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Author Michael Rosen nails what’s behind the Daily Mail’s hysterical rugby smear against Corbyn

Michael Rosen and Jeremy Corbyn

After England’s rugby win on 26 October, the Daily Mail published a truly hysterical piece about Jeremy Corbyn. The tabloid told its readers that – shock, horror – the Labour leader had napped on a long train journey. The Mail said he did so – more shock, horror – while the “rest of the country cheered on England against the All Blacks”.


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Children’s author Michael Rosen explained exactly what he thinks the Mail was getting at with its outraged ‘journalism’.

Traitors in our midst

Some opportunistically-minded fellow traveller apparently snapped Corbyn sleeping on a train to Scotland during the rugby game. The Mail suggested that the Labour leader’s behaviour was miles apart from Boris Johnson’s, as the latter “watched the match at his country home”.

Many people were bemused by the Mail‘s story:

Rosen also gave his two pennies’ worth. He tweeted:

In short, he hit the nail on the head. Because the Mail paints Corbyn as someone who lacks patriotism for his country, despite saying he wants to lead it as PM. To be clear, that’s patriotism as the Mail sees it, which simply involves exhibiting the utmost enthusiasm over a sporting event; rather than, say, working tirelessly to make your country a better place to live for the people in it.

As someone else pointed out, though, the story also ticked another box for the pro-Tory media outlet:

However, Johnson didn’t give the Mail enough to work with to really drive this narrative home. It’s hard to persuade readers that the PM is ‘like you’ when he’s watching the rugger in the luxury of his private country retreat. I mean, who really seems closer to regular people in this scenario: the man snoozing on a train or the one holed up in a rural mansion?

Get ready

Clearly, Britain’s tabloid press is already greasing its propaganda wheels for the looming general election. No doubt it’ll continue bombarding readers with this sort of stuff once any election is officially on. Thankfully though, people like Rosen will also continue calling out this ‘reporting’ for what it is: baseless smearing that reveals much more about its agenda than it does about Corbyn.

Featured image via YouTube – Michael Rosen / YouTube – This Morning

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