In my last blog post I was unashamedly critical of those MPs who had voted along partisan lines on the Assisted Dying Bill rather than with their conscience, like everyone else I’m bored with career politicians who put their own advancement ahead of principle. Jeremy Corbyn won a landslide victory in the Labour leadership election and ignited the political scene precisely because he looks out of place among the carefully manicured, well-spun, members of the old boy’s network who hog the front benches on either side of the House. Why then does it seem that he is expected to fall into line and unquestioningly conform now that he is leader of the opposition?
Jeremy Corbyn is an agnostic, a Republican, and a vocal opponent to military action in the Middle East who has consistently acted with integrity and defied the party whip when it has conflicted with his principles, so what did the media expect of him when he was invited to attend a commemoration of the Second World War? Did they really expect that he would call upon a God he’s not sure exists to prop up an institution that he wishes was abolished? Corbyn trod a delicate line with sensitivity, he didn’t allow his pacifism to prevent him from showing respect for the fallen, he stood in dignified silence as a mark of respect for the person who is Queen but remained silent rather than show support for the institution of the Crown.
The reality surely is that for many in the mainstream media, whose paymasters have political agendas, Corbyn can do no right. He’d have been criticised if he’d had snubbed the commemoration, and had he sang along with the national anthem you can be sure the gloves would be off when it came to criticising someone who had quickly lost his integrity and tried to blend in with the rest.
That’s not to say I agree with everything Corbyn does, but I do respect his integrity – I’m afraid I will be wearing my white poppy this November and will abstain from services of remembrance, but that’s for another blog post.