissembled to tens of millions of people on a daily basis – ie the false and phony and fabricated false reality that the anti-democratic forces created and built on.

    And even though it’s a bit late to be saying it, ignore Rafi’s post at the beginning of the comments section. The shills generally try to get their comment/put down in first. Funny, isn’t it Rafi, how none of this dithering and indicisiveness appears to have been a factor in 2017 when Jeremy came so close to winning the GE, or are we supposed to believe that he became an indesicive ditherer inbetween THEN and the 2019 GE! Yerse, of course, it was ALL down to Jeremy being a dithering and weak and indisicive leader, and nothing whatsoever to do with the lies and smears and demonisation of Jeremy and Momentum activists and the left membership in general on an almost daily basis (which they trebled down on after the 2017 result precisely because it WAS such a close-run thing). No, it was nothing to do with THAT, and ALL down to Jeremy!

    Or so the shills on here and other left-wing blogs would have people believe!

  • John Callaghan says:

    Interestingly, Peter Oborne turns up here: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/the-philip-cross-affair/

  • Tony Dennis says:

    An excellent article. I think, though, that there are two separate issues here, which aren’t sufficiently disentangled from one another.

    One of them concerns Jeremy Corbyn’s personality. Corbyn is a thoroughly decent and honest individual who has received scandalous treatment from some both within and outside the Labour Party. At the same time, he has shown little evidence of the killer instinct that is probably necessary for any leader of a political party. I for one would have loved to have seen him deal forcefully and ruthlessly with the backstabbers and slanderers within the Parliamentary Party and the Party machine. At the same time, he signally failed to give support to Ken Livingstone, Marc Wadsworth and Chris Williamson when they were faced with vicious and lying attacks. He seemed to ignore the elementary lesson about appeasement, namely, that those being appeased will always come back for more unless they faced down.

    The other issue relates to the nature of the British state and society. The fact that 80% plus of the printed media is controlled by three right-wing nom-dom billionaires, and that Labour lacks its own press outlet – with the honourable exception of the Morning Star and the somewhat less honourable one of the Mirror – meant that much of what the electorate reads is shaped by people who were irrevocably opposed to Corbyn. In addition, the comments from Richard Dearlove give a clue as to the lengths that those who run the state machine would have gone to stop Corbyn, or to have hamstrung a government led by him. Dearlove’s outlook is almost certainly representative of that of regiments of senior police officers, military figures and so forth.

    This raises the question of how any government which deviates by so much as a millimetre to the Left of the political centre might get itself elected, or implement its policies if it were to be. The answer has surely got to lie in the onerous job of building a mass movement in communities and workplaces, so that Labour becomes the cutting edge of a deep-rooted social movement rather than a bureaucratic body which just asks for your vote once every five years. There were some indications that this process was beginning to happen during the period of Corbyn’s leadership. Whether it will continue with Starmer remains to be seen.

  • Anne Gray says:

    I did vote labour in last election even though I had concerns of him being Prime Minister and it has been mentioned in the above.. that being that jeremy is too soft.. in some ways it can be a good thing to be.. but in a leader most would think not, and I and possibly others maybe had doubts and this and maybe the main reason that labour lost.. As I said I did vote for Jeremy but not enough of us did, I’m afraid to say.. I have no idea what the future holds for labour.. Thatchers politics hold strong with so many.. I don’t know how labour can come back from this..

  • Stephen Lubell says:

    This article seems to me to substantiate what I have always thought about the way Jeremy Corbyn was treated. It needs to be widely distributed and discussed. It also points clearly to the responsibility of the press and media, including such newspapers as the Guardian and the Independent, in their part in this shameful episode. Sadly the result is that I will need to draw my own conclusions in the future.

  • Linda Poulson says:

    This is the most honest account of what has happened to Jeremy Corbyn, how can we claim we live in a democracy when this sort of behaviour is not just condoned but is allowed to succeed. Thank you to the authors for showing there is still some integrity in at least two of our journalists.

  • Doug says:

    GE 2019
    I have always voted Labour but I cannot vote for Corbyn
    So who did you vote for in 2017
    Labour I always vote Labour !
    It was the MSM and toilet papers wot won it

  • Allan Howard says:

    Anne, when you speak about Jeremy being ‘too soft’, what are you alluding to exactly? I mean WHY would the electorate in general have any reason to think Jeremy was ‘too soft’? Too soft in relation to what? The only area that I can think of where he has been ‘too soft’ – but which I totally disagree with for reasons I will explain shortly – is in relation to the A/S Smear Campaign, so I’m going to assume that you must be alluding to THAT, and as fate would have it, the person who posted a comment just prior to yours (Tony Dennis), just happened to speak/write about that in their post, albeit in much more explicit terms – ie that Jeremy failed to give support to Ken and Marc and Chris, and that he ‘ignored the elementary lesson about appeasement’, and that those being appeased will always come back for more etc, not that I agree with that ‘assessment’, which has of coure been repeated endlessly, and not least of all by shills (although I’m not of course saying that everyone who does so is a shill).

    Anyway, assuming that this is what you’re alluding to when you speak about Jeremy being ‘too soft’, there’s only one problem with it when it comes to the public in general – ie that they could ONLY think in terms of Jeremy being ‘too soft’ (in relation to the A/S smears and not standing up for Ken and Marc etc) *IF* they knew the claims and allegations of A/S WERE false and phony and fabricated for the most part. But they DON’T of course, and the vast majority of people OBVIOUSLY think and believe it is all for real AND it would be inconceivable to them – and probably blow their minds to some degree or other – if they were to learn, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it has all been orchestrated and contrived from the outset.

    In other words, it would be deeply disturbing to the vast majority of people who have been duped and deceived to learn that the MSM and the Jewish newspapers and the ‘moderates’ and the BoD and the JLM and CAA and LAA etc, along with the Tory leadership and the LibDem leadership, ALL conspired in the Smear Campaign. But the main point I am making is that the vast majority of people believed all the lies and falsehoods, and obviously believed that all the outrage and condemnation (of Ken, Jackie and Chris etc AND Jeremy himself of course) was for real, and so therefore do NOT, and CANNOT obviously have any reason to think that Jeremy is ‘too soft’, or ‘weak’ etc for not standing up to, or fighting back against (or think in terms of appeasement on Jeremy’s part) the Smearers. ONLY people on the left who KNOW it was a black op smear campaign of lies and falsehoods and faux outrage etc, can potentially accuse and criticise Jeremy of such.

    And what further proof does anyone need as to how effective the Smearers have been than the poll conducted for the authors of Bad News For Labour about a year ago, in which respondents believed, on average, that 34% of Labour Party members had been reported (to the LP) for anti-semitism.

    And the reality is that if Jeremy had defended Ken and Chris etc, he himself would have been attacked and condemned and villified for ‘defending the indefensible’ and other such rhotoric, and for ‘being in denial’ and, as such, part of the problem. The point being that there was no way to get the truth out there to the general public, because the only way to do so is/was through the corporate media and the semi-corporate BBC – ie the very media who were conspiring in, and complicit in, the black op Smear Campaign against Jeremy, Momentum (and especially Momentum activists), and the left-wing membership in general, the latter being ‘portrayed’ as thugs and bullies and homophobes. Oh, and needless to say, anti-semitic of course!

  • Margaret West says:

    A very well written article! As well as the distortions what really got me was the lazy and sloppy journalism which was often passed off as “in depth”.

    In response to criticisms of his interview by Andrew Neil, the latter sets up his own artificial discourse in which he
    (1) Insists on “yes” or “no” answers when hardly any political questions worth asking can be answered in this simplistic way;
    (2) Interrupts interviewees before they get to their point.

    Corbyn was never allowed to finish answering a question but he at least attempts to give an honest response – unlike the current PM. The main mistake was to agree a date for Corbyn *before* Johnson was interviewed – for as we later discovered – the latter had absolutely no intention of keeping his word. They now have the brass nerve to admit: “well of COURSE he didn’t give an interview – we wanted him to win didn’t we? ”

    We are now told by some in the LP that “class war” is now over.
    However I never saw any “war” – I remember Corbyn in his last PMQ making a comment to the effect of : “No Man is an Island and the richest Hedge Fund CEO is dependent on his or her life on a cleaner on a zero hours contract working for the minimum wage”. To his credit, Johnson agreed with this – but mostly In response all we heard was a one sided series of attacks and abuse.

    And what has this resulted in? Possibly the most incompetent cabinet ever seen
    in the UK headed up by a buffoon, and the whole manipulated by a nihilist.

  • Peter says:

    Perhaps there is a moment in an individual’s life, when they need to stepback from their present and assess how their place and position will impact on society more generally. I would have been much more conniving had I been Jeremy Corbyn, a step to the side at the time of the election may well have been a worthwhile sacrifice and may have prevented the people who are the total opposite of socialists from taking power.
    Keir Starmer, with his well-manicured look, will fit the desires of many who live in a society where looks, labels and worldy goods matter more than honesty, equality and a fairer society. I gave up voting Labour 30 odd years ago, when Labour diluted their values to succeeed at the polls, when the politician became a career move which was more a personal journey than as a representatvive of the people who voted them in place, something you could not accuse Jeremy Corbyn of doing.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The following comment was removed from below the line at The Guardian. I leave it to others to decide what if anything could constitute an offence against the Guardian’s community standards,

    “Those centrists who campaigned relentlessly and often deceitfully for Corbyn’s removal are understandably desperate to defend Kier Starmer at all costs. If electoral success is the only yardstick, they may in time discover that they have bought a dud.

    His record as DPP furnishes some clues to his approach to entrenched power: in 2009 he declined to prosecute any police for the killing of Jean Charles de Menzies, and a year later made a similar decision in regard to the policeman who caused the death of Ian Tomlinson, only agreeing to a prosecution when following protests from the Tomlinson family a subsequent inquest found that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed. These decisions speak to an abundance of caution that is more becoming in a lawyer than in the leader of a party at a time like the present, when it is more vital than ever to call the Tories to account and campaign for a radical transformation of British society.

    The dragging down and immersion of the Colston statue was the act of people who had finally despaired of the tortoise progress of the ‘proper process’ in righting wrongs and enacting social justice. Despite what we are encouraged to believe in children’s story books, in twenty first century Britain the tortoise does not in fact win the race — it is won by frauds like Johnson. Appeasement of a corrupt system may have the advantage of not frightening Little England but it will not win the votes of those in desperate need of meaningful change.

    Wait until the country emerges from the coronavirus crisis (if it ever does) and has to confront the double whammy of mass unemployment and a no-deal Brexit. When that happens pressure for radical change will be irresistible. The only issue that will then be worth debating is whether the state will take on the shape of Cummings-inspired authoritarian plutocracy or democratic socialism. Choose your side.”

  • RC says:

    John Spellar MP yesterday described this article as ‘moonhowling’. He is a clever man and is well aware that everything Oborne and Hearst write is true. The reason for his lying description surely must be that the Labour Right together with the MSM, the British state core and Mike Pompeo at least are determined to destroy the Labour left completely and to dance on its grave. They have been seriously worried about resistance to US imperialist policy in respect of the Iraq aggression and mass (and some elite) opposition to the Blair-Bush attack on Iraq – which continues by other means – might even destabilise NATO (oh no, that’s all the fault of the Russians!!). The French and German ‘surrender monkeys’ took some time to come into line by banning BDS. Turkey is showing signs of independence. Clinton’s defeat (especially in rustbelt areas where war casualties were highest) and Trump’s erratic initiatives have further destabilised American world hegemony. So the Atlanticists are ever more insecure. No wonder they lash out.
    The leading British Zionists’ public reservations about further annexation of Palestine, especially the Jordan Valley, show that even the threat of BDS has already had some effect; of course their concern is Israel’s ‘reputation’, not the prospect of further robbery and death to be inflicted on the Palestinians. So our opponents unwillingly give us some small cause for hope.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    We are now confronting the possibility of an annexation of the West Bank timed to be enacted before the probable end of the Trump Presidency in November. Expect the war of words over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to redouble in volume and anger. Will Starmer stand to one side and make sympathetic noises (he is after all a 200% supporter of Zionism) or will he take a stand in line with international law, as Corbyn undoubtedly would have done. What he decides will either spare his leadership or condemn it to annihilation by the concerted forces of the media. Dangerous times for anyone with principles to defend — for example someone who has built his career on his reputation as a human rights lawyer.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The mainstream media’s routine dismissal of Corbyn’s achievement and its routine blindness to the commentary and even the existence of JVL are part and parcel of the same campaign against the left, and particularly anyone who voices criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The Guardian, which used to stand for honest debate and balanced reporting, is a particular offender in this regard. These days anyone who wants to object to the ethos of centrism is forced into the narrow space occupied by left wing websites, safely out of sight of most concerned citizens.

  • Ben Ballard says:

    Corbyn was treated in a truly horrendous manner.
    When someone with his genuine and decent ideals and manner is vilified and someone like Johnson, who’s actually espoused bigoted views, is lauded and put into our highest position of power you have to really worry about the way this country and Union is headed.
    Does not matter if you think he didn’t handle brexit strongly enough or that some of his policies weren’t to your liking when his opponent is quite so inept and bigoted.

  • Eileen Lindley says:

    This report has made me feel ashamed be British. Although s long standing Labour Party member I had retired from from as active role. Impressed by Jeremy Corbyn I resumed political activities. Now I feel ashamed by Labour Party Members voting for Johnson in the December election. I am at the moment still locked down in Spain. We came for a winter holiday we are not in our 80s so the winter sun is good for our chests. We have been treated so well by the Spanish people we are seriously thinking about applying for residency. We are applying for a doctor. Tomorrow we are joining the Spanish medical service, I’m very much saddened by the attitudes of Doncaster people. I just cannot understand them anymore. I am ashamed to be British.

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