Jeremy Corbyn never seems good at taking pressure from the press. Over the past few days, his bubble has once again burst, and once again Jezza proceeded to just get a bit angry when people kept asking him about sitting on the floor of a train. As it happens, Virgin Trains now find themselves in a bit of trouble for releasing the footage that fuelled these questions.
On a weekly basis, the wheels seem to be coming off poor old Jeremy’s wagon. But despite accusations of support for the IRA, making friends with Hezbollah, or generally being quite far on the left (check out this Spectator blog, it lists them), the bus keeps on rolling. Yet I wonder whether this might be slightly different.
Corbyn has ignited political passions and sparked a revolution (known as Momentum, to you and I). He has sold himself as a principled man, who stands for honesty, integrity and justice; you’d be forgiven for thinking that these values had evaporated from the British political zeitgeist.
Yet suddenly, Richard Branson has released CCTV from one of his trains. The train, allegedly so crowded as to be standing room only (amateurish commuting really, if he wants overcrowding Jeremy should try the West Country), was so busy he had to sit on the floor. Once there, Jeremy filmed a video, making a point about overcrowding and a need for re-nationalisation of the railways. But, and here’s the big ‘shock horror’ moment, that fateful CCTV video suggested the train wasn’t overcrowded at all
This man who has portrayed himself as a pillar of honesty amidst a murky grey sea of lies, darned lies and expenses, was apparently no better than the rest of them. Not great timing, considering the upcoming leadership elections, but this is just the latest in a long line of issues cropping up in the run up the ‘Smith vs Corbyn’ showdown. There have been accusations of lunacy, discrimination, betrayal and some rather odd policy ideas (plus Ice Cream?).
Anyway, Corbyn’s campaign team seemed rather nonplussed by the incident swiftly labeled #traingate, thought their initial attempts at explanation were a little, uh, odd. “Children are small, they might have been hiding behind the chairs,” they exclaimed. “There were bags on the seats,” they cried.
Too polite to ask someone to move a bag perhaps? That would be music to the ears of Mrs Cameron; perhaps the incumbent Labour leader has suddenly become so British that he’s bound to be found learning the national anthem soon enough.