Many have followed the rise of Jeremy Corbyn with a mixture of awe, disbelief and sometimes even a dose of humour. However, following his landslide victory on Saturday, it appears team Corbyn will be in for a rough ride.
Throughout the campaign, Corbyn had mixed coverage, although he managed to avoid controversy albeit being criticised for a rather wooly quote about the possibility of female only carriages on public transport. Although, his shadow cabinet has failed to include any women in the top ministerial positions, drawing criticism.
In addition to this, Corbyn came in for criticism having previously shared platforms with controversial figures such as members of Hamas, the IRA and even Tony Blair. Corbyn even had the temerity to say things in the past which people took offence to, lamenting the ‘tragedy’ that Osama Bin Laden was killed and not brought to trial for example.
— Ashley Shiri (@ashshi) September 1, 2015
It was to be a week of discussion of old Labour and new Labour, left wing and right wing and frankly not enough references to Peep Show.
The Labour party is basically acting like Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show at the moment. pic.twitter.com/Ay3k8lzWJX
— Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) July 22, 2015
Election day So after a large number of Labour grandees had called for anything but a Corbyn victory, and leadership rivals had spun themselves in circles, the carousel of press and official speculation went into overdrive when it emerged that Corbyn had won a majority after the first round of voting. The reaction from his rival, Andy Burnham’s Twitter account only a matter of seconds after the announcement suggesting a little of what the next few days have in store: http://
This was, of course, swiftly deleted. Meanwhile, the red flag had barely been hoisted above the Winter (or should that be Buckingham?) Palace, before the Conservative Party released a warm and heartfelt welcome to the new leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition:
Of course many editors, including our team here at Pandeia, expected to be waking to a new Ministry of Information on Sunday morning, installing censors in every nook and cranny of Fleet Street and Wapping. However, it appeared the planned Bolshevik takeover had miraculously stalled at a pub in Hoxton. As a result editors around the country chose to take advantage of their soon-to-be nationalised front pages to provide reaction to the Corbyn victory.
Even Prime Minister David Cameron had a few kind words for his new sparring partner: http://
The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) September 13, 2015
Confusingly Cameron then went on to say that Corbyn had been invited to join the Queen’s privy council. A specific meeting where top secret national security secrets are disclosed to a select few. Black Monday Inevitably, the furore of the previous few days rumbled on into the new working week. One busy onlooker describing some of the press reaction as: “the way they’re talking you’d think someone had not only let a dog botherer into Battersea dogs home, but locked him in and lost the key.” http://
A large number of the newspapers were not too kind to Jeremy on his first full weekday as Labour leader. Coincidentally, this also fell on the same day as the Trades Union Congress held its annual conference in Brighton. One of the main topics of the day was the upcoming trade union bill which even some Conservative politicians have criticised for being too draconian. Tuesday mayhem If Monday was rough, Tuesday was set to be something straight out of the twilight zone. Seeing in his first ceremonial duties as Labour leader, Corbyn attended a memorial service for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Corbyn was criticised for failing to sing the national anthem: http://
And then to add insult to injury, the newly crowned Labour Superior-Wise-Sun of the People – Glorious leader appeared in a state of undress that would make even Peter Stringfellow blush: http://
Bloody hell. A top button undone. Well I never. Recovery Wednesday? Corbyn attended his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday: http://
This marked the start of what Corbyn has suggested could be a less adversarial version of politics as he asked questions posed from the general public. Despite claims that this style was more akin to a radio phone-in than the usual despatch box jousting, even his most ardent critics had to admit Corbyn had brought a modicum of decorum to the “Punch and Judy” politics that PMQs had previously been known for.
Following his PMQs approach, the press began to focus less on Corbyn. However, the top-button furore gave way to some more nuanced headlines about ‘Corbynomics’ and how Labour MPs may react to Corbyn’s victory in the long run: http://
Thursday’s BBC’s Question Time brought new shadow chancellor John McDonnell into the spotlight. McDonnell, perennially described as the hardest of hardline left-wingers, was forced into apologising fairly quickly for comments he had made about the IRA in 2003. Following his disappointingly contrite apology, he then went on to make some coherent points about food banks and the economic alternative to austerity. These ‘left-wing loonies’ were stubbornly refusing to show themselves as anything other than mere sensible moderates.
Into the weekend…
Nearly a week after Corbyn emerged victorious, and the media coverage though quietening still found time to focus on his previous life before his campaign for the Labour leadership. After the chaos of earlier days, Corbyn makes the front pages on two nationals for very different reasons… http://
Sunday brought with it another round of accusations and counter-claims in the press mostly centring on this man’s threat to national security. A man four and a half years out from a General Election. One army general in The Times even went so far as to suggest that a military coup would occur should the 66-year-old pacifist ever become leader of the UK.
By the end of the week the press onslaught showed no signs of stopping, headline followed headline, expose followed expose. In fact, the only way it seemed that the press would move on from Corbynmania was if some ludicrous scandal occurred, some lurid allegation involving the Prime Minister and a farmyard animal or something…but really, what were the chances of that? Words by Jamie Timson and Greg Bianchi Picture by Chris Beckett Read more about Jeremy Corbyn and his election as Labour leader on Gistory.