At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, exactly one hundred years after the guns fell silent to end the war which was supposed to have ended all wars, our leaders - politicians, Royalty, overseas representatives - gathered at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall to mark the occasion. Royalty laid wreaths. So did party leaders. And, as usual, the right-wing outrage brigade was waiting in ambush.
No, he still doesn't look scary
We know who you are, thanks ...
... and would rather not know who you are
Their target, as he has been since assuming the Labour leadership in 2015, was Jeremy Corbyn. Jezza wore a showerproof coat over his suit. His tie, although red, was not bright or garish. The response of the outrage squad, some of whom may not have been intellectually sophisticated enough to have consulted a weather forecast showing the possibility of heavy and perhaps thundery showers, was instantaneous.
The deeply unsavoury Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail was in the vanguard. “What is @jeremycorbyn wearing at the Cenotaph? It looks like an anorak. Is it a Michael Foot moment”. Remember all the crap Foot got for his coat? The sneers of “Donkey Jacket”, even though it wasn’t? Jezza came prepared for the weather turning wet; he would be out and about among the veterans while many others stayed inside.
That thought was not allowed to enter for another singularly unpleasant pundit. “I know it’s petty but does @jeremycorbyn seriously think that a bright red tie and a scruffy hooded coat are appropriate wear for the Cenotaph? Or is he just trying to signal to his Leftie anti-war chums that he doesn’t really want to be there? Such poor judgement” trilled self-promotion artiste Julia Hartley Dooda. And his tie still wasn’t bright.
Marie le Conte had already anticipated this shower of righteousness, tweeting “oh shut the fuck up about Corbyn's coat, who cares, honestly … (this is a preemptive tweet, please don't prove me right)”. But they did, with many of those getting worked up into a froth not having to journey any further than the other side of their living rooms.
Rachel Cousins was also unconcerned at Jezza’s sartorial choices: “Shocking revelation here. Jeremy Corbyn wore A COAT on a showery day in London today”. Indeed. Worse than that, he doesn’t want to send tens of thousands of Britons to their deaths in pointless wars, or destabilise the Middle East. I mean, what’s the world coming to?
Another Labour member was aghast: “Corbyn's wearing the ‘wrong coat’? The wrong COAT!? Give the guy a break FFS”. And Nicky Brennan, who represents Birmingham’s Sparkhill ward for Labour, concluded “Are people seriously having a pop at Corbyn for wearing a rain coat and the fact his poppy is too small?! Jesus wept”.
But Pierce is right. This will be exploited by our free and fearless press as yet another opportunity to pile abuse on Corbyn and his party. Meanwhile, Jezza will eschew the small talk with other political leaders in order to go out onto Horse Guard’s Parade to meet real people, those who answered the call to arms in conflicts from World War 2, to Korea, to Suez, to the Falklands, to Kuwait, to Iraq, to Afghanistan and elsewhere.
He will never be able to do right by those in their hermetically sealed media bubble, though. Because they know everything about everything. I’ll just leave that one there.
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