While his pals are playing the Venezuela card for all they are worth, the Sun’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent”, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, has discovered that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has gone on holiday. So have scores of other MPs and their staffers. But then came the centenary of the start of the Great War battle known nowadays as Passchendaele, or Third Battle of Ypres.
Behold the rictus grin and empty head of the flannelled fool
This was one of the bloodiest battles of World War 1: after it had come to a close in November 1917, around half a million men had been killed or wounded. Persistent rain turned the battlefield into a sea of mud. And the result was that the Allies’ front line advanced by a few miles. Passchendaele came to symbolise the brutality, and indeed futility, of much of what occurred in “The war to end all wars”.
None of this has been allowed to enter Master Cole’s comfortable world; his sole purpose has been, after discovering that Jezza was on his hols and would therefore be unable to attend the centenary commemoration, to smear the Labour leader. “Jez WWI snub … Jeremy Corbyn snubs invite to attend Passchendaele commemorations - preferring to go on holiday instead”. There was no snub.
Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith represented Labour at the event. Nor did the Queen snub the event, despite not attending: in her place Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stood in. And nor does Master Cole have anything to stand up his claim that Jezza “declined” the invitation. Nor, apart from former hairdresser and pop wannabe David Morris, can he find a Tory MP to give him a quote.
But the flannelled fool can trowel on the Sun’s chosen line, that Corbyn is insufficiently bellicose to be Prime Minister. We are therefore treated to “Peace-loving Labour leader sent Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith in his place … PEACENIK Jeremy Corbyn declined an official invite to go to the 100th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Passchendaele” and “the veteran anti-war campaigner”.
Master Cole and his fellow Murdoch goons may choose to sneer at those who would rather there be less war in our lives, but once again may also find themselves in an increasingly small minority. If The Great War teaches us anything, especially when put against the Europe of today, is that it is infinitely better to have the peace at which the Sun so readily sneers than the conflict it loves to glorify.
Bellicose militarism may serve the Murdoch empire, and indeed the empires of other press barons, but it does not serve the wider public from whom all those soldiers expended around Passchendaele like so much cannon fodder were conscripted. And it is that wider public who nowadays decides, unlike in World War 1 when most of the country didn’t have the right to vote, who gets to occupy 10 Downing Street.
This smear is yet another puerile and vain attempt to attack the Labour leader, from someone who has never had to endure a single day of hardship in his pampered and thus far pointless existence. And like the Venezuela smears, it is going nowhere.
But Master Cole does reinforce one campaign all too well: Don’t Buy The Sun.