I realise that if you want to complain about the excessive media coverage given to any topic, it’s rather counter productive to write yet another blog on it. But I am just travelling back home, armed with only yesterday’s copy of The Times for recreational reading, and I discover the whole paper is still full of (largely attacks on) Jeremy Corbyn. I suspect most of the other papers would be much the same, but I haven't seen them.
The front page has a picture of him not singing the National Anthem (‘Veterans open fire after Corbyn snubs anthem’); the story continues on page 4 (pages 2 and 3 are ads, and Corbyn free for that reason only, I guess).
Pages 8-13 are pure Corbyn attack. The first headline is ‘pressure mounts on Corbyn after Labour goes to war over EU’, followed by another sexism story and some tit-tutting about him accepting the leader of the opposition’s pay rise. Then there is a rather desperate half page attack on John McDonnell (‘The new shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, once edited a newspaper printed on the presses of a Trotskyite group reported to have been funded by Muammur Gaddafi’ it starts…), plus a paragraph by paragraph (largely hostile) analysis of his speech to the TUC. The picture shows Corbyn and Tom Watson (‘who had almost found a jacket that fitted him’) apparently taking away sandwiches from the lunch after the Battle of Britain commemoration (‘And then Jeremy went and swiped a veteran’s lunch..’).
There are three little sideswipes in the diary column, followed by a three quarter page attack by Danny Finkelstein in the op-ed. Apparently Corbyn states publicly that Hamas and Hezbollah commit acts of appalling terrorism, but also believes that wider issues of geo-politics play a part in their actions (I think that is broadly my position too, for what its worth). Another nail in the Corbyn coffin for Finkelstein.
The first leader is an attack on McDonnell. You have to get into the magazine section before you find Carol Midgley saying that Kerry McCarthy, a vegan with a commitment to improving animal welfare standards might actually be a good environment, food and rural affairs shadow minister.
To be fair, there was a splendid defence of Corbyn by Libby Purves in The Times a couple of days ago. But yesterday was almost wall to wall assassination attempts. OK I am sure there is plenty on which to disagree with him, and some of this stuff is quite funny too in the traditions of political satire (I’m not just having a sense of humour deficit). But it’s the relentlessness of it, and the personal spite, that is becoming offensive.