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Jonathan Freedland’s Corbyn Apology

by Kit

In an attempt to restore some of his fast-disappearing credibility, Jonathan Freedland gives a half-hearted, over-qualified apology to Jeremy Corbyn. It’s self-serving, dishonest, and far more revealing than he meant it to be.

Following the surprising (to some) election result, the Guardian has seen their big-name Op-Ed writers desperately trying to claw-back their credibility. For those of us who could see, and understand, the real support that Labour have been gaining in the two years since Corbyn was elected it has been amusing to watch.

Jonathan Freedland’s damp article tries to both rewrite the author’s history, morally justifying his outrageous bias, claim he was right all along and undermine the electoral result. In trying do all this it not only falls between two stools, but face-plants straight into a third.

Freedland on pre-election predictions:

…barring a couple of polls dismissed as rogue outliers, nothing suggested that Theresa May was about to throw away her parliamentary majority.”

This demonstrates the dangerous insulation of the Westminster “bubble”. It was palpable, given the progress of the campaigns, that any fair vote was going to be much, much closer than headlines declared. It was obvious to anyone watching Theresa May scream her “policies” out into the world from a motorway lay by, in front of pre-approved reporters and paid supporters waving signs, that she would struggle. Comparing that to the spectacle of Corbyn speaking to thousands of people in packed town centres all across the country was startling.

The distance between reality and the world of the media is becoming frighteningly wide. They seem genuinely surprised when the real world doesn’t correspond with the lies they tweet at each other, the myths the publish and the dreams they print. It’s moving from dishonesty into schizophrenia at this point.

Freedland on his “opposition” to Corbyn:

I opposed Jeremy Corbyn when he first stood for the Labour leadership in 2015, and thereafter, and I did so on two grounds. First, on principle: I was troubled by his foreign policy worldview, with its indulgence of assorted authoritarian regimes, and by what I perceived as his willingness to look past antisemitism on the left. But more immediate was an assessment of his basic electability. I wanted the Tories gone, and simply did not believe Labour could pose a serious electoral threat under Corbyn.

Firstly, he did not “oppose” Jeremy Corbyn – he attacked him, smeared him and slandered him. As did everyone else at his paper. And everyone else in the media. And everyone else in Westminster. The whole political establishment united against the man, including his own party. The Prime Minister called for his resignation during PMQs.

The reasons Freedland gives for taking part in this undignified pile-on are as self-serving as they are false.

Regarding “foreign policy” – appearing on Iranian TV [Freedland’s cited example] is hardly endorsing autocracy. Certainly it can’t be as bad as selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or training terrorist proxies in Jordan to kill people in Syria. Government backed crimes which never seem to trouble Freedland.

That a man who cheered on illegal Imperialist wars, and subsequent crimes against humanity, in Libya and Syria can dare take up the moral high ground over a non-interventionist, one who has been proven correct time after time, is sickening.

Antisemitism on the left is almost entirely fictional. A McCarthyite tactic used to deflect all criticism of Israel, or Zionism in general. Freedland is no stranger to this tactic.

As for “electability”? It is a nonsense concept. An invention of a fake-left wing media to bash a man whose actual policies were beyond condemnation, whilst maintaining their illusory “liberal” label.

Freedland on the election:

Lest we forget, it was not enough. Labour still lost, even when faced with the weakest Tory campaign in at least 40 years.

Even when he is attempting to be contrite, he can’t take responsibility for his role in this. He doesn’t mention his attacks, and those of other journalists and neo-liberals, as (deliberately) handicapping Labour’s campaign before it even started. He doesn’t mention the attempted PLP coup that destroyed Labour’s cohesion at a time when a united alternative would have posed a huge threat to an unstable Tory government.

Part of the reason the shambolic Tory campaign was able to limit Labour gains to 32 seats, is that they were starting from a position of massive strength – gifted to them by Red Tories in the press and MPs more concerned with remaining part of the in-crowd than trying to better society.

Corbyn was hobbled and undermined at every turn, presented with an almost impossible task…and, even so, he nearly pulled it off. This deserves more than a grudging half-apology, it deserves genuine respect.

Freedland and his ilk will give Corbyn neither.

The truth is, the reason Freedland opposed Corbyn, and will continue do so even as he insincerely tries to win-over his increasingly estranged leftwing readership, is that he doesn’t want socialism anywhere near government.

Freedland doesn’t want to “get rid of the Tories”, he wants to rebrand them. He wants Tory economic policy under a false-flag of “liberal values” and drenched in fake progress. He wants equally low pay for everyone, and to make sure racial minorities have fair access to food banks.

He’s wealthy, and perfectly happy to let poverty spread and to sell off the NHS and look-on as society crumble, he just wants to do it from a position of faux-concern.

That’s the legacy of Blairism, it appealed to people who are self-centred capitalist me-firsters at heart, but who want to hide behind a mask of social conscience. The same kind of people who want to go to war to protect peace. Who bomb to save lives. Who can say or do anything whilst maintaining their pristine self-image and snow-white conscience.

The real point of this election is that people voted for Corbyn even though Freedland, and everyone like him, kept telling them not to. That every concern-trolling phony-liberal earnestly claiming to be “troubled by Corbyn’s unelectability” was largely ignored.

People don’t really listen to “journalists” anymore, and this sort of self-serving dishonesty is the reason why.


33 Comments

  1. Sav says

    Guardian writers were left with egg on their face and likely their membership contribs were also suffering. Left stranded with no one supporting them cept the few trolls brown nosing them in the comments section looking to write articles. So they quickly changed tact.

    Are even Monbiot’s words said with sincerity? Hmmmmmm.

    Like

  2. I read his faux apology today, as well as George Monibot’s explanation of how the MSM got everything so wrong. As someone who came into journalism at the bottom on an out-in-the-sticks local newspaper I entirely agree with what GM says, and it also goes to explain some of JF’s anti-Corbyn comments. Journalists are now part of the establishment in a media bubble that reflects and feeds on itself. It is not made up from people from all parts of society, but rather a privileged few. As someone who has spent 20 years in this industry and has watchedit become the elite beast it is today, I am loving watching the fallout at just how blindsided the MSM has been by this election. But I am saddened that this will also ultimately bring the printed press to its knees. Had the Guardian seen what was coming and thrown itself behind Labour much earlier it may not have needed to keep asking readers for money. We would have flocked to it in droves.

    Like

    • pkoc says

      The Guardian’s campaign against Corbyn – for that’s what it was, a campaign – was orchestrated. I’m hoping at least one staffer will blow the whistle on the extent of this. Even the politically-illiterate among them were recruited to pen anti-Corbyn opinion pieces. I’ll chuck money in The Guardian’s begging bowl when they make a full apology to their readers for betraying the paper’s principled past.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Apologies very much in short supply this week I feel. TM should be first in the queue, never mind about apologising to her backbenchers, her and Cameron should be prostrate before the populace for bringing about this mess. And then the Guardian writers and commentators who should have known better. Even Owen Jones had a wobble and he’s been Corbyn’s most vociferous supporter.

        Like

  3. DonNeedNoStinkinUserName says

    I must admit to not visiting here for some time – my bad – but as I usually follow links that Xymphora posts I clicked & wasn’t disappointed. An excellent & highly insightful critique of Freeland & his ZioNazi fellow travellers & as always the comments section is awash with amusing &/or provoking thoughts

    No wonder The Garbagian is pleading for readers & money.

    Like

  4. Fake “Left” scum can be explained by the 1773 plan for world domination, prepared for Rothschild by a ‘renegade’ Jesuit Dr. of Canon Law, Adam Weishaupt.

    Comprising 25 points, this plan mandated control of the media, & the ruin of youth through drugs & sex. Look around you.

    Youtube & Retired Head of FBI Tells All…..
    A 1 hr 4 min video by Ted L. Gunderson, who was being poisoned with arsenic, his doctor confirmed, when he died of cancer.

    Book: Pawns in the Game, by William Guy Carr, a WWII Canadian naval intelligence officer.

    Online version: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/pawns_inthegame/pawns_00.htm

    The Banksters puppet all.

    John Doran.

    Like

  5. Ah yes, there’s the inevitable “antisemitism” because its only ever about them.

    Like

    • LES MISRABLES says

      I think people may underestimate the power of the jewish lobby, they run warmongering USA , and have quite a lot of influence in the UK, the minute you mention Israel in any dim light, they’re all at it ” anti-semetic. jew hater holocaust denier” I often wonder why it needs the backing of the law in many countries to suggest there maybe evidence to the contrary, but their voice is getting louder and louder, soon you won’t be able to mention Palestine.

      Like

  6. Here in the States, a ‘politician’ is required to show absolute loyalty to Israel, anything else is a political death sentence, with AIPAC making sure that no money will flow to their campaign and their media will savage that person constantly with the usual slurs of being anti-Semitic or a lover of Islam.

    For Corbyn to stick to his ideals and promote the blasphemous thought that we can work out the ME’s problems without using bombs, bullets and rockets against people who are NO threat and have NEVER attacked us shows the man has actual values.

    I pray and hope Corbyn has a damned good security detail for he is dealing with people who will resort to anything, including assassination, to fulfill their fantasy of an Eretz Israel.

    Like

  7. Emma Wilcock says

    does anyone have a link for the Jess Philips article.
    I shared this article on my FB page expecting little response however i have been surprised by the range of people who want to know more about OffGuardian. A big well done for snapping at these Tory cronies and revealing them in their true colours.

    Like

  8. The Guardians betrayal was one of the worst blows for progressive people. Freedland, Cohen , Toynbee et al will never recover from their treachery and the Guardian will continue to decline. They are already begging for money from what”s left of their readers, I wouldn’t give them a wooden nickle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. chris.crookes@bredband.net says

    Basically, there is an ‘elephant-in-the-room’ that no-one dares mention for fear of being smeared with the ‘anti-semite’ canard. It is that commentators and journalists like Freedland, Laura Kuenssberg, Nick Robinson, Jeremy Harding, etc., etc., are pro-Israeli zionists who are motivated by a concern and loyalty to the ‘Jewish State’ and its land-theft and slow genocide in occupied Palestine rather than to the nation of Great Britain and to the people they inhabit that nation with. They have all been trying to destroy Corbyn’s credibility and chances of election because he has been consistently a defender of the human rights of beseiged Palestinians.
    Pointing this out IS NOT a criticism of all ‘Jews’ nor is it a hatred of Jews. But we all know that pointing this out is immediately silenced by discrediting this factual observation with the accusation of ‘anti-semitism’.

    Like

  10. Sheila says

    I believe with Freedland it’s not so much that he’s a money loving corporation man. He’s just so anti-Palestian and pro-Israel that Corbyn is beyond the pale for criticising Israel and that colours Freedland’s view of anything Corbyn says. Basically to Friedland, Corbyn is so evil he can do no right.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Looks like the people aren’t buying into this narrative anymore, even us plebs ‘who clean for a living’ can see through the spin and smears and we don’t like it one bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. John says

    The Manchester Guardian was a key component of the Manchester School of Zionism [see https://www.thejc.com/lifestyle/features/chaim-weizmann-and-how-the-balfour-declaration-was-made-in-manchester-1.37772%5D, which played a key role – along with Chaim Weizmann – in procuring the Balfour Declaration.
    Freedland is just the latest manifestation of this vile influence on UK political life.
    He – and the rest of the parroting self-describing “journalists” at The Guardian – should be permanently ostracised for the lick spittle scum they are in the promotion of supremacist racist zionism.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dead World Walking says

    Freedland has partners in crime all around the world.
    They are corporate arse lickers.
    They are puffed up excuses for human beings.
    They are dying out because anyone with an ounce of perception can see right through them.
    Truth, unlike lies, is irrefutable.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. j jones says

    Agree, Jonathan Freedland chose to collude with the avalanche of personal abuse directed at Jeremy Corbyn because it suited his purpose. Now that the wind of public opinion has turned and is steadily blowing in Jeremy’s direction, some of the fear and smear brigade have decided their own interests would best be served if they pretend they have changed their minds. That’s all this is – self interest through and through.

    Lie, deny, justify – it’s the self service way!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Speaking of faux apologies, the most hilariously smug I’ve seen yet – in the face of stiff competition and not just by Freedland – came from the odiously self serving Jess Phillips, Labour MP and Corbyn vilifier. See her Graun piece today, entitled – with exquisite absence of irony – “We must all of us eat … humble pie.”

      Then scroll down the BTL to catch Andy Platt’s wickedly on target take on what she’s really saying. Or read both at

      Liked by 2 people

      • j jones says

        Thanks for the heads up. Just read it now as rarely read articles in the Guardian since it started banning comments. Odious individual and as you say thoroughly self serving. Andy Platt summed up her ‘humble-less me, me, me pie’ brilliantly. Thanks, jools

        Like

  15. Paolo says

    I’m not sure you are right about this…. “Freedland doesn’t want to “get rid of the Tories”, he wants to rebrand them. He wants Tory economic policy under a false-flag of “liberal values” and drenched in fake progress. “.
    I think rather Friedland is one of these chameleons one alway finds in such influential positions. An opportunist who goes with whatever flow he happens to find himself in. In germany they call such people “mitläufer” .

    Liked by 3 people

    • DonNeedNoStinkinUserName says

      I’m afraid that will never happen. . . . it is going to take one of us to help her by thrusting said sword into her, not from behind but from the front, while explaining to her how much of a piece of shit she really is. Of course this is just wishful thinking but I think it’s still legal . . .dreaming that is

      Like

  16. Paul Baker says

    Freed land and Cohen have only one thing on their minds; Israel. They know Corbyn will decline Trump’s invitation to join the coming war on Iran. They detest his support for Palestinians. When I pointed out Freedland’s close observance of the Israeli order to “take down” Corbyn on a Comment I was banned for life for “author abuse”. I note Freedland is Comments Editor. I hate him.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Once any politician talks about Palestinians and Lebanese as though they were real human beings with rights like the rest of us NOTHING those politicians do can ever be acceptable to Freeland and his wriggling ilk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JJA says

      Cohen’s piece? Smears about Corbyn’s ‘links’ with Putin, Iran, anti-semitism, etc., etc., As usual, evidence free.

      Liked by 1 person

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