MSM accused of lying after savaging Corbyn over Remembrance Day bow
Right-wing newspapers savaged Corbyn, who is a former chair of the Stop the War coalition, over his alleged refusal to bow after laying a wreath of poppies at Britain’s central war memorial in Whitehall, London.
Corbyn supporters defended the Labour leader, pointing to the absurdity of criticizing him over his bow while former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s appearance at the Cenotaph went largely unnoticed.
Some 2,000 people have signed an online petition on 38 Degrees calling for The Sun to apologize for falsely claiming Corbyn refused to bow during the Remembrance service.
The Labour leader was also attacked by General Sir Nicholas Houghton on Sunday, who told BBC presenter Andrew Marr that Corbyn’s refusal to use nuclear weapons is “worrying.”
Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid The Sun published a front page Monday featuring a picture of Corbyn standing at the Cenotaph with the headline: “Pacifist Corbyn refuses to bow – Nod in my name.”
the Sun front page - a reminder that News International hacked the phones of dead soldiers' relatives... pic.twitter.com/7CkDsxYORu— Daily Mail Comments (@BestoftheMail) November 9, 2015
The Daily Mail, owned by tax-avoiding billionaire Lord Rothermere, ran a headline: “Jeremy Corbyn barely moved his head during his Remembrance Sunday debut at the Cenotaph.”
Tory-supporting newspaper The Telegraph meanwhile interviewed “etiquette expert” William Hanson, who said Corbyn’s bow “should have gone down around 45 degrees from the waist.”
“He barely did anything. But that said, it is his right not to bow and the people he was there to remember fought for our rights to do, or not to do, anything,” Hanson added.
Some Twitter users launched savage attacks on the Labour leader for his “disgraceful” bow at the Cenotaph on Sunday.
Disgraceful that Jeremy Corbyn didn't bow his head after the laying of a wreath at the Cenotaph. Lack of respect! #RemembranceSunday— Neil Watkins (@NEWA69) November 8, 2015
@UK__News Corbyn could barely bring himself to bow his head in respect for those who died for us! Disgraceful!— charlotte44 (@donnaariner) November 8, 2015
But Corbyn’s defenders meanwhile criticized the “politicization” of Remembrance Day.
Blair, Brown, Major, Cameron & Corbyn lined up at cenotaph. Only one of them has not got blood on his hands. Yet how he bows is criticised.— Craig✊ (@RatherBAPear) November 8, 2015
Seriously, get off Corbyn's back. How deep did he bow? I'm no fan, but REALLY? Disgraceful media reporting!!— cocolovett (@coco_boylovett) November 8, 2015
Others highlighted the hypocrisy of The Sun’s stance, given the newspaper’s parent company News International admitted in 2011 to illegally hacking phones belonging to relatives of dead soldiers.
@EamonnHolmes didn't the Sun hack phones of dead soldiers families?Now attacking Corbyn saying he didnt bow! Sun lies = 'Abuse' of public— Bernie (@verconnell) November 9, 2015
Some supporters of the Labour leader also pointed out that Corbyn spent time after the ceremony speaking with veterans, while other political leaders allegedly went to a VIP luncheon.
Damn that Jeremy Corbyn. Disrespecting veterans by talking to them instead of attending a VIP lunch. pic.twitter.com/cTMAAt2ikt— David Schneider (@davidschneider) November 8, 2015
Corbyn also came under attack from General Sir Nicholas Houghton on Sunday, who told the BBC he would be worried if Corbyn’s anti-Trident policy was “translated into power.”
The Labour leader strongly condemned the military chief for breaching a long-standing constitutional separation between the armed forces and politicians.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the chief of the defense staff has today intervened directly in issues of political dispute. It is essential in a democracy that the military remains politically neutral at all times,” Corbyn said.
“By publicly taking sides in current political arguments, Sir Nicholas Houghton has clearly breached that constitutional principle. Accordingly, I am writing to the defense secretary to ask him to take action to ensure that the neutrality of the armed forces is upheld.”
The former head of the Royal Navy defended Houghton by claiming that BBC journalist Andrew Marr had skillfully maneuvered the General into criticizing Corbyn.
“Andrew Marr is [a] clever interviewer,” Lord West said. “He walked him gently down that route into saying those things.”