As Mil The Younger prepares to re-appraise the Labour Party’s relationship with the Trade Union movement, the amount of helpful comment available to him is reaching tsunami proportions. Never before has such in-depth expertise and probing analysis been on offer from a convocation of those whose knowledge of the subject is so clearly equivalent to diddly squat.
Leading off for those who feign to show concern for Labour, while putting the boot into it at every opportunity, is Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue. “Miliband must show us who runs Labour” thunders the headline, which is, as the late John Smith might have noted, a bit rich, given that the Mail would have written the headline and bent the facts to fit, whatever the answer.
Over at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, the hilariously pretentious (and still loathsome) Toby Young has “10 questions to ask Ed Miliband about his big speech”. Why, Tobes? Is that because you can’t be arsed going and finding out for yourself? And, in any case, who is going to listen to the comedy turn now known as Captain Bellend – well, apart from Michael “Oiky” Gove’s other polecats, that is?
But questions there are, as Benedict “famous last words” Brogan confirms, with “The question Ed Miliband has to answer: whose side are you on?” to which the answer is, if you want to challenge the Labour leader and retain your credibility, they you should join the Party. Miliband is not answerable to the Maily Telegraph, and certainly not to the hack who called the Coulson resignation so badly wrong.
And, when the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate is not demanding answers to which they are not entitled, they are enlisting former Labour ministers, whom they kicked black and blue when in office, to their cause: “Ed Miliband must win an ‘ideological battle’ with his union paymasters to avoid political oblivion, Lord Reid warned yesterday” asserted the Mail. Yes, he must do what Paul Dacre says.
Remarkable, isn’t it, that a press claiming only to be interested in that allegedly fearless reporting of the news is demanding that the Labour leader explain himself to their satisfaction on party funding, while ignoring the funding of the most wealthy Parliamentary party of all. Moreover, the source of the Tory Party’s money, as I noted the other day, is hardly ever questioned.
And it’s not all Michael Ashcroft: as Aditya Chakrabortty has pointed out, the Bamfords – they put the B into JCB – channelled almost £4 million to the Tories, one other donor gave a total of £6 million, and while the top rate of income tax is cut and the party goes easy on banking reform, half their donations come from, er, bankers. And, unlike the unions, there is no democratic accountability for any of that.
What you will not read in the Sun, Mail or Telegraph any time soon.