It's often said that Jeremy Corbyn is a “different kind of politician”. (This was also said about Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, Bernie Sanders, Arnold Schwarzenegger... ad infinitum.) That he's been “unblemished from any scandal”. And it's also said that he's a “genuine politician who has never compromised or changed his political ideas in his life” (more of which later).
There are many replies to all the above.
Until Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party in September 2015, he'd never been a leader within a political party. He was indeed leader (from 2011 to 2015) of the Trotskyist/communist Stop the War Coalition until he became leader of the Labour Party. (Not every member/supporter of the StWC is a Trotskyist/communist.) He'd never even been in a Shadow Cabinet. Thus it's unlikely that he'd be “blemished” by any scandal. Sure, some humble MPs are sometimes blemished without actually being leaders. Though, as everyone knows, most media attention is focused on leaders or high-profile MPs.
Take the example of Tony Blair. He was often called “Teflon Tony” by the media. However, that name was only applied to Blair when he was Prime Minister. (He wasn't seen as Teflon Tony before he became PM.) Indeed he didn't really acquire that image until the Iraq War in 2003 – seven or so years after he was elected PM.
And is it the case that Jeremy Corbyn is unblemished anyway?
He is blemished by any financial scandal, sure. So what about political scandals – such as his support from the IRA, Trotsky, Lenin, the Soviet union, Hamas Hezbollah, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and his he desire to abolish the army? Why only focus on financial scandals or sexual infidelities? (It can be argued that personal financial scandals don't affect as many people as political scandals do.) Yes, Corbyn's supporters can easily select instances in which Corbyn is clean and ignore those cases in which he isn't. One can do the same with Tory MPs or politicians who've been involved in financial scandals.
As for the fact that Corbyn is a “genuine politician who had never compromised or changed his political ideas in his life”.
Read that back and think about it. Corbyn has never compromised or changed his political ideas in his life. Is the fact that Corbyn adopted his socialist views at sixteen - and that he still believes them at 68 - meant to be a good thing?
If someone changes their views in order to gain political office (though there are signs that Corbyn is doing that) or for reasons of pragmatics, that's a bad thing. However, to never grow or learn politically, that must surely be a bad thing. Hitler, David Cameron, Gary Lineker might also have first believed what now believe at 16. So what? Again, why is that automatically – if at all - a good thing?
Even though this piece is critical of Corbyn's politics, it's still the case that we shouldn't class him as “Chameleon Corbyn”. That's because he's now doing what all/most politicians do when they gain positions of power or influence. Rather, I think that the problem with Corbyn is the opposite: he's an extremely rigid ideologue. Everything he believes his filtered through radical-socialist ideology and theory. Nothing remains untouched by the ideology he's held since he was sixteen years old. In that sense, he's certainly not a chameleon. He may be forced (as it were) to be a chameleon now that he's Leader of the Opposition; though, as I said, that's true of all politicians.
The fact that there's a clash between Corbyn's ideological rigidity and the fact that he's also the leader of a political party (attempting to become the government) can be seen with various examples.
Corbyn (as radical socialist) would like to abolish the army and dismantle Trident. This man was also a leader of the Stop the [Western Capitalist] War Coalition until he became leader of the Labour Party. He's still a member of CND. Yet, as leader of the Labour Party, he and his party have focused on the Tory Party down-funding the army; as well as down-funding the police.
What about Brexit?
Corbyn is so obviously against the EU that it's quite silly to deny it. Yet he's part of a party which includes many Europhiles/anti-Brexiteers. The radical-socialist ideologue within him, then, clashes with the demands of realpolitik. Of course I could of course be wrong about Corbyn and the EU. However, all radical socialists since the 1970s have been radically against the EU. Even most moderate (or “democratic”) socialists have been anti-EU. Corbyn himself has repeatedly spoken out against it. So is it unfair of me to mention Corbyn's anti-EU/pro-EU schizophrenia?
If Corbyn is truly anti-EU (as I believe he obviously is), then many Labour voters may well get a shock when - or if - he's elected. A profound shock in the sense that being pro-EU is of vital importance to a number of Labour voters; though this is far more true of Labour MPs.
And then there's “student debt”...