Corbyn Won The Leadership Contest; The Guardian Needs To Show Him Respect ...

Mick Hall again takes issue with Guardian coverage of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party.  Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.

Corbyn won the leadership contest; the Guardian needs to show him respect, and give him the coverage a leader of the opposition deserves.

In her column in the Guardian, (Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher dies aged 75) Rowena Mason failed to mention Jeremy Corbyn's moving tribute to Michael, never mind the two men were close comrades for over three decades and worked on countless campaigns together, including the recent leadership contest.

Patrick Wintour writing in the same issue (Peers in House of Lords move to block £4.4bn cuts to tax credits) used nine paragraphs to describe the plans of Lib Dem and Labour peers to challenge the government's cuts to tax credits, and at the very end of the piece, almost as a footnote, he mentioned that day's PMQ's, in which Corbyn forced Cameron to blurt out he was “delighted” that the changes (cuts to tax credits) had been passed by MPs on Tuesday night.

Unlike most weeks, inexplicably there was no coverage of PMQ's in the paper, despite the political editor reporting Cameron's use of the word “delight” may come back to haunt him. Instead John Grace, the papers excellent political sketch writer concentrated his fire on the new LP deputy leader Tom Watson.

PMQ's is one of the few opportunities the electorate get to see government and opposition shine; or not. By all accounts Jeremy has proven equal to the task, having given a good account of himself at the dispatch box since he became party leader.

Michael Meacher was his friend and comrade and for the paper to exclude his tribute to the deceased MP leaves a bad taste. As a reader of the paper for over fifty years I cannot recall another occasion when a party leaders tribute has failed to be mentioned in the paper after the death of a fellow MP.

Could it be this lack of coverage is down to sour grapes on the part of the paper's editorial staff? Their horse in the LP leadership race turned out to be an also run, and in the deputy leadership contest she fell at the first hurdle. If so, the papers needs to get over it. Corbyn won the leadership contest fair and square, and the paper needs to show him the respect the leader of the opposition is entitled to receive.

Below is the statement the Guardian failed to publish.

Jeremy Corbyn has paid tribute to Michael Meacher following the Labour MP's death at the age of 75. The left-wing politician, who served in the constituency of Oldham West and Royton for 45 years, passed away after a short illness.

Jeremy Corbyn's statement in full:

I first met Michael Meacher in the early 1970s when I was agent for Hornsey Labour Party and he was a newly elected MP. From the first day we met I was impressed by his commitment to social justice, his knowledge of inequality, and his practical approach to Social Security law. 

The 1970s were a time of fervent political debate and Michael was at the heart of that and later, as a long serving member of Labour's National Executive, played a huge role in debates about party democracy and the economy. He worked with Tony Benn and others from the Cambridge School of Economics on how an interventionist investment led economy could protect and develop manufacturing industry in Britain, as well as jobs and skills.

His insight into economic issues was later demonstrated in his superb analysis of the nascent banking crisis that struck in 2007-8 and the attempt to introduce an austerity-led solution in Britain. Had Michael’s calls for banking regulation been properly heeded we might have been in a very different place. 

From 1997 Michael was environment minister in the Labour government and was well ahead of his time in his thinking and in his approach, both to issues of climate change and pollution, and to agricultural systems and the sustainability of the natural environment, both in this country and globally. He cut a big figure and was loved by the environmental movement in Britain, and around the world, including those he met at the 2000 Millennium Summit in South Africa. 

Early this year after the general election Michael was one of those who urged me to stand in the leadership election and gave huge support, both with his nomination, advice and public endorsement of our campaign. He was a valued friend and commentator utterly committed to democracy in our party and movement, as well as in the wider community. His contributions on social justice, equality, environment and economic policy showed a man of enormous breath and intellectual vision. I was very sad and very shocked at hearing of his death earlier today and my sympathies and condolences go to his family, his many friends and admirers who all realise that in Michael we have lost a good man of fundamental decency who exemplified the very best socialist and labour traditions of this country.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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