SHAKESPEARE would have voted to stay in Europe in the forthcoming referendum – so believes Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour leader offered his views on the Bard during the launch in Warwick of Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner election campaign for the West Midlands.
Mr Corbyn told the Observer he was planning to come to Stratford during the 400th anniversary commemorations of Shakespeare’s death.
“I welcome the 400th anniversary, and I’ll certainly be in Stratford for that because I’m a great fan of Shakespeare, but I’m also a great fan of culture for all.
“I think Shakespeare is an essential part of writing, and his plays are actually very political and are easily translated into modern ideas.
“I’m a great fan and I want all our children to understand Shakespeare.
“I am absolutely determined that a Labour government would put the resources necessary into arts and culture, take away the mystique of theatre and music – they’re for all, not just those who can afford it.
“So I want every child to be able to learn a musical instrument, every child to take part in some degree of theatrical work in school.”
And on the question of Shakespeare and Europe – the Bard having set many of his plays in continental Europe – Mr Corbyn attempted his own version of iambic pentameter – one which might have had the Bard turning in his grave.
“What would Shakespeare have made of the debate about Europe? He’d probably put it far better than I, but I think he would say: ‘Come hither, good people of Europe and we will go henceforth, because we live on one continent together, and together we will go forth for a better future.’
“That’s the best I can do on Shakespeare!”
David Cameron launched a personal attack on the Labour leader during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday (February 25) by saying his mother would expect Corbyn to “wear a proper suit, do up his tie and sing the national anthem.”
But Mr Corbyn told The Observer: “I’m very happy with my appearance, and I’m happy to be judged on my smiling demeanor.”
He laughed when presented with a tie by a cheeky member of the public in Market Square during his visit.