In my very first piece I referred to a disagreement (over North Korea) I had with an American I generally respect, although his political opinions sometimes baffle me. This week, in the wake of Theresa May announcing her resignation, he had the same thought I did – Boris Johnson will likely take control, for ill, of course. But in the comments of that post he completely discarded the Labour Party and smeared Jeremy Corbyn with shaky accusations – mainstream media accusations.
Anti-Semitism, homophobia, and anti-immigration – not phrases that I would use to describe the current Labour leader. I had not even heard of the second one until today, when I went in search of proof for that surprising claim; it is safe to say that it is spurious at best.
I’ve written before about the anti-Semitism claims thrown towards Corbyn and Labour, and while it must be acknowledged there is some level of anti-Semitism evident in the party, I think it is unfair to diminish the entire party – particularly its leader – for the faults of a few unsavoury members. Comparatively, it is the Conservative Party and other, far more nationalist and racially driven groups that are more deserving to be hit with the anti-Semitism charge. It is acknowledged that the ‘rise of fascism and the right’ is the leading cause of the rise in anti-Semitism, and yet we hear time and time again of Corbyn, or Ilhan Omar (in the US), being dragged through the mud for making legitimate criticisms. Not criticisms of Jewish people, but of Israel and Zionism, which cannot be equated to anti-Semitism.
There is a hobby among the mainstream media outlets to elate centrist or neoliberal conmen and women while painting actually progressive politicians in a severely negative light. That is not to say that the progressives aren’t imperfect, including Corbyn himself whose ‘progressive Brexit’ is a contradiction, however valid his EU scepticism might be. Bernie Sanders, while fighting for the American population, remains shaky on foreign policy – he abhors the war in Yemen, but his stance regarding Israel/Palestine or Venezuela, for example, leaves much to be desired. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are brilliant young arrivals with great ideas, but lack experience, something that Pelosi has no qualms using to shut them down as the potentially progressive arm of the Democratic party. The Labor Party in Australia, while at least acting on climate change, fell short in the eyes of voters.
But it is not those flaws and qualities that are criticised in the media. Bill Shorten was hammered for consistently being behind Scott Morrison for preferred Prime Minister. AOC and Sanders are slandered with claims of socialism and are accused of dividing the Democratic Party, the former being false, and the latter better thrown at the feet of the Party leadership. Corbyn and Omar are demonised for their ‘anti-Semitism’ whenever they make legitimate comments regarding Israel’s influence and their treatment of Palestinians. The bizarre claim that Corbyn is homophobic is easily refuted by his voting record on LGBT issues.
The American I mentioned above (whose name I’ll not say) said that Labour putting Corbyn up as leader could only be explained by a desire to ‘attract voters from the alt-right’. Not only am I sick to death of the ‘left and right’ polarisations, but I am fed up with Americans who so tragically screw the terms up. How one could consider Jeremy Corbyn an attractive option for ‘alt-right’ (whatever the fuck that even means) voters and yet praise the Democratic Party as ‘left’ is beyond me. Yes, Joe Biden might be to the ‘left’ of the Republican Party, but the Republican Party broke the spectrum and shat all over it – it doesn’t take a lot to the be to the left of them. I’d give my vote to the Coalition and One Nation before I stepped foot near a Republican.
The truth of the matter is, Jeremy Corbyn is the best leader the UK Labour Party has had in decades, and that has sent the media into a frenzy. Superficial and baseless accusations are made simply to slander those who could potentially have a positive impact on the average member of society. If someone is going to make a criticism of a figure or group, please, don’t warp or manufacture ‘truth’.
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