Sometimes, hacks and pundits get so desperate that they just make up the story to fit the narrative demanded by their editors. The Telegraph hasn’t quite resorted to that with its continuing attack on the leadership of Mil The Younger, but, as the saying goes, you can see it from there. “Syrian crisis: Ed Miliband faces growing criticism from Labour ranks” proclaims the headline.
This is supported by a mixture of conjecture and creative reinterpretation of MPs’ comments, plus those all-important “sources” that never identify themselves. The sub-heading gives the game away, telling “Ed Miliband is facing mounting criticism from within his own party for his handling of the vote on Syria, amid fears that Labour’s approach has damaged Britain’s standing on the world stage”.
You didn’t see the sleight of hand? Look again: “Labour’s approach” assumes buying into the narrative pushed by the Tory Party, rather than looking at what Miliband actually said and did. The “mounting criticism” comes from two MPs, neither of whom actually criticises their leader. Everything else comes anonymously, or from “sources within the Government”, ie from the Tories.
Then, to finish off, there is another of those anonymous Government sources to say that it was all Labour’s fault because of Iraq, rather than the years of seeing coffins being returned to Brize Norton, and the realisation that all these wars – backed at the time by both the largest parties – were getting the UK nowhere. The Tories were just as keen to toddle off to Iraq behind Dubya and the neocons.
But I doubt that David Barrett and Robert Watts will be hanging their heads in shame any time soon: this clumsy act of amateurish shit-stirring is just what they have been ordered to do. Also claiming that it’s all Labour’s fault at the Tel, but just out of sheer coincidence you understand, is Andrew “Transcription Error” Gilligan, “the journalist who exposed the Iraq War deceits”.
Ho ho ho. The only thing that Gilligan exposed was his own lack of journalistic competence, which resulted in the BBC coming out on the losing side. The corporation was well shot of not just Gilligan, but also Rod Liddle, the one who brought him to the Today programme. Anyhow, Gilligan says Big Al ought to keep his trap shut, and he’ll be saying that to his face, or maybe not.
Then, to put the icing on the cake, comes Dan, Dan the Oratory Man to claim that last Thursday’s vote was a triumph for Young Dave, and a defeat for Miliband. This is because Dan Hodges says so, and after all, he was in the Labour Party when he started writing that post. But this, too, depends on accepting the Tory spin view as fact, which it is not. Otherwise, this is all so much utter crap.
Still, some readers will be gullible enough to buy it, so that’s all right, then.