Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was a long time open supporter of the Palestinian people and their right to a state. At his final party conference as leader in 2019, the hall filled with Palestinian flags and speakers, indicating that there were many Labour party members with similar views.
Labour Party membership blossomed under Mr Corbyn but has since fallen after he was replaced as leader. He was replaced as Leader after the 2019 election which his party lost.
PLUS ALOT OF…
It is hard to believe that the picture above, featuring on the BBC’s flagship show, Newsnight, was anything other than a subtle display of media bias, attempting to associate Mr Corbyn with Russia or the Soviet Union or Communists. However, some people quickly pointed out that the same backdrop had been recently used for a Conservative Party politician, Gavin Wiliamson. Here is that image,
There are plenty of pictures of Mr Corbyn NOT wearing a cap so why choose one when he is? Even the BBC itself called the cap a “Lennin (communist) style cap”. And then they darken the image to essentially change the nature of his headgear and they feature Mr Corbyn’s face prominently, in a “portrait” style image, reminiscent of the old Soviet Kremlin leaders.
This compares to the much more informal pose of Gavin Williamson, who appears brightly coloured in a suit and tie and in clear contrast to the surrounding red/dark backdrop. Mr Williamson appears clearly separate to his backdrop. Mr Corbyn looks formal and more integral to it.
The media have a duty not just to be unbiased, but not even give an appearance of bias. By the BBC using a clearly darkened picture, and then exaserbating the issue by projecting it onto a curved screen, (which the BBC says accidentally made his hat seem taller and more “Russian” looking) they have demonstrated poor media standards to say the least.
“The BBC has formally rejected complaints that its Newsnight programme Photoshopped an image of Jeremy Corbyn to make him look “more Russian”, insisting that the programme’s use of the picture was “impartial and fair”.
The corporation’s complaints unit said the decision to show a photo of the Labour leader wearing a “Lenin-style cap” in front of the Moscow skyline was not designed to convey an impression of pro-Russian sympathy on Corbyn’s part but was in keeping with an editorial decision made on the basis of “sound news judgment”.
Video of the alleged Photoshopping incident attracted millions of views following the Newsnight episode broadcast on 15 March, in which the programme discussed Corbyn’s reaction to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and alleged involvement of the Russian state.”
Labour leader Keir Starmer has a Jewish wife and children which, I’m sure, has nothing to do with his political policies. He has made a wide range statements about the Palestinians, showing his support for a Palestinian state just before a recent 2021 by-election in which many voters were Muslim. Some of his previous statements however, when there was no by-election occuring, were less demonstrative of support.
Emily Maitlis, host of the 2018 Corbyn Newsnight program above, was the subject of an investigation by the BBC Executive Complaints Unit in 2019 when complaints against her were upheld by the BBC who agreed that she been “persistent and personal” in her criticism of a guest, thus “leaving her open to the charge that she had failed to be even-handed.”
In 2020, the BBC again said that Maitlis’s introduction to Newsnight the night before, which discussed allegations against the UK Prime Minister’s chief adviser, “did not meet our standards of due impartiality” and she asked to be stood down for the night.
And again in February 2021, Maitlis’s impartiality was further criticised after she shared a tweet by Piers Morgan condemning the government. (was Maitlis simply pretending to criticse?)
Andrew Bridgen MP, said the BBC journalist appeared to be ignoring impartiality guidelines with her retweet of government criticism.
You don’t fancy being a British politician then. Foreign powers are very active in UK politics it seems especially so in less formal situations.
Amongst the more senior UK politicians suggested by Israel’s UK embassy representative, Mr Sai Masot, which he expressed a desire to “take down” were Sir Alan Duncan, UK Foreign Office minister and Crispin Blunt, chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs select committee. Both political leaders are vocal supporters of the rights of the Palestinian people.
Masot later resigned.
However UK politics proceeds in the coming years, it is doubtful that Palestinian flags will be seen filling the hall at the next live UK Labour Party conference. But who knows.