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Friday 7 October 2016

Corbyn Cabinet - Press Hypocrisy

As Zelo Street regulars will know by now, this blog treats politicians and their decision making strictly on their merits - or lack of them. So it is with the latest appointments to the shadow cabinet by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which has included Diane Abbott shadowing the Home Secretary and Shami Chakrabarti becoming shadow Attorney General. Kier Starmer will shadow the Brexit ministry.
The Mail has bizarrely called out Labour for promoting some whose children attend private schools, carping that Corbyn “handed a huge promotion to his ex-lover and long term ally Diane Abbott, making her shadow home secretary, despite her sending her son to private school”. What’s that got to do with being shadow home secretary?

There’s more: “Mr Corbyn's new shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti also uses a private school for her son while Emily Thornberry, who is staying on as shadow foreign secretary, does the same”. What’s that got to do with shadowing the FO or being shadow attorney general? Nothing. And the Mail misses the obvious comparison.

The press has no room to call on Diane Abbott when the actual Home Secretary is Amber “don’t all me a racist” Rudd, or Emily Thornberry when the actual Foreign Secretary is London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, someone for whom diplomacy has never been a strong suit. Indeed, Bozza has made a name for himself being disobliging about foreigners - and many in his own country.

Meanwhile, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are whinging because there are a number of shadow ministers from Greater London constituencies. The Great Guido has managed not to notice that there are a significant number of shadow ministers from constituencies in the north of England. It might have something to do with there being a lot of Labour constituencies in both areas, lads.

Some of Jezza’s appointments are proving difficult for the press to spin, notably Nick Brown’s return as chief whip, given he served under both Tone and Pa Broon, but the standard of reportage is, generally, as lame as ever, especially when the Sun’s clueless hacks berate him for being out of town during the Tory Party conference.

Corbyn has spent the week walking and buying jumpers in Scotland” they declare, making just the three howlers in one line: it was a wrap, not a jumper (see photo, chaps), there was only one of it, and as he bought his wife said wrap at a shop in Bardon Mill, in Northumberland, he did the buying in England. The cream of journalism.

That, sadly, sums up the standard of reporting on what is actually a promising looking opposition front bench. The Murdoch mafiosi, for whom cronyism is a way of life, have no room to call “Cronies” on Labour, and nor do the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre have any room to carp about private education.

After all, the Vagina Monologue sent his sons to Eton. Another man of the people.


Mike Hine said...

You're wrong, Tim. The Mail is clearly a shit-sheet. However, Corbyn's appeal is his supposed honest adherence to socialist principles. His closest shadow cabinet supporters would be expected to reflect the same ethical stance. Private education is central to the maintenance of the class system of this country and its resulting inequalities. It would be expected, therefore, that members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet would oppose it in words and in deeds.
Diane Abbot's excuse was that her son chose the school, 'he wanted to go there'. It was up to her to tell the 11 year old that this was not compatible with her views or her position as a left Labour figure. Alternatively she could have said ok to the 11 year old but realised that thereafter her reputation as far as principles and integrity were concerned would be forever compromised.
Corbyn benefits from the trust which New Labour lost and which his followers are desperate to find in him. It's his trump card. His close colleagues should realise how easy their actions can make it for Labour's enemies.

LiamKav said...

I kinda agree with Mike. You can't accuse the Tories of hypocrisy over selective schools, since they are currently trying to turn the clock back with the introduction of grammar schools. However, Corbyn's position puts him against them, and if his appeal is in his morals and ethics, then he has to stick to them or risk alienating the "new blood" he's supposed to have brought in with those morals and ethics.

Corbyn is the vegetarian who criticises others for eating meat, and then throws a massive barbeque for his mates. At the very least, it's a mixed message.

Anonymous said...

Corbyn himself however divorced one of his wives when she wanted to send their son to a grammar school.

He stuck by his own principles. None of those mentioned are Shadow Education Secretary. Perhaps they are the best people for the jobs given, and under the circumstances he hasn't a huge field from which to choose.

As far as the 'holiday' was concerned. I believe it consisted of a weekend, Jez having arrived oop north (and no NOT Scotland and it was only one recycled wrap from Woolly Pedlar as sold in a very small village shop) to address the Jarrow March anniversary meeting Saturday.

He travelled by train, went to a concert at the Sage Gateshead, ate a Chinese meal in Hexham, did some walking with his wife.


You know, normal life. Nothing very flash. Quite why he's not entitled to a little R & R is something puzzling me.

rob said...

At least The Sun and MS Brooks will be pleased with Tom Watson's appopintment as shadow culture secretary. They will won't they?

LiamKav said...

Politicians should absolutely be entitled to a holiday. I always hate the demand for the PM to come back from his holiday whenever anything happens, even though he can't affect it. Should Jez have taken it then? I would have thought right after the Tory Party conference would be prime media time for statements and interviews. But maybe there was no other time. I dunno.

Still, he divorced his wife because she wanted to send their son to a grammar school? That either shows a man of great principle, or someone unwilling to compromise even though it will hurt himself and others around him. There's possibly a metaphor in there.