In May 1997, as the General Election results came in, and it became clear that Tone and New Labour had been returned to power in a landslide, one newspaper editor was aghast at the disloyalty of that part of Middle England with whom he had his daily conversation. “What the f*** is going on?” demanded Paul Dacre “Those are Daily Mail readers”.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
More than sixteen years on, the message – that your readers will not obediently toddle along after your editorial line, and that pushed by your pundits – has not been taken on board, not by Dacre, nor by his obedient hackery. There is no finer example of this inability to confront the real world than the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), whose hatchet job on Mil The Younger has fallen so flat.
Quent started off by calling Miliband “A slippery hypocrite no-one can trust again”, as opposed to a slippery pundit who no-one trusted in the first place. The arguments are as before: that the Labour leader is claimed to have given his word that he would fall in behind Young Dave, the Government gave in to all his demands, and, Dammit, he’s a Privy Councillor.
Letts claims that Miliband doesn’t care about “children whose suffocated bodies were seen wrapped in white burial shrouds after the Damascus suburbs gas attack”. He gave “a dreadful speech”, which was “a dissembling affair, a wriggler, a cavilling, sly, opaque offering”, but then, according to Quent, anything Miliband does is wrong. And did Letts just accuse someone else of “dissembling”?
There is only one conclusion to be drawn from this hatchet job for those Mail readers whose loyalty to the paper is still assumed to be automatic, and that is to not consider even thinking about voting for this chap and his party ever again. Yes, the voters would see through Miliband immediately, and reject his clearly false prospectus. And then reality intervened.
That reality came in the form of the latest poll offering from YouGov, the result of which should be instructive, given that the fieldwork was done after the events of Thursday evening, on August 30 and 31. And the findings make grim reading for Letts, his boss, and all the other right leaning pundits who are still desperately trying to paint Miliband as some odd, shifty leftist who cannot be trusted.
The Labour lead has increased dramatically from mid single figures to a full 10%. Labour are not polling in the mid-30s, but at a full 41%. UKIP are still registering a double figure percentage. This would be sufficient to put Miliband in 10 Downing Street with a majority of around 100. You can almost hear Dacre exclaiming: “What the f*** is going on? Those are Quentin Letts’ readers”.
Quent, you’re out of time and nobody is listening. Buy that pub and shuffle off, eh?