I say, you pundit cheps over thyah! Don't you be firing orf any questions about my speech, will you? Jolly good sheow!
The easily led were exemplified by Jane Merrick, who mused “Labour's gigantic problem: why did I, from a Liverpool comp, who voted for Blair & never voted Tory, agree nearly every word of PM's speech?” without checking against reality. When she was asked “so you want to see UK unions banned from social media”, the reply was only a feeble “um, that wasn't in the speech”. The contrast with Corbyn is interesting.
After all, pundits didn’t take what he said at face value, did they? The Labour leader’s words were summarily trashed under the heel of organised cynicism. Another being all too easily seduced was Staggers editor Jason Cowley, proffering “Cameron and Osborne more and more using the language of moderate Left: equality, opportunity, diversity, social reform, fairness”. Believe the flannel, don’t look at the reality. Again.
Some even echoed Dave’s bullshit speak with their own: Philip “Corny” Collins of the Times, for instance. “The political dividing line is now clear. The Tories have Britain. Labour has Twitter. Not the same”. So no questions asked there, either. James Forsyth of the Speccy also swallowed it whole: “Cameron repositions the Tories as the party of 'true equality’”. Even someone who writes for the Guardian got in on the act.
“Cameron has thrown down a challenge to liberal, even centre-left voters: what, besides habit, is preventing you backing me?” demanded Jonathan Freedland. Apart from the reality of their policies, and the kinds of people they let into their tent, you mean? How about those homes that few in the country would be able to afford? But John McTernan was on hand to rubbish that mere reality. “Entirely fatuous graphic” he sniffed.
Yeah, who cares if all those hardworking people can’t afford to get on the housing ladder - Dave bullshitted about it, and that, for all too many pundits, is what matters. It’s left to the Guardian to inject a little reality: “David Cameron’s promise during his address to the Conservative party conference that ‘an all-out assault on poverty’ would be at the centre of his second term is undermined by a report that reveals planned welfare cuts will lead to an increase of 200,000 working households living in poverty by 2020”.
There’s more: “The [Resolution Foundation] analysis also indicates that the number of all households – both in and out of work – that will be in poverty at the end of the parliament is projected to rise by 700,000 to nearly 4 million”. The IFS’ calculation of net income changes shows that, rather than promoting equality, this Government will oversee a decline in living standards for the least well off - a decline of their own making.