Self-appointed Jeremy Corbyn biographer Tom Bower has been putting himself around the media rather a lot recently. First came his lame hatchet job serialised in the Mail on Sunday, which was not even well-received by Jezza’s detractors, and then he was caught using a crude anti-Semitic trope on ITV Good Morning Britain to smear Mike Segalov. Now, all too predictably, the Murdoch press has ridden to his rescue.
Tom Bower - getting desperate
You know an attack line used against a politician is serious when the Murdoch mafiosi gets involved, and they gave Bower full rein to smear in the crudest form possible, as the headline “Tom Bower on Jeremy Corbyn: he left for Jamaica an academic failure and came back a fanatical Marxist” tells you (Jezza has never been a fanatical anything).
The language is crude and indeed hyperbolic at times, as witness “Throughout his career the Labour leader has used tactics learnt from the communist playbook [no citation]. His biographer Tom Bower charts his cultivation of a ‘good guy’ image - and ruthless elimination of moderate rivals”. Does he have a mountain lair and a white cat?
Still, let’s see what Bower can pony up in support of his claim. “Burning buildings, overturned cars and students rampaging through downtown Kingston, Jamaica, in October 1968 spurred Jeremy Corbyn’s switch from traditional Labour Party supporter to a Trotskyist dedicated to transforming Britain into a communist state. After his stay on the island he successfully concealed his past and his prejudices, even from his family and closest friends”. How convenient. So his family didn’t tell him about that.
This is total crap. The idea that Jezza’s family and friends didn’t tell Bower about his past because there was some kind of concealment being practiced is fantasy. But there’s more. “Despite scoring two grade-E A-levels and failing a third, Corbyn had landed a Voluntary Overseas Service (VSO) placement to teach geography at Kingston College, an elite school. Ever since, he has said those ‘two years were really a defining moment in my life’”.
That means what, exactly? It’s all nudge and wink; we should fill in the gaps in the style which Bower finds acceptable. But David Osland was not impressed: “The biggest difficulty with the theory that Jeremy Corbyn became a Trotskyist in Jamaica in 1968 is that there were no Trotskyist organisations in Jamaica until 1975. Do your homework, Bower”.
Next thing you know, Bower will be claiming that’s no big deal because Jezza invented Trotskyism himself. Or something like that. One Tweeter from Liverpool found the idea ridiculous: “Back in the day, the ‘workerists’ of the Trotskyite persuasion had Corbyn marked down as a ‘trendy left’, alongside the likes of Margaret Hodge would you believe! As if he was ever anything more left than democratic socialist!” Quite.
It was left to John Fielder to make the statement of the bleeding obvious: “I think, most people who accuse others of being Trots have absolutely no idea what a Trot is”. Exactly. Bower has been touring the TV studios, rambling on about communism without one gram of fact to back it up. He is just smearing with the objective of delegitimising Corbyn.
Trouble is, he’s not very good at it. Bit like the press which is enabling him, then.
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