Today at the Labour Party Conference has brought the leader’s keynote speech. This has been the opportunity for Jeremy Corbyn to set out his stall, bring to life his vision. This he did. Delegates duly showed their appreciation. But the representatives of the media establishment were not at all happy; all that could be heard from their ranks was more of that low moaning sound. Perhaps they wanted to get back to London.
So while Jezza made his pitch, most of it was either ignored, or went over their heads, as the combination of carping and victimhood took over. Typical of the latter was Paul Brand of ITV, who sniffled on behalf of our free and fearless press “Corbyn attacks the press (again). ‘Turns out the billionaires who own the press don’t like us one little bit’ because Labour doesn’t ‘fawn over them at white tie dinners’”. And he wasn’t finished.
“Corbyn says press smear the powerless not take on the powerful. Urges members to challenge their ‘propaganda of privilege’ by using social media. Pretty major attack, possibly his strongest yet”. Waah! Waah! That nasty bloke wearing sandals attacked my pal’s steel-capped boots with his groin! It’s not fair!
Jezza passed adverse comment on those oppressing a free press, talking of this happening “from Turkey to Myanmar”. The normally sensible Michael Crick sniffed “No mention of Iran in Corbyn’s list of countries which restrict press feeedom”. Jane Merrick (paging Rachael Cousins! Paging Rachael Cousins!) grumbled “Corbyn says if PM can't negotiate a good deal with Brussels then she needs to ‘make way for a party that can and will’. Which would be fine if it weren't for fact that Labour's policy on Brexit has been all over the place for more than two years”. Was it? So what was it, smartarse?
Leveson 2? James Ball was unhappy. “New rule: anyone calling for Leveson 2 has to be able to say what it is, without Googling. (Most journalists get it wrong, so can’t imagine the public will be any better)”. Well, you might know if you and your pals engaged with groups like Hacked Off instead of slagging them off. Also, your pal Jennifer Williams failed that. Meanwhile, the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie lost it completely. “Hard to tell the difference between Trump and Corbyn in their constant attacks on the free press”. Idiot.
Over at the BBC, Laura Kuenssberg was also not impressed. “New common sense or just the Corbyn comfort zone?” Somebody hasn’t dusted behind the Conference set. And Jim Waterson grumped “The anti-mainstream media segment is now an annual segment of Corbyn's leader's speech: ‘Here a free press has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths,’ he says, urging Labour members to use social media to challenge the media's ‘propaganda of privilege’”. Then came the intrusion of reality.
Mehdi Hasan took aim at Waterson. “He’s right though”. And Seema Chandwani reminded us why voters listen to Corbyn. “Standing ovation for @JeremyCorbyn as he highlights a story of a husband who's wife has MS and had welfare stopped … ‘This is a hostile environment against disabled people. These people are human beings!’ … THIS is why I do what I do for a Corbyn govt”. Once again, the media thinks only of itself.
That self-interested and self-absorbed attitude, combined with the autopilot moaning that has been going on all Conference, reached its tedious zenith with Crick sniping “Surprising that Labour bigwigs need cards to give them the words of Jerusalem”.
Rosie Robertson was on hand to put The Great Man straight. “Mr. Crick (slight hiatus as I strive to curb my intense irritation at your tweet) - I’ve suddenly realised who you remind me of: it’s my Auntie Edna! Passing comment on my performance in a school play, aged 8, ‘Your mother should get your socks whiter than *that*, Rosemary!’” Ouch!
But not to worry, by the time they all get back to London, the media establishment will have reassured themselves that they are right, and everyone voting Labour is wrong.
Then they wonder why people don’t buy their papers, or tune in to view. No change there.
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