Springingtiger's Blog

An Honest Politician


Sometimes I don’t manage to avoid listening to BBC’s Any Questions and on a Saturday the following Any Answers, known to its fans as ‘Bigots’ Corner’. I was interested to hear peter Hitchin’s take on Jeremy Corbyn because I tend to think of Hitchin as a bit of a right wing bigot, however he speaks his mind without fear or favour. He pointed out that although he disagreed with almost every one of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, Jeremy Corbyn was the only political leader in years who actually cared about the country and its people, he suggested that Corbyn was unique in his honesty although Hitchin thought him wrong in his politics. Even more surprising was that there were a considerable number of callers in Any Answers who supported Corbyn and the BBC allowed them to speak. Like Hitchin some disagreed with Corbyn’s politics, but none doubted his integrity.

One of the problems with reading the Bible everyday is that it tends to provide a background commentary, in ones mind to, current affairs. In Psalm 18 the Psalmist sings,

I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward (contrary) thou wilt show thyself froward.” (Ps. 18: 23-26)

It is very apparent that even those who disagree with Corbyn respect his integrity and thousands have been moved by it. Those froward politicians who seek to discredit him dishonestly merely appear dishonest themselves because their contrariness is too blatant to be concealed. There is room for interpretation of any event, but it is apparent that opinions are greatly divided about Prime Minister’s Question time this week. Some praise Teresa May’s put downs from the dispatch box. Others deplore her inability to actually answer questions put to her. Worse many in Britain watched her performance and when they saw her lean forward and demand, “Remind you of anyone?” they were reminded of Margaret Thatcher and few people have divided the British people like her. In Scotland we rejoiced more at Thatcher’s death that at the Queens Jubilee so hated is she still. The Tories may mock Labour for losing Scotland (which they first lost to Labour) but as long as they are led by Thatcher’s ghost they can resign themselves to the continuing hatred of the Scots. I think this is why Hitchin respects Corbyn because he is his own man. Each of them speak their truth without tailoring it to win appreciation or applause. Jeremy Corbyn’s mentor, Tony Benn, used to say that there are two types of politician the signpost and the weathervane, the signposts always point to what they believe right regardless of changing opinion whereas the weathervane altered direction with every change of public opinion. Jeremy Corbyn is a signpost like Tony Benn. The winds may blow, but he is not blown off course because his strong foundation is, as Peter Hitchin recognises, his commitment to the ordinary people of the country.


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