Quickly going the rounds today is a review by Peter Oborne of Tom Bower’s book on Jeremy Corbyn. That’s the book that devastatingly revealed that Corbyn has eaten cold baked beans out of a can and didn’t like sightseeing when he was on holiday. Frankly, I’m surprised he ever went on holiday, but there we are. Oborne seems to be one of those rare journalists these days who still writes for the (right-wing) mainstream media but nevertheless has respect for facts. He is himself a self-confessed Conservative-leaning individual, so holds no brief for Corbyn. He just has it appears more time for the truth than does Bower, who on my reading revels in a penchant for character assassination, or as some might say ‘hard-hitting’ take-downs of over inflated egos – a personality trait I don’t think even his enemies could ascribe to Corbyn.
It may well be that nothing Bower has said about Corbyn is libelous, but for politicians (who we are told are held by the public in no registrable esteem whatsoever) it is hard to see how some attacks can ever be defended without bringing even more ordure on their heads. It is assumed that they just have to be thick skinned, so thick skinned in fact that they often appear abnormal. I guess in Corbyn’s case his enemies worry that he may still come across as being too normal, a quality enhanced by what’s left of his ‘outsider’ status. The good news is that if Bower couldn’t find any convincing dirt on Corbyn it’s unlikely anyone else will now come up with some killer fact. The bad news therefore is that between now and the general election evermore nastiness and absurdity will be doled out in equal measure, unfortunately assisted by publicity seeking individuals ‘on our side.’