The press establishment does not forget those who have slighted it, and that applies especially to the Murdoch mafiosi, who keep up a steady diet of opportunistic low-level mud-slinging against anyone and anything to do with Liverpool - for instance - because those in the city stood together against the Sun’s atrocious smears and kept the paper off the city’s newsstands. So it is for those who supported them.
One such is left-winger Billy Bragg, whose musical output includes the directly titled song Never Buy The Sun. Bragg has indicted his support for the Labour Party and current leader Jeremy Corbyn; he is therefore fair game for routine smearing by the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker. So it has come to pass that the allegedly upmarket Times has run a crude hatchet job on him today, pretending he has split with Jezza.
“Corbyn is stuck in the last century says Bragg … Jeremy Corbyn is a ‘20th Century Labour man’ unable to reach the electorate, according to his previously loyal supporter Billy Bragg … The singer said he thought that it was a transition year for Labour, warning that under Mr Corbyn it was in danger of imploding like the party had in Scotland” tells the article, under the byline of one David Sanderson.
And there’s more: “Bragg, 58, who has lent his support to Mr Corbyn on numerous occasions since he became Labour leader, said that he could not understand why the party was not talking about progressive ideas, giving as an example federalism for the English regions”. This sounds almost plausible. Indeed, the magpies at Mail Online have already lifted the story, although that is hardly a ringing endorsement.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with the idea that Bragg and Corbyn had fallen out - it was bollocks. The Times had used remarks Bragg had made, taken them out of context, and then invented a split that had not happened, most likely as a reminder to him of what happens when someone incurs Don Rupioni’s displeasure. We know the story is crap, as Bragg has said so.
Moreover, he hasn’t even spoken to the Times, or to any other paper: the comments were made at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Bragg has taken to Twitter to confirm “Don't believe the [bullshit] about me in the Times. I'm still supporting Corbyn, just want more talk about [devolution] for England & fair votes for all”. There was more.
“Can everyone please stay calm about the Times twisting my words to attack Corbyn. I remain a JC supporter. Don't let Murdoch sow discord”. The Murdoch doggies have just been dishing out a little of that punishment for which they are infamous. Very few Labour Party supporters will be taken in by it. Perhaps he could let the Times know exactly where they stand by reworking the lyrics of Never Buy The Sun appropriately.
Don’t believe what you read in the Murdoch press about those who oppose it. That is all.