Britain's patriotic media, owned mainly by foreigners, have condemned Jeremy Corbyn for expressing his opinion - or, rather, failing to express their opinion. Shockingly, a non-religious republican refused to sing a song dedicated to God and Queen.
Corbyn's 'snub' was particularly offensive, apparently, as it occurred at an event commemorating the Battle of Britain. Criticising one man's freedom of expression on such an occasion is slightly odd considering the event celebrates the triumph of freedom over repression. To argue that Corbyn must accept a particular opinion on a day commemorating the defeat of those that sought to force individuals to accept a particular opinion is marvellously ironic.
Interestingly, the patriotic papers dedicated their front pages to belittling Corbyn, rather than praising the veterans that fought in the Battle of Britain. To show real patriotism, one might argue, the story of the soldiers and their courage should have graced the front pages. British patriotism, in the eyes of the foreign-owned press, seems to be a matter of demonising those that don't adhere to one form of patriotism - in this instance, singing - rather than celebrating our country.
Corbyn's snub inexorably led to folks across the political spectrum calling for him to sing at the next major event to show the world his love of country. If he sings - and certain Labour representatives claim he will - I imagine the papers will call him a hypocrite. They would be right, on this occasion.
If Corbyn doesn't sing, he is anti-British. If he does sing, he is a hypocrite. Corbyn can't win. The criticisms, of course, have little to do with patriotism and everything to do with the demonisation of a man that poses a threat to the establishment.
The attacks on Corbyn are right on schedule. We knew the papers would attempt to define Corbyn before he had the opportunity to define himself and accusations of a lack of patriotism are a potent attacking force. It is a shame that such a crass tactic took the spotlight at a time when we should have been celebrating the armed forces. Front pages are dedicated to Corbyn, rather than our heroes. Comment sections are dedicated to ponderings about whether one should sing the national anthem, rather than remembering the sacrifice of individuals that fought during the Second World War.
The Battle of Britain was such an important event and those that fought should have received their much-deserved attention. It would have been nice if, instead of arguing about one man's decision not to sing the national anthem, we focussed entirely on our heroes. They deserve that much.