The Murdoch Times, no longer the paper of record that its management would like us to believe, has made the running recently when it comes to totally invented claims made about the Labour Party, culminating in the claim that “Senior Civil Servants” were sure that Jeremy Corbyn was too frail to become Prime Minister.
And as befits a paper edited by serial abuser of decent journalism John Witherow, that tradition has continued today with a front page feature headlined “More than 100 members a day quit Labour Party”. The opening paragraph tells “Labour lost members at a rate of more than 100 per day last year as claims of anti-Semitism and mixed messages on Brexit eroded the party’s support”. But they don’t know what the cause was.
Nor do the Murdoch goons know for certain that those members actually quit, and so, just to make sure, they also tell “Party insiders believe that the real membership is around 450,000”. That is also made up. They don’t have access to the kind of information that would stand up the claim, so have to invent “Party insiders”.
But enough of this drivel. Let’s subject some of the claims to a dose of reality. “The figures suggest that support for Jeremy Corbyn, whose authority has been based on the backing of party members, is on the wane”. YOU DON’T KNOW. The decline could be a result of those leaving who DON’T support Jezza - the ones the press likes to publicise.
There is more. “Some members are thought to have joined Change UK, the party that was formed in February”. YOU DON’T KNOW. This is just idle speculation. Have another go. “And the newly resurgent Liberal Democrats attracted Labour Remain voters in the European Parliament Elections in May”. THAT’S NOT THE SAME AS MEMBERS.
And then comes the trump card, and a particularly lame one at that: “A Times/YouGov poll on July 4 put Labour in fourth place for the first time”. SAMPLE OF ONE. Also, YouGov has a habit of underestimating Labour support - and so getting elections wrong.
But enough of this drivel. Let’s see what the actual membership numbers suggest, by referring to a House of Commons Library publication from last month, titled “Membership of UK political parties”. The evidence shows how much guff the Murdoch goons are talking.
“As of February 2019, Labour had 512,000 members, compared to the Conservatives, who had 180,000 members, as of July 2019. The SNP had around 125,500 members (August 2018), the Liberal Democrats 107,000 (July 2019), Green Party 48,500 (July 2019), UKIP 29,000 (April 2019) and Plaid Cymru 10,000 (October 2018)”.
Or, put another way, Labour has more members than the Tories, the SNP, the Lib Dems, the Greens, the Kippers and Plaid PUT TOGETHER. And before anyone shouts “Brexit Party”, they don’t have members. Because they’re not a democratic organisation.
All of which makes this morning’s Times Labour attack look even more lame. And don’t forget, Murdoch goons, that it was your boss who got himself in hot water complaining about the “Jewish Owned Press”. You’ve got no room to call anti-Semitism on others.
And the press wonders why people won’t buy their product. No change there, then.
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