We are no nearer to seeing the end of the farce that is Brexit. The clock ticks down, the deal offered up by Theresa May is rejected, the craven cowards of the Tory Party and the slippery naysayers of the DUP back her in a confidence vote, she claims to be reaching out to other parties but won’t budge one millimetre, and all the while the country is derided abroad as a laughing stock. So, press people, who is to blame?
Ah, but in the looking glass world that is the Westminster bubble and the equally hermetically sealed environment of the press and pundit establishment, the usual rules do not apply. For the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, the Empress Treeza can do no wrong, despite having royally fouled up Brexit.
So they blame Jeremy Corbyn instead - because he does not want to see a No-Deal Brexit. Jezza does not want to see hundreds of thousands of jobs vanish overseas, along with the trashing of agriculture and the fishing industry. He doesn’t want to see living standards nosedive. He doesn’t want to see poverty worsen. He doesn’t want to see more people sleeping on the streets. He doesn’t want the NHS fouled up. So it’s all his fault.
And while the Labour-supporting Mirror is broadly accurate with “Corbyn’s Ultimatum … Ditch No Deal … and then we’ll talk Brexit … He insists May blocks UK crashing out”, the alliance of Murdoch and Rothermere titles has decided to kick Jezza. Hard.
Thus the Mail thunders “May wins confidence vote, invites Labour leader for talks at No 10, then … WRECKER CORBYN SLAMS DOOR ON THERESA”. This comedy front page is completed by the side-splitting idiocy of “JEREMY Corbyn was last night accused of playing politics after he rejected talks to break the Brexit deadlock”. And Theresa May isn’t playing politics? They’re politicians, Mail people.
The dishonest tone continues at the Murdoch Times, where readers are told “Corbyn snubs Brexit talks … Labour shuns negotiation as May wins confidence vote by 19”. There was no negotiation on offer, and no snub. Corbyn was, and is, willing to talk - all she has to do it so take No Deal off the table. Why won’t she? Why isn’t that question being asked?
Ah, but this detail is beyond those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. That is made crystal clear by the Murdoch Sun, which proclaims “PM Wins Vote, Now It’s … COME OVER TO MAY PLACE … But Corbyn ducks No 10 Brexit invite”. In the parallel press universe, the Brexit screw-up is down only to the one bloke who can’t influence it.
Britain’s politics is screwed. And what has screwed it is the tribalism of the Tories, the sectarian myopia of the DUP, and the sheer venality of the press. For any of those groups to try blaming anyone else, and especially Labour, for their own shortcomings is beyond disgraceful. It is beyond irresponsible. It is totally out of order.
And, press people, that’s who is playing politics. I’ll just leave that one there.
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