Corbyn refuses five times to directly condemn IRA
Yesterday (21st May), I wrote "As we move closer to polling day, we may expect that the conservatives and their media will become even more ferocious in their attacks upon our policies and upon our leadership".However, I did not expect that the "attack" would be taking place even as I wrote the Blog.
Since publication of "Forward together" on Thursday last (18th), the conservatives have witnessed their much publicised "lead" in the polls substantially reduced as their policies have been systematically dismantled by Labour party workers and the policy options detailed in the party manifesto "For the many not the few". The people have responded to the manifesto and the policy proposals in a very positive way and consequently we have witnessed a rise in popular support and voting intentions. The conservatives are losing the arguments, they are in serious trouble and both they and their supporters in the media are very conscious of the fact.
When in trouble on the policies,the conservatives and sections of the media, resort to the same old tactic of seeking to turn the arguments into a personalities contest, attacking not the policy of the opposition, but on the personality of the leaders.Today's target is of course Jeremy Corbyn. Theresa May has already played the "personality card" when raising the old Tory stand by ploy of Labour policy on Trident replacement, but was frustrated in this attempt when Corbyn nailed the issue in an interview a short time later.
Yesterday, (Sunday), it was the turn of Sky Television to take up the reins in the shape of Sophie Ridge in her "Sophie Ridge on Sunday" programme, where Jeremy Corbyn was the guest in the studio. Any viewers tuning in to see an in depth interview about Labour policies must have been sadly disappointed, as Ridge, clearly acting on Sky Television editorial policy, directed the larger part of the programme towards "personality" questions about what Corbyn did or may have thought 35 years ago. Her frequently repeated invitation (5 or 6 times depending upon which report you read or see) to "condemn the IRA", was both crass and patronising having echo's of the Paxman interview with Howard in 1997.
The newspapers today have, with the exception of the usual suspects in the Mail and Telegraph (and of course Sky), more or less ignored this story which must be another great disappointment to Theresa May who was clearly banking on greater coverage from her media allies.The conservative machine has over the last two days, issued instructions to their organisations, workers and media supporters to attack Jeremy Corbyn, personally, at every opportunity. In this way, they clearly calculate that diverting attention away from their own problems with "policies" to means test winter fuel payments, end the triple lock on state pensions, amend welfare benefits to introduce the so called "Dementia tax" and their numerous other "own goals" from their ill fated manifesto will somehow reverse their declining support amongst voters and allow them to cling to office.
There must have been great disappointment in Conservative Central Office at the lack of media coverage for the most recent attack on Corbyn. Perhaps there are those in the media who know and understand that in the long run, attacking your opponent on a personal level is, in fact, counter productive since if the opponent does not raise to the bait, your personal attacks become even more hysterical and thereby less credible. The voters recognise the despair in the tactic, and turn away in ever increasing numbers.
The Labour party leadership do not indulge in personal attacks, relying instead on the value of our policies, the strength of the arguments and the knowledge that we are proposing a plan for a full parliament and beyond. A programme that will transform peoples lives. A manifesto for the many not the few