Springingtiger's Blog


They Shoot Politicians Don’t They?

Yesterday, just a few days after Jo Cox MP was gunned down in a Yorkshire street the Daily Mail used the inflamatory and tasteless headline, “Labour MUST kill vampire Jezza”. Regardless of the content this headline appearing on news stands all over the UK is an incitement to violence and is at best irresponsible. Let us be clear the headline writer cannot be unaware of the death of Jo Cox, given that Jeremy Corbyn’s position with his party members is unassailable this appears to be a deliberate attempt to remove him by non democratic means. It draws on the precedent of Jo Cox’s killing and seems to suggest that it is Okay to kill politicians. Given the support Corbyn has in his party and the trades Unions it may seem that the only way to remove him is by killing him and I am inclined to believe the Mail is deliberately putting this possibility forward in the hope that someone inspired by Jo Cox’s murder will attack Corbyn, possibly the most accessible of politiciams.

The Mail might protest that that is not their intent, I think this would be disingenuous. You only have to look in their own pages to see articles on would be terrorists ‘inspired by the killers of Lee Rigby’ as well as by ISIS and other groups. The Mail knows that people with extremist tendencies and particularly those with certain psychiatric problems can be influenced into political violence believing they are serving a cause. Of course no one could possibly accuse them of engineering an assassination because the hard evidence would never be available to prove it and so neither shall I accuse them. It is the sort of suspicion to which Francis Urquhart would raise an eyebrow and respond, “You might think that, I could not possibly comment.”

For the past year Jeremy Corbyn has been demonised by the right wing press. This headline takes the demonisation to a whole new level. The media have thrown everything at Corbyn and far from buckle he has increased Labour share of the vote at election after election. Far from failing the EU referendum campaign he got a far higher proportional vote for Remain from his party than any other party leader apart from the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon. The statistics demonstrate that Corbyn is delivering and that is why the right fears him. Corbyn has a solid base of support across the country that Tony Blair and his supporters in the Parliamentary Labour Party and right wing press have not been able to undermine. The ordinary members of the Labour Party and the Unions are behing Corbyn. I believe that there may well be those who have come to the conclusion that the only way to defeat Jeremy Corbyn is to kill him and this headline could well be part of a strategy to make Corbyn a physical target for anyone unstable enough to need one. Were this campaign to lead to murder I’m sure PLP members like Hilary Benn and John Mann will be among the first to praise him as a ‘decent man’ while washing their hands metaphorically of his blood.

 

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