This week, British politics reached an unbelievable low. As he attempted to respond to the Prime Minister’s statement on Europe yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn was disrupted and drowned out by a group of Tory MPs shouting the familiar football chant, “Who are ya, who are ya, who are ya!”
You may have seen the video yourself and had a little laugh at it – indeed Andy Burnham, Labour’s domestic spokesman had a chuckle himself. However, the implications are anything but funny.
There’s something very strange about the image of upper middle class Tories braying a football chant and then retiring to their EU discussion over expensive wine. Is this really the only way they can deflect attention from the fact that their party is falling apart at the seams over the possibility of a Brexit?
Considering that there’s a very real chance the member next to them will probably be voting against the Prime Minister come the referendum in June, the Tories were united in hysterical laughter but disunited everywhere else. The real story from the Commons yesterday was the bitter feud that raged between Cameron and Johnson, sparring like father and son after the son has been excluded from the expensive school the father paid his hard-earned money towards.
It is to do the British people an injustice to not allow the elected leader of the Opposition his chance to reply uninterrupted to a major political statement concerning membership of the EU. In this proxy battle for the Tory leadership, the British people are left out of the picture and British interests are forgotten altogether.
In stark contrast to the splits within the Conservative party, Labour members have made it very clear this week how they feel about their own leadership. In polling released today, it was found that the Labour leader is in an extremely strong position with a 56 per cent approval rating.
In a political climate where the Tories’ best weapon to be deployed is raucous laughter and an intimidating chant, is it any wonder that so many British people are turned off by politics? Commentators have been saying for years that the theatrics of the House of Commons must end – and now that it’s been used to actively silence debate on something integral to the future of our country, the whole process has undoubtedly gone too far.
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
1/11 He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
True. In a speech made to the Stop the War Coalition in 2009, Mr Corbyn called representatives from both groups “friends” after inviting them to Parliament. He later told Channel 4 he wanted both groups, who have factions designated as international terror organisations, to be “part of the debate” for the Middle East peace process. “I use (the word ‘friends’) in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk,” he added. “Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No.”
2/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
Partly false. David Cameron used this as a line of attack at the Conservative Party conference but appears to have left out all context from Mr Corbyn’s original remarks. In an 2011 interview on Iranian television, the then-backbencher said the fact the al-Qaeda leader was not put on trial was the tragedy, continuing: “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
3/11 He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
False. A Daily Express exposé revealed that the Labour leader’s ancestor, James Sargent, was the “despotic” master of a Victorian workhouse. Addressing the report at the Labour conference, Mr Corbyn said he had never heard of him before, adding: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time and having a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.”
4/11 Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament
This one is true. On 21 May 2004, Mr Corbyn raised an early day motion entitled “pigeon bombs”, proposing that the House register being “appalled but barely surprised” that MI5 reportedly proposed to load pigeons with explosives as a weapon. The motion continued: “The House… believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.” It was not carried.
5/11 He rides a Communist bicycle
False. A report in The Times referred to Mr Corbyn, known for his cycling, riding a “Chairman Mao-style bicycle” earlier this year. “Less thorough journalists might have referred to it as just a bicycle, but no, so we have to conclude that whenever we see somebody on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao,” he later joked.
6/11 'Jeremy Corbyn will appoint a special minister for Jews'
False so far. The Sun report in December was allegedly based on a “rumour” passed to the paper by a Daily Express columnist who has written pieces critical of the Labour leader in the past. The minister did not materialise in his shadow cabinet.
7/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn wishes Britain would abolish its Army’
False. Another gem from The Sun took comments made at a Hiroshima remembrance parade in August 2012 where Mr Corbyn supported Costa Rica’s move to abolish it armed forces. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world…abolished the army and took pride in the fact that they don’t have an army,” he added. The caveat that “every politician” must take the step suggests Mr Corbyn does not support UK disarmament just yet.
8/11 Jeremy Corbyn stole sandwiches meant for veterans
False. The Guido Fawkes blog claimed that the Labour leader took sandwiches meant for veterans at at Battle of Britain memorial service in September but a photo later emerged showing him being handed one by Costa volunteers, who later confirmed they were given to all guests.
9/11 He missed the induction into the Queen’s privy council
True. After much speculation about Mr Corbyn’s republican views and willingness to bow to the monarch, his office confirmed that he did not attend the official induction to the privy council because of a prior engagement, but did not rule out joining the body.
10/11 Jeremy Corbyn refuses to sing the national anthem.
Partly true. The Labour leader was filmed standing in silence as God Save the Queen was sung at a Battle of Britain remembrance service but will reportedly sing it in future. Mr Corbyn was elusive on the issue in an interview, saying he would show memorials “respect in the proper way”, but sources said he would sing the anthem at future occasions.
11/11 He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese
True. The group lists its purpose as the following: “To increase awareness of issues surrounding the dairy industry and focus on economic issues affecting the dairy industry and producers.”
The truth is that the public know who Jeremy Corbyn is and they know the fundamental principles he stands for. It’s the Tory party that have a problem with discretion. When will the Tories admit that their austerity agenda has caused more harm than good? When will there be sufficient reporting on the fact that they are bankrolled by the hedge funds? When will Boris Johnson come clean and admit that his decision to back the Out campaign was calculated based on his political future?
These are important questions that need answering more than ever. Jeremy Corbyn will ask them, and he must be given the chance to do so.
If he isn’t, I’m certain that he will have the last laugh.Reuse content