MP Chris Williamson, invited to appear on BBC to discuss ‘media blackout’ of Jeremy Corbyn’s IPB award
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As the pro-Corbyn Watershed site said some days ago – re the Jeremy Corbyn award – BBC & MSM can no longer suppress news at will.
Steve Walker had asked how the BBC, as public service broadcaster, could have failed to report that the leader of the UK’s official opposition and holder of an 8-point voting intention poll lead over the government has received an international peace award – alongside one of the world’s foremost philosophers and authors?
As an example of the way in which social media can change the national political narrative, especially when supported by the parliamentary left, Labour front-bencher Chris Williamson was then invited to appear on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme to discuss the ‘media blackout’ of the news about Jeremy Corbyn’s award from the International Peace Bureau (IPB).
See the video here.
That ‘blackout’ would almost certainly still be in place if the award had not gone viral on social media after the SKWAWKBOX, followed by other ‘new left media’ (NLM) outlets, broke the story last weekend.
Williamson is a strong media performer and made the key points about the award and the ensuing MSM silence forcefully. Countering the establishment’s attempts to undermine the silence by undermining the stature of the award, Williamson pointed out:
- that the MSM had given extensive coverage to Theresa May putting a star on a Christmas tree and to William and Kate receiving a Blue Peter badge
- that the IPB is a venerable organisation with a history significantly longer than the Nobel organisation – and inspired the creation of the Nobel awards
- that Corbyn hadn’t trumpeted the award because he doesn’t brag about any of his achievements
- the disparity in the way Corbyn’s award was (not) covered and the type of coverage that would be given in a similar situation involving Theresa May
- and that Corbyn’s position as the head of the official Opposition is what makes the award newsworthy, not just the award itself (which shows the error of FactCheck’s attempt to explain away the silence on the basis of the award only occasionally being mentioned in UK media before)
This conversation shown on national television would not have taken place had it not been for the ‘new left media’ (NLM} and its supporters on social media.
Steve Walker comments that this development is an encouragement for those who want to see genuine change in this country – and happened despite the Establishment and its media alternately attacking and blocking good news, revealed by the social media platforms that spread such messages.
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As the Labour Party membership decides who will represent the party in elections, based on their record and politics, the Times and the Sun call the democratic process a plot and a purge.
The Times headline: “Moderates (aka ‘Tory-lite’ Blairites) forced out by hard left in Labour purge” is accompanied by a photograph of two deselected councillors of pleasant appearance.
The Sun is cruder: “The RED REVOLUTION: Corbynistas launch widescale plot to take over Labour from the bottom up by kicking out moderate councillors”. Its article shows a picture of Momentum supporters – one looking extremely aggressive.
Steve Walker sets the scene: “The ‘MSM’s latest smear, aided and abetted by the centrist ‘usual suspects’, is that ‘hard left’ Momentum ‘bullies’ are unfairly deselecting poor, abused centrist councillors in places such as Haringey . . .
“The background to this is the ‘Haringey Development Vehicle’ (HDV) – a hugely controversial and many would say hare-brained scheme championed by senior, right-wing Labour councillors whereby thousands of social homes will be handed over to a developer in what campaigners have termed ‘the £2 billion gamble’.
Owen Jones is equally clear: “What has actually happened is this: Labour is choosing candidates to stand as councillors in next year’s local elections. In some cases, members have democratically decided that some sitting councillors should face an open contest. This happened automatically until a rule change last year. Calculating that they will lose to a left-wing alternative, some have stood down. Others have lost. This is not a “purge”. This is what is known as “democracy”.
He assesses the recent history of the Labour Party . . .
“Before the Corbyn surge, many Labour parties were hollowed-out husks, the playthings of ambitious hacks, lacking roots in their local communities. Council candidates were selected at poorly attended meetings: yes, often because of stitch-ups. In the last two years, Labour has blossomed into one of the biggest parties in the western world. In Hornsey and Wood Green – one half of Haringey – one in 14 voters are now members of the Labour Party. Many of these members are full of inspiration and optimism – they want to replace our bankrupt social order, not tinker with it – and expect their representatives to be accountable to them and their values”.
and notes the renewed media campaign against Momentum
The frequent portrayal of Momentum as a group of extremist zealots is driven by political and corporate establishment fears backed by a press reliant on advertising patronage, who – increasingly – fear the election of a government headed by Jeremy Corbyn.
Jones concludes that the democratisation of the Labour Party is a good thing – essential to the building of a democratic socialist society.