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If Jeremy Corbyn had made Boris Johnson’s ‘missteps’, the media would have flayed him

A Moseley reader draws attention to an article by Peter Oborne, who marvels at media sycophancy: “Whatever Johnson does or says – however incompetent, immoral, ignorant or foolish – is strong, visionary and wise . . . We’ve seen nothing like this level of command and control of leading Fleet Street papers since the early years of Tony Blair, when editors and media bosses doffed their caps to Blair’s media advisers, Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson. That ended badly. The lack of criticism of New Labour helped create the hubris that led to the Iraq calamity”.

He asks us to imagine that Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister last week, put there by 93,000 mainly left-wing Labour members, and:

  • that he then reshaped the Cabinet to make sure it was filled with personal loyalists, immediately sacking almost every centrist minister,
  • that within minutes of kissing the hand of the Queen, he breached royal protocolby briefing the press about what the monarch had told him in private,
  • that he committed himself to investing tens of billions of pounds in extra government spending within days of entering office, sending the pound into free-fall, hitting a two-year low,
  • that he’d just ditched his wife of twenty-six years standing, and the mother of his four children, and installed in Downing Street a 31-year old girlfriend,
  • that his new home secretary had been forced to resign in disgracejust two years earlier for secret meetings with a foreign government – and that he knew this, but still appointed her,
  • that his education secretary had also been recently dismissed in disgrace for a gross breach of national security,
  • that the new transport secretary had been found to have had a second job under a pseudonym while an MP – something he admitted to only after years of publicly denying the claims
  • and that his most senior adviser was in contempt of parliamentafter refusing to appear before and give evidence to a select committee.

Oborne (right) continues: “all this is exactly what happened within days of Johnson entering No 10 last week. The collapsed pound. The girlfriend trouble. The dodgy cabinet appointments. The royal indiscretion”.

He asks us to imagine the media response if Jeremy Corbyn had acted in this way – “The outrage. The fury. The disbelief. The mockery. The newspaper headlines would be universally hostile. Chaos in Downing Street. Corbyn and his government would be flayed alive”.

Instead, Boris Johnson has been widely praised for ‘an almost faultless move into Downing Street’:

“It’s been a good week for Boris Johnson’s government,” drooled Christopher Hope, chief political correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. The Spectator praised Johnson as a man “dismissed as a philandering clown” but who has “confounded” his critics “at every stage”. The Times discerned Johnson’s “decisive action” in creating his new cabinet. The Telegraph opined that Johnson’s no-deal strategy sent a ‘clear message to the EU’ ”.

Oborne asks: “could it be that the rules of political reporting have changed?”

Rule 1: However incompetent, immoral, ignorant or foolish – Johnson is strong, visionary and wise.

Rule 2: Only Johnson’s opponents can be ruled offside, and only he is allowed to score the goals.

And ends, “It’s time Fleet Street woke up and asked difficult questions about Johnson’s Brexit plans. If Brexit goes wrong, Johnson won’t be forgiven – nor will the papers that backed him. It’s time to end the sycophancy”. 

Peter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He also was British Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

 

 

 

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Frantic Murdoch fights back as Labour rises in the polls

Propaganda pervading the Times online today

And seven articles headlined:

      • Labour’s hate files expose Jeremy Corbyn’s anti‑semite army: no reference made to the support given by many Jewish people recently* and in the past.
      • Vile anti-semitic taunts met with ‘a slap on the wrist’. (Labour files, local elections)
      • Official blocked bid to bar Labour candidate accused of abuse
      • Corbyn climbs aboard as May tries to save her sinking ship
      • Matt Hancock: Tories must attract youth or face defeat . . . his party must bridge the generation gap if it is to avoid handing the keys to No 10 to Jeremy Corbyn
      • Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn dance close, cudgels hidden, locked in a dangerous embrace, each hopes the other will suffer more.
      • The war for Labour’s iron throne: like Game of Thrones, the party’s left and right are locked in an eternal power struggle.

 

Taking Peter Oborne’s words about Corbyn’s manifesto out of context, many will agree that once again, as expected, “Jeremy Corbyn is being traduced and misrepresented, by the establishment and its mouthpieces . . . That is wrong – and a betrayal of British democracy”.

*https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/20/jeremy-corbyn-labour-party-crucial-ally-in-fight-against-antisemitism

 

 

 

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Media 75: Corbyn’s 52% YouGov poll majority goes unreported by MSM

Even YouGov buries this unpopular finding today in its extensive array of small-print spreadsheet pages, instead preferring to focus on another section of the poll.

march-2-yougov-pollBurying bad news: no other intelligible graphic available as yet

At present, only Peter Edwards of Labour List reports, reluctantly no doubt, that Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters (‘camp’) will be cheered by the results of a 1,100 person poll carried out by YouGov for Election Data.

A 52% majority say they will definitely or “probably” back him in any future vote.

Peter Edwards more happily directs readers to the 46% who say they will vote against the “veteran socialist” – youthful Edwards-speak for ‘has been’?

But he sourly admits that “the leader is clearly ahead on the candidate for whom activists would consider backing”. 

Let’s end positively: the intelligent articulate independent minded  Peter Oborne (with reference to the Syria vote) remarked on Corbyn in words which are here paraphrased and applied more generally:

Despite bitter hostility from many on his own side he stands his ground and courteously sets out his honest doubts . . . the only politician who deserves to emerge with an enhanced reputation  –  Jeremy Corbyn.

jc8There is no denying that he emerges as a man of moral courage, integrity and principle. Mr Corbyn performs the role which every leader of the Opposition is expected to perform, according to British constitutional textbooks: he held the Government to account.

At last we have an Opposition leader who does his job by opposing the government and asking the right questions with increasing vigour. Throughout the debates, Jeremy Corbyn is calm, resolute and precise — especially creditable given that he was unsupported by some disloyal Labour MPs.

 

 

 

“British service men and women will now be in harm’s way and the loss of innocent lives is sadly almost inevitable” – @jeremycorbyn

Thanks to a link from a Moseley reader we read the view of remarkable analyst Peter Oborne that the Commons debate on Syria was ‘a squalid affair’.

david cameron syria debateAfter recording Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier well-judged ‘rebellions’ on Iraq, Libya etc and noting that the ‘anti-war lobby’ makes lucid points about the risk of civilian casualties, the lack of ground troops and any viable political strategy for the future health of Syria, Oborne regrets that Corbyn’s motives were ‘traduced’ by David Cameron on Tuesday night. He adds:

“It is, of course, utterly essential in a parliamentary democracy such as ours that these arguments should be heard. But over recent decades, British policy has been marred by an unfortunate convention – an unwritten rule that both the main political parties should agree about foreign affairs. It is most unfortunate that when he does so, his motives should be traduced in the way that David Cameron did on Tuesday night”.

Read the man’s uneasy face snapped on that day – will his decision boomerang as one cartoonist has suggested?

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Thanks to Scottish councillor, Linda Kelly and Felicity Arbuthnot who forwarded the list writing: “using the word bloody in its literal sense: Labour’ s bloody list of shame!”

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Labour for: They were: Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East), Kevin Barron (Rother Valley), Margaret Beckett (Derby South), Hilary Benn (Leeds Central), Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree), Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East), Ben Bradshaw (Exeter), Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Alan Campbell (Tynemouth), Jenny Chapman (Darlington), Vernon Coaker (Gedling), Ann Coffey (Stockport), Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford), Neil Coyle (Bermondsey & Old Southwark), Mary Creagh (Wakefield), Stella Creasy (Walthamstow), Simon Danczuk (Rochdale), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Gloria De Piero (Ashfield), Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South & Penarth), Jim Dowd (Lewisham West & Penge), Michael Dugher (Barnsley East), Angela Eagle (Wallasey), Maria Eagle (Garston & Halewood), Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside), Frank Field (Birkenhead), Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Limehouse), Colleen Fletcher (Coventry North East), Caroline Flint (Don Valley), Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham), Margaret Hodge (Barking), George Howarth (Knowsley), Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central), Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central), Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle), Graham Jones (Hyndburn), Helen Jones (Warrington North), Kevan Jones (Durham North), Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South), Liz Kendall (Leicester West), Dr Peter Kyle (Hove), Chris Leslie (Nottingham East), Holly Lynch (Halifax), Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East), Conor McGinn (St Helens North), Alison McGovern (Wirral South), Bridget Phillipson (Houghton & Sunderland South), Jamie Reed (Copeland), Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East), Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West), Joan Ryan (Enfield North), Lucy Powell (Manchester Central), Ruth Smeeth (Stoke-on-Trent North), Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge), John Spellar (Warley), Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston), Gareth Thomas (Harrow West), Anna Turley (Redcar), Chuka Umunna (Streatham), Keith Vaz (Leicester East), Tom Watson (West Bromwich East), Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) and John Woodcock (Barrow & Furness).

Media 47: FT would-be king-breaker once again subserviently represents financial and political interests threatened by the prospect of government for the common good

peter obornePeter Oborne recalls that in the 1990s the political process was captured by the ‘modernisers’, first with Blairites in Labour, and later in David Cameron’s Conservatives and the main parties looked and sounded identical.

They abolished real political debate – anyone who disagreed with conventional opinion was labelled an ‘extremist’:

“All three mainstream parties despised the views of ordinary voters. They produced identical leaders, in their mid-40s with no experience of the world. They viewed politics as being about technique rather than ideas. They viewed political argument as akin to advertising margarine or soap powder . . . The triumph of the spin and focus group-obsessed modernisers led to the collapse in trust in politics, especially among the young. Blairite contempt for Labour’s working-class supporters led directly to the rise of the Scottish National Party and then Corbyn’s election”.

JC standingHe adds that we should celebrate Jeremy Corbyn, who is “the first authentic leader of a mainstream political party since Margaret Thatcher. It stands to reason that he should be hated and plotted against by the political establishment. Just like Maggie Thatcher 40 years ago, he despises everything they stand for. They despise him back”.

However, under the inaccurate and emotive title: ‘Jeremy Corbyn faces race to tighten grip before being ousted’, Jim Pickard once again rehashes criticisms, failing to mention the 211 MPs who supported the new administration’s economic policy and preferring to focus on the minority of 21 disaffected Blairite MPs.

The corporate-political nexus resents the resurgence of democracy, in particular fearing the new Momentum organisation gathering in many areas of the country, with a membership drawn from the hundreds of thousands who have regained hope of a better future.

Ken Livingstone recalls his early days when he became head of the Greater London Council in 1981: “The level of the media intensity is quite something, it reminds me every day of how the papers reacted in 1981 when I became GLC leader. It took me time to get everything organised, it will take Jeremy Corbyn time. But he is focusing on the economy rather than trivial stuff, he is doing the right thing.”

One aide said that the new leader had been genuinely collegiate in his discussions, allowing members of the shadow cabinet to air differences of opinion during their regular weekly meeting – instead of whipping them into submission – civilised and truly democratic.

Oborne is “wholeheartedly cheering on Corbyn” who has ”brought a wonderful freshness to British politics”.

Those who want to read the FT text can register free of charge and read it at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0816611e-73f8-11e5-bdb1-e6e4767162cc.html#ixzz3oquBSwES

 

US runs amok: if only, as Oborne conjectured, Jeremy Corbyn had directed British foreign policy over the past 15 years . . .

Oborne’s question is called to mind as our unrestrainable psychopathic ‘friend’ bombs a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières killing 22 people – targetted by a US plane that returned repeatedly to the scene, dropping bombs on a building from which staff and patients were trying to escape.

Extracts from George Monbiot’s Guardian article:

The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” This is how an anonymous Nato spokesperson described Saturday’s disaster in Afghanistan.

The lies and euphemisms add insult to the crime. Nato’s apparent indifference to life and truth could not fail to infuriate, perhaps to radicalise, people who are currently uninvolved in conflict in Afghanistan.

Of course the Taliban, Isis and Al Qaeda not only kill civilians carelessly, but also murder them deliberately. But this surely strengthens, rather than weakens, the need for a demonstration of moral difference.

An analysis published last year by the human rights group Reprieve revealed that attempts by United States forces to blow up 41 men with drone strikes killed 1,147 people. Many were children. Some of the targets remain unharmed, while repeated attempts to kill them have left a trail of shattered bodies and shattered lives. Because the US still does not do body counts, or not in public at any rate, the great majority of such deaths are likely to be unknown to us.

As the analyst Paul Rogers points out, the US Air Force dropped 1800 bombs while helping Kurdish fighters to wrest the town of Kobane in northern Syria from Isis. It used 200 kg bombs to take out single motorbikes.

Sometimes (Ed: always?) this professed battle for civilisation looks more like a clash of barbarisms.

An air force major involved in the bombing enthused that “to be part of something, to go out and stomp those guys out, it was completely overwhelming and exciting”.

Every misdirected bomb, every brutal night raid, every non-combatant killed, every lie and denial and minimisation is a recruitment poster for those with whom the US is at war. For this reason and many others its wars appears to be failing on most fronts. The Taliban is resurgent. Isis, far from being beaten or contained, is growing and spreading: into North Africa, across the Middle East, and in the Caucasus. The more money and munitions the West pours into Syria and Iraq, the stronger the insurgents appear to become.

The US, with Britain’s help, created Isis

By invading Iraq in 2003, destroying its government and infrastructure, dismantling the army and detaining thousands of former soldiers, the US, with Britain’s help, created Isis. Through bombing, it arguably helps to sustain the movement. Everything it touches now turns to dust, either pulverised directly by its drones and bombers, or destroyed through blowback in the political vacuums it creates.

Unstoppable? The obstacles:

  • A vast intelligence and military establishment that no president since Carter has sought to control;
  • the tremendous profits to be made by weapons companies and military contractors and
  • a propaganda machine that portrays these conflicts in the media as necessary and even heroic.

And – Monbiot ends: here comes the UK government, first operating covertly, against the expressed will of parliament, now presenting the authorisation of its bombing in Syria as a test of manhood.

Always clear in his parliamentary strategy, never clear in his military strategy, David Cameron seeks to join another failed intervention that is likely only to enhance the spread of terrorism.

Barbarians clash indeed – both ‘sides’ are abhorrent!