The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are back on their Labour-bashing beat today, pretending that The Red Team are hypocrites as they talk the talk on employers paying the living wage, but don’t do it themselves. This sounds like an open and shut Gotcha, but as so often with the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, the reality is that they have once again been talking well, but lying badly.
Still waiting for that P45, Tony?
Under the headline “Put-Up Jobs … Labour MPs branded ‘hypocrites’ for advertising jobs below their £10 Living Wage pledge … Our investigation catches out six labour MPs - four of them frontbenchers - recruiting staff on salaries below their party's £10 'living wage' pledge”, hack Matt Dathan reveals that his “investigation” was just sitting at his desk and trawling through the w4mp website. Proper sleuth, he is.
So what’s the beef? “Shadow Cabinet ministers Angela Rayner, Laura Piddock [sic], Cat Smith and Valerie Vaz were all found recruiting staff on wages of between £7.32 and £9.23 per hour … Fellow hard-left MPs Emma Dent Coad and the suspended Jared O’Mara have also advertised jobs in their offices on salaries that work out below £10 per hour”.
Really? So what does the Sun have to say about that? “The revelations are humiliating for Labour - and come just 48 hours after the party responded to the Government’s nine-month review of employment rights to reiterate their pledge to introduce a ‘real living wage of at least £10 per hour’”. Then there is a sneering rebuke from Iain Duncan Cough, who has no room to talk about anyone being economical with the actualité.
Only at the end of the article, when most Sun readers will have made their minds up, is it conceded “A Labour spokesman said: ‘Labour’s policy is for a £10 an hour real living wage by 2020. All staff employed by the Labour party are paid at least the living wage’”.
And it very much looks like the Sun’s “clarifications and corrections” team will be fully employed in the very near future, after three of the MPs smeared bit back at the Murdoch goons. Emma Dent Coad made the point about Fake News: “If the Prime Minister is serious about setting up a ‘fake news’ investigation she should start with her friends in the right-wing press. Allegations in the S*n that anyone in my office is employed on less than the London Living Wage are utter rubbish”. She was not alone.
Cat Smith added “Despite correcting a journalist last night, disappointing to see national paper run a story they know to be untrue. All my staff earn more than £10 an hour and I’ve always advertised in line with IPSA payscales which MPs have to do. Complaint to follow”, while Laura Pidcock, who must be getting used to the smears and abuse by now, told “Not that the Sun newspaper has any place to talk about workers’ rights, but for clarification: pay scales mentioned are set by @ipsaUK, the parliamentary standards authority and, categorically, everyone in our office is above the £10 an hour living wage proposal by @UKLabour”. Sadly, though, the damage has been done.
Yes, there will be a “clarification” and maybe even a half-hearted apology just in time to head off referral to IPSO. But the story is wrong, the Murdoch goons know it’s wrong - as Ms Smith at least told them - and it should not have been put out there in the first place.
Once again, there can be only one conclusion - Don’t Buy The Sun.