Is the right-wing media really angry – or just frightened?
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The Telegraph’s headline: ‘Corbyn’s defiant coronavirus rant’, belied its content; a Sun journalist claims that Jeremy Corbyn is being ridiculed over his “delusional” claim that the coronavirus crisis has vindicated his ‘barmy economic policies’ and The Times offers three articles on the same theme, subject to paywall.
The Labour leader told the BBC that though he had been denounced “as somebody that wanted to spend more money than we could possibly afford” to fix social wrongs, he has now been vindicated by the vast sums the government is spending on the current crisis. The Tories now realised they had to “invest in the state”, he added.
In an interview with BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg Mr Corbyn said that the country is “ill-prepared” for the coronavirus pandemic because of 10 years of austerity, of underfunding the National Health Service and the benefit system.
He said the government had been shocked by the national emergency, as their instincts were for free market economics and the small state: They’ve now suddenly realised that they have to spend money to invest in the state, as we have always said as a party, and they have come around to a lot of that position. My Corbyn added:
Our society and our politics will never be the same again: we have suddenly realised as a society and a community, we need everybody – and everybody has a contribution to make.
After being denounced as somebody that wanted to spend more money than we could possibly afford, in order to right the social wrongs of this country, it has taken only three months for government to put similar amounts of money into the NHS and social benefits to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
“So this is a change in our politics, which the coronavirus crisis has actually meant in every country in the world. There’s suddenly a realisation that we’re only as healthy as the safety of our neighbour.”
Mr Corbyn attributed the party’s defeat to divisions over Brexit, which led to a vote at Labour’s conference to negotiate a new deal with the EU and then put it to another referendum. But he added: “I did my best to bring people together on the principles that in or out of the EU, we needed to have an investment-led economy, we needed to be anti-austerity.”
As he noted, since being elected as leader of the Labour Party, he had received “unprecedented level of abuse from the mainstream media of me personally”, which he said had to be “factored in”.
Asked if he had made any mistakes as leader, in the video clip he said:
Reflecting on his time as leader, he said was proud of the huge increase in Labour’s membership the party’s move towards an interventionist economic policy, its opposition to austerity and its plan for a green industrial revolution.
Are the right-wing publications quoted stung by his reflection that the government’s response to coronavirus proves he was “absolutely right” about public spending and also profoundly afraid that the Johnson government will persist with policies assisting 99% of the electorate (FT journalist “a new social contract”) diminishing ‘fat cat’ profits?
Posted on March 28, 2020, in austerity, Democracy, EU, Government, Health, Jeremy Corbyn, Media, NHS, Poverty and tagged BBC, free market economics, Laura Kuenssberg, social contract, Sun. Telegraph, Times. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.