Yesterday, Corbyn had another one of his now infamous run-ins with the press. A Sky reporter asked him about anti-semitism (what else?) as he was about to enter a building and Jeremy did what he usually does in these kinds of situations: pull a face that is a combination of a deer in the headlights and a Victor Meldrew impression. This time, however, there was an impressive new wrinkle to the act, when Jeremy then tried to make a quick escape into the building that had been his destination – and then couldn’t get inside. He was trapped there, being asked questions about Andy Burnham, until someone on the inside kindly let him in.
Look, I get it: I understand that the “right-wing press”, particularly the Murdoch owned bit of it, looms as a pretty large demon in the far-left mindset. But here’s the thing: they are going to report on Jeremy Corbyn no matter what. They are going to chase him around with a camera no matter what. Why doesn’t Jeremy use the opportunity to put his vision of the country across? I’m being totally serious here. Given he stubbornly refuses to play by any of the rules anyhow, why didn’t he stand in front of that Sky News reporter’s camera yesterday, ignore the questions about Ken Livingstone talking about Hitler, and give it straight to camera about something he really cares about?
I seriously don’t understand Corbyn’s attitude to the press – unless you take on board the notion that Corbyn still has yet to realise he’s the leader of the official opposition, which I’m starting to think just may be the case. Doesn’t he then wonder why he gets to ask so many questions of the prime minister every week? Okay, I’m being churlish now.
While I’m being churlish here, speaking to the press is part of Corbyn’s job. It’s a big part of his job, actually. He is meant to be holding the Tory government to account while trying to convince the voters of the country that he should be prime minister instead. How he thinks he can do that without the press being involved in some way is totally beyond me. I often get people on social media, after I’ve slagged off yet another terrible performance of Jeremy’s at PMQs, saying that questions to the PM every Wednesday are no longer relevant, it doesn’t sway anyone’s opinion or vote, blah blah blah. In some ways they have a point, but here’s me throwing it back at them: would you like to know what a lot of people in this country do watch and form their opinions based on? Sky fucking News, pardon my French. Including a lot of former Labour voters. Jeremy Corbyn should be treating every media opportunity like a chance to put an alternative viewpoint across – not treat it like his “me time” is being unfairly intruded upon. If he doesn’t like that task, that burden, he shouldn’t be Labour leader.