No, he still doesn't look scary
That last point, for reason best known to the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, was absent from their memories today as the occasion of wreath-laying was - all too predictably - turned into another excuse to gratuitously trash Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The idiocy on view, as supposedly grown-up hacks and pundits trampled all over the memory of so many, was as needless as ever.
That idiocy had already been on show in the hours before the ceremony, with the Telegraph running “Labour shadow ministers ditch Jeremy Corbyn's 'barmy' women-only train carriages proposal … Exclusive: Labour shadow transport secretary says she is 'not convinced' idea would work as source says 'barmy' proposal will never become party policy”. He did not make such a proposal. And the mental health smear is noted.
The piss-poor SunNation website ran a particularly creative article telling that Pa Broon would be giving the Cenotaph a miss today, and instead attending a remembrance service in Scotland, so he could avoid Jezza. This was down to the usual standard of Murdoch dishonesty: Brown, along with other former Prime Ministers Tone and “Shagger” Major, was present and correct. SunNation pulled their story, but the URL is still there.
This served to show that whatever Corbyn did in his first turn at the Cenotaph, it would be reinvented in the most creative manner possible. And so it came to pass: the Labour leader wore a dark suit and tie, sported a red poppy, and carried an appropriate air of gravitas, but he was not out of the woods yet. His bow, following the wreath-laying, did not have the ostentatious overstatement of Young Dave’s.
And that was the green light for every mindless self-appointed “patriot” to pile in: Jezza had not bowed properly, and had therefore been insufficiently respectful. An early adopter of this new collective idiocy was Christopher “No” Hope of the Telegraph, ostentatiously adding an over-large poppy to his Twitter avatar, bleating “Why did all the party leaders bow their heads … apart from Jeremy Corbyn who barely bowed his?”
The reality of Jezza's "disrespect"
SunNation, thinking nobody had noticed the earlier howler (wrong), trawled Twitter for anyone unhappy at Jezza failing to do something that he actually did. And my good friend Richard Bartholomew remembered that we had been here before: the Mail, in 2009, was typical as it gasped “Gordon Brown criticised for failing to bow his head at Cenotaph unlike every other party leader”. So the press was waiting for it, then.