Many media outlets have woken up, seemingly overnight, to the distinct possibility that Theresa May’s ineptitude might result in the UK exiting the EU next March without an exit deal, with trade seriously harmed and supplies of food and medicines jeopardised.
Some papers, notably the Murdoch Sun, have been playing down the impending horror, but others are not, and nor are thousands of businesses up and down the country. Some are already opening offices in other EU member states, leasing warehouse space, and building manufacturing facilities. Those jobs aren’t going to come back.
So as there is a major foul-up coming down the track, there has to be someone to blame. The right-leaning stance of many press outlets, and the inbuilt conservative majority of the Pundit Establishment, demands that the brave Empress Treeza is not that person. So who else can be blamed for something in which he has had no part?
You guessed it, it’s Jeremy Corbyn. The Observer’s Nick Cohen in his latest Sunday Moan claims those advising Jezza “absolutely believe that if Brexit brings chaos the voters will turn to the radical left”. He did, however, have to put that in quote marks, suggesting once more that no man is of perfect courage. This has kicked off the blame game.
From this has come the idea of equivalence, as illustrated by Michiel van Hulten: “When the history of catastrophic no-deal #Brexit is written it's not the incompetent May or witless Corbyn who will get the blame. It's the supposedly 'sensible' majority of Conservative and Labour backbenchers who did nothing to stop them”. He’s as bad as her!
Norma Cohen is on the same page. “We must hold Corbyn and his Labour leadership clique equally responsible w/Tories for Brexit. Corbyn’s clique are hoping it happens but want to avoid blame”. Alfons López Tena likewise: “Both May and Corbyn are against a second referendum. May wants to enter the history books as the prime minister who delivered a smooth Brexit. Corbyn cares only about getting into power, holding his party together and avoiding blame over Brexit”. Nick Cohen goes further.
“To wish suffering on people who are weaker and poorer than you is disgusting and it is no less disgusting when Jeremy Corbyn rather than Jacob Rees-Mogg is hoping that the misery of others will advance his political programme”. That is fuelling the fantasy land of equivalence, or even Corbyn-blaming. And it is plain flat wrong.
As Rachael Cousins has pointed out, “The Tories have dragged us in to the biggest constitutional crisis in modern peacetime history, yet somehow it’s more popular to blame Jeremy Corbyn for Theresa May’s Brexit disaster”. Michael Rosen added “The more that anger is directed at Corbyn, the less we’ll ‘notice’ that it’s May who has delayed putting her ‘deal’ to parliament. That’s how the media kerfuffle works: so that ‘May is brave’ and ‘Corbyn is weak’ is sold to us”. Another Tweeter put it more bluntly.
“A Tory PM called the referendum. A Tory government has overseen Brexit, disastrously. A Tory PM has bungled negotiations. A Tory government will pull us out of the EU whether we want it, whether there's a deal, or not. But yeah, let's all blame Corbyn. Solid reasoning behind it”. Don’t look over there. It’s not Corbyn’s problem. It’s the Tories. End of story.
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