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On November 13, Jeremy Corbyn said in an interview with LBC News that U.S. Special Forces were wrong to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Instead, according to Corbyn, arresting him “would have been the right thing to do.” Yet in Britain, the focus of the morning headlines on the same day was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to use the biblical term “onanism” in a major campaign speech.
The media continue to give Corbyn a free pass in their disproportionate criticism of Boris Johnson’s alleged blunders. Johnson is indeed prone to politically incorrect satire and awkward turns of phrase — but there is a strong distinction between satire and defending the life of a murderous terrorist. Labour is behind the Conservatives in polling for Britain’s December 12 general election, but Corbyn himself fares better than expected. In echoing his lies, the British media help to normalize the radical socialist politician.
Deceit is a central component of Jeremy Corbyn’s strategy in the upcoming U.K. general election. Corbyn repeats the outlandish claim that Johnson intends to sell out the National Health Service (NHS), Britain’s single-payer health-care system, to the United States. Corbyn says that Johnson has created a “Trump alliance,” which will divert £500 million (around $643 million) to American companies per week as part of a trade deal between Britain and the U.S. This has no basis in reality. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg — by no means a friend to Johnson — hinted at the manipulative intent of Corbyn’s statements. The aim is to paint Johnson as an enemy of British public services such as the NHS — which many Brits view as the pride of their country. In fact, bolstering the NHS has been at the center of Johnson’s campaign: he pledged to build 40 new hospitals and to fund 6,000 more doctors to deliver millions of extra patient appointments.
That Corbyn has received little criticism for his lies — which form a central part of every major campaign speech and of Labour’s social-media advertising — reveals the extent to which he is shielded from scrutiny.
Corbyn is afforded this same protection when it comes to his shifting stance on Brexit. In a recent speech in the north of England, Corbyn said he will not be the kind of prime minister who “thinks politics is a game.” Yet on the question of leaving the European Union — the key issue facing Britain this election — Corbyn has played almost every possible move. His brand of socialism puts him in opposition to European integration. Indeed, for most of his career, Corbyn opposed the E.U. on the grounds that it is too militaristic and repressive of workers’ rights. In 1976 he voted to leave the European Economic Community, the precursor to the E.U. He campaigned against the integrationist Lisbon Treaty in 2009, arguing that he did not want to live “in a European empire of the 21st century.” During the 2016 E.U. referendum in Britain, Corbyn outwardly supported Remain but was accused of lukewarm campaigning. A few weeks before the vote, he rated the E.U. “seven or seven and a half out of ten.”
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