Please don't fire me, Mr Murdoch
He conducted the poll via an open Twitter feed - and you can’t fix an open Twitter poll, no way, no how - with voters given 16 names to choose from. In the first “quarter final” round, twelve of them - David Miliband, Alan Johnson, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Barbara Castle, Michael Portillo, Tony Benn, Neil Kinnock, John Smith, Robin Cook, Mo Mowlam and Ed Miliband - were eliminated. So who was left?
The four names in the frame were Ken Clarke, Charles Kennedy, Paddy Ashdown, and Jeremy Corbyn. And this is when Chorley must have realised he was not in control of the situation, whatever he blustered into the microphone. While supporters of Charles Kennedy overhauled an early Ken Clarke lead, those backing Jeremy Corbyn ensured their man was more than eight and a half points clear of Paddy Ashdown.
Over 9,000 had voted in that “semi final”. More than 12,000 then voted in the final to see Jezza romp home by more than 15 points. The Tweeter known as The Prole Star was less than authentically sympathetic. “Matt Chorley's hiding in the Times Radio toilets now, crying. Hope you're all proud of yourselves … Note to Matt: Don't hold polls if you don't want results”. Why might Chorley have thought it would turn out differently?
Ah well. After the result was declared, and Chorley failed to congratulate the winner, he told his followers “I’ll just leave this here”, revealing the result of a YouGov poll which put Corbyn in last place among 17 potential PMs that never were. So, like Theresa May, he believed what YouGov told him. And, like Treeza, he got more than he bargained for.
The Prole Star returned to the fray, responding “Times readers selected by YouGov perform as required shocker! We'll just leave THIS here”. Readers of a Murdoch propaganda sheet are fed a constant diet of severely negative “information” about a party leader and as a result believe that he would have made a bad PM No Shock Horror.
All that Chorley could muster after that was “I'd like to thank everyone who enjoyed Times Radio World Cup of Best PMs We Never Had for what it was: a bit of Bank Holiday fun. But a special thank you to the Corbynistas who despite finally seeing their absolute boi win something have totally lost their shit. You're welcome”. He’s all heart.
It was left to the Tweeter known as Tom London to make the obvious point: “40% and then 32% of the electorate voted for Corbyn in 2017 and then 2019. Are we supporters not welcome as listeners to your new Murdoch-owned radio station? Are you as blind to the political needs and wishes of millions in the UK as the Times itself?”
Murdoch hacks are used to the lower orders not being able to fire back. This Twitter malarkey must come as a terrible shock to them. I’ll just leave THAT one there.
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