After yesterday morning’s optimism from the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press came the harsh reality for Theresa May, as her new and improved Brexit deal - which wasn’t - was once more voted down, this time by a majority of 149. So this morning, that same press has to blame someone. And the someone cannot be Ms May.
There is, though, a problem: the Prime Minister leads a party for which Brexit has become its own obsession. The 2016 referendum, rather like that called by Harold Wilson in 1975, was a means of holding the party of Government together. The whole Brexit project has since become little more than an internal Tory feud, with the interests of the wider electorate having to take a back seat. The press response? Ignore and project.
So it was that the Daily Mail’s mobile Gloom machine Stephen “miserable git” Glover told anyone still awake “Let’s consider those discreditable politicians who put party before country. Head of the queue is Jeremy Corbyn”. Ri-i-i-ight. The Tories put party before country, but Jezza did it and ran away. And he had more in the same vein.
“The dishonesty is breathtaking. Instead of offering constructive criticism of Mrs May’s hard-won proposals, Labour has pretended that it has a viable alternative … Corbyn’s latest sleight of hand has been to accept a second referendum under pressure from Labour Remainers while continuing to scheme for the general election he craves”. Baloney. He’s been consistent since Conference last year.
But Glover is away with the fairies as he froths “Why wouldn’t he, in the national interest, make common cause with Mrs May? Because his overriding preoccupation has been to secure an election so that he can unleash his barmy Marxist experiment on unsuspecting Britons”. It’s a Tory problem, not Labour’s. But the line is clear, and not just at the Mail.
The Murdoch Sun presented its readers with a particularly sour editorial this morning, telling “Some Remainers colluded with the EU. All have backed Brussels over Britain and now have the gall to lament the chaos they themselves have caused … Their stinking duplicity is only matched by Labour’s. Corbyn’s mob take the public for fools, posing as Leavers one minute, Remainers the next. Their sole concern is their party.”
Once again, projecting Tory problems on to Labour. One wonders if there are any circumstances in which the Tory-supporting press is prepared to concede that Theresa May is just a lousy Prime Minister who has come to the end of her road, rather than blaming Jezza, who has had no part in her failed project. But then, her press cheerleaders have good reason to go after Labour right now, as voters realise who really is to blame.
That realisation may have spooked the right-wing press into yet more Corbyn bashing. It may also be a sign that the bashing isn’t working. I’ll just leave that one there.
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