On the 100th day of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership we reflect on the highs and the lows so far. Filled with constant party infighting, a dedicated shadowy plan to relinquish his leadership role and the most concentrated media attack ever on a singular character – Corbyn has ran the gauntlet. However looking past the media spin a lot has been achieved.
Jeremy Corbyn is in the process of scoring a great victory for democracy with the slow but sure implementation of his ‘new kind of politics’. During his campaign Corbyn promised to give the Labour membership a much greater role in policy making, something we saw the beginning of during the Syria vote and we have been reassured is happening with his renewed commitment here.
The new kind of politics has seen Corbyn dominating the floor during the weekly PMQs. It’s not the huge punch up it used to be but Corbyn controls the mood, the tempo and the direction of the sessions every time. Cameron’s jibes and pre-scripted lines continually fall flat on a calm and collected opposition leader.
Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity within the party has greatly increased:
Could Labour be catching up in the polls? Or is it a Christmas blip? Only time will tell:
Under his leadership the Tories have been held to account on multiple occasions:
In a huge victory for hard working families across the country Jeremy Corbyn with the help of the Lords defeated the Tories on working tax credit changes which would’ve seen millions of families £500-£3000 worse off a year. Celebrations fall short however because this battle isn’t over, Osborne still plans to sneak the changes through the backdoor as a part of Universal Credits and Cameron is taking action to revoke the powers the Lords used to prevent the changes from occurring. Corbyn will have to remain vigilant to protect hard working families in the future.
The Conservative government have also been forced to back down on providing training for Saudi prisons, a move worth £5.9 million would’ve seen the British Ministry of Justice aid one of the world’s worst human rights abusers to abuse humans rights (let’s not forget Cameron’s backroom deal to give Saudi a leading role in the UN human right’s panel). Jeremy Corbyn has also directly appealed to the Cameron to personally intervene in the death sentence of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr for protesting against the government when he was 17. The increased pressure on Cameron to take human rights around the world seriously will put the Conservative party in a bad light come 2020.
The media told you the Oldham by-election would be with a slim majority or even LOST to UKIP (source), so much so the BBC were caught out publishing a ‘greatly reduced majority’ with a +7% voter share increase! (Article removed)
Oldham was declared a ‘Referendum on Corbyn’ if he lost, but the MSM hedged their bets by distancing the campaign and the ‘moderate’ candidate as far from Corbyn as possible. The rhetoric following Corbyn’s ‘Referendum’ was that the huge increase was despite his leadership.
Firefighters re affiliated with Labour citing Corbyn’s leadership and the direction in which he would take the party.
When it became clear that the leadership’s dark horse Jeremy Corbyn was due to win with an unprecedented landslide the mainstream media scrambled to create a stockpile of trashing articles to push out at an incredible pace. After all initial public impressions are everything in politics. However it’s not a good image to complain about the press… without solid data to back you up, the Media Reform Coalition analysed 500 articles relating to Jeremy Corbyn within SEVEN days of his election. A staggering average of 71 articles per day. The results speak volumes; 60% of articles were negative and only 13% were positive. A more in-depth look at their results can be found here.
Let’s take a quick glance at some of the more ridiculous things Jeremy Corbyn has been slated for…
The gender ratio of the newly formed shadow cabinet was berated in the media, some went as far to claim it was sexist. In fact Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet has the most women any shadow cabinet has ever had (over 50% are women), significantly more are women in Labour shadow cabinet than the current governments cabinet. Attacks were directed at the newly claimed ‘top roles’ of which are all dominated by white males in Corbyn’s team, however the same scrutiny went amiss when the current government did exactly the same thing.
Jeremy Corbyn has been called unpatriotic and a political joke for ‘refusing’ to join the Privy Council upon the first invitation to attend, there were some concerns expressed about bowing before the Queen and kissing her hand. Whilst the media spent weeks attacking Corbyn for not becoming a ‘responsible opposition leader’ very few mainstream media articles pointed out that David Cameron had taken exactly the same amount of time to join the Privy Council and also turned down the initial invitation to join.
Pictured riding his very average looking bicycle right-wing press attacked Corbyn for riding a Mao style bike.
Comments relating to fashion are usually kept minimal in the press however Corbyn’s attire was described as ‘soviet-union era’, ‘scruffy’ and ‘unprofessional’ for his lack of a tie and beige shirts. Unfortunately this isn’t a joke.
The patriotic question was brought up again when Corbyn stood in silence (like half the people in the picture below) to express his respect for those who had fallen in WWII and then for the extent of his bow, which despite clear evidence to the contrary right-wing newspapers claimed he did not do.
A respectful Jeremy Corbyn stands in silence in reflection of family members who fought in WWII
Finally, the Christmas card which wasn’t festive enough and has been used to link the halting of the transport system in in 2008 to Corbyn. Here’s the Daily Mail linking the festive card to Maoist China, Russia and the Winter of Discontent – in a serious manner.
Chairman Mao, Russia and the 2008 traffic jams all represented here?
The ‘Moderates’ within
If the media bias poised against Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t enough to send you into a depressive state the daggers from within will surely do it.
To put Corbyn’s leadership into context before continuing we must recount that Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership election 100 days ago with the largest mandate a leader has even been given, in the most democratic voting system that has ever been used.
We must remember that even after all the media attacks and the actions of Labour’s ‘moderates’ his popularity has soared to 66% party-wide.
We must remember that despite the defeatist rhetoric we saw around Oldham, Labour came out fighting with a 7% voter share increase. Council by-elections have also largely been going in Corbyn’s favour too.
All of this has yet to stop the ‘moderates’ within the party actively trying to undermine and oust Corbyn. Fortunately their plan is failing to remove Corbyn who is here to stay, unfortunately their actions are sending confusion into the wider public who according to YouGov are struggling to understand what Corbyn stands for.
This wider confusion is caused by Labour backbenchers and shadow cabinet members presenting very different ideals and ideas on political programmes and within newspapers. The shadow cabinet has taken very different views on the renewal of Trident and the bombing of Syria, with Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn rallying Tory MPs in the debate with his highly regarded speech and Angela Eagle peddling a pro-Trident view on the Daily Politics contrary to Corbyn’s strongly held anti-Trident views.
The speech Cameron should’ve made, all style and no substance
Having strong views and voting with your conscience on vital issues is not the issue here. It’s the public confusion, the attacks on Corbyn and the attempts the shadow cabinet have made to try dictate policy to the leader which are troublesome. Going further backbenchers particularly have been busy demonising Corbyn’s grassroots support base in Momentum as the dangerous boogieman of British politics, something that is extremely destructive to the enthusiasm and hard work new joiners to the Labour party will bring to the election campaign in 2020.
Simon Danczuk takes the prize. The ‘moderate’ Labour MP who has accepted over £10,000 to write Corbyn-bashing articles for the Daily Mail and The Sun, if any singular MP was to be deselected we would pick Simon any day. In fact Mr Danczuk also already pledged to be disloyal to the Corbyn and therefore the party, remove him now.
What’s next for Jeremy Corbyn in 2016?
1.) Re-shuffle the shadow cabinet: Corbyn extended the olive branch out to the right-wing faction of the Labour party, aside from utterly failing to help form a coherent positive message they’ve gone a step further with plots to remove him from the leadership position. A shadow cabinet shifted to the left-wing of the party would allow Labour to peddle a consistent and coherent anti-austerity, anti-corruption, pro-nationalisation narrative to the public in time for 2020.
2.) Implement media conduct rules for Labour MPs, with the internal war still being fought against him Jeremy Corbyn should work to ensure all media appearances are approved and the ideas presented are consistent with the message that is trying to be put across to the public. It can’t be stressed enough how important a consistent and clear message is to the public.
3.) Use the Conservatives gerrymandering of constituency borders to remove particularly hostile MPs from office. It will be seen as unpopular in the short run but we anticipate that few dissenting voices and a strong show of typical leadership will go a long way with the general public.