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Friday 9 October 2020

Allegra Stratton - We Have To Talk

The right-leaning part of the media establishment loves to pretend that those who do not share its view of the world, and how it should look, are part of some great unaccountable elite, perhaps even a global one. Yet, completely by coincidence you understand, it is those bleating about distant elites who get the plum jobs, the fat pay packets, and the access to those in power. So it has proved with the Tories appointing Allegra Stratton.

That background's a bit of a giveaway

Ms Stratton is to bethe face of the government’s new daily press conferences”, as the Independent put it. She has been appointed spokesperson for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson; whether this will be in the same vein as the mildly wacko Kellyanne Conway, or the singularly unpleasant Sarah Huckabee Sanders, both defending the antics of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, is not known.

But what we do know is that, as the Indy has put it, despite her having worked previously at the Guardian, Ms Stratton “has already proven her loyalty to the Conservative government”, working previously for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and “has long moved in Conservative circles. She is married to James Forsyth, the political editor of The Spectator magazine - which the prime minister famously used to edit”.

All very revolving door, plus Sunak was best man at her wedding. Moreover, her time as political editor of BBC Newsnight was marred by her having, as Private Eye put it, after taking up the job, “managed to elicit more complaints in a few weeks than her predecessor Michael Crick managed in more than two decades of work at the programme”.

At one point, as the Indy reported, “she provoked outrage with a report on the government’s proposed cuts to welfare benefits … The government line at the time was that benefits needed to be cut because unemployed people were living on benefit as a ‘lifestyle choice’. Stratton lined up an interviewee to illustrate the supposed problem, grilling an east London single mother who received help with her housing costs and portraying her as an unemployed burden”. There was, however, a problem.

The report however failed to mention that the mother actually had a job, rather undermining the thrust of Stratton’s framing”. After more than 50,000 signed a petition demanding an apology, Newsnight said sorry. Strangely, Robbie Gibb has not passed the kind of adverse comment on that episode as he has against Lewis Goodall.

But the episode has been re-examined after Ms Stratton’s new job was announced, with Mic Wright concluding “Good practice for lying on behalf of the Prime Minister” and Owen Hatherley of Tribune magazine adding “I remember this well. These people are class warriors, don't forget it”. Another reason the Red Wall was conned rotten.

But ultimately, as Liz Gerard put it, “The ‘problem’ with Allegra Stratton is not who she is, who she’s married to or what looks like a crony network. She’s supremely qualified for the role. It’s the fact the role has been created at all - so that the PM doesn’t have to answer to anyone - and that we’re paying for it”. It also confirms who the real elites are.

And that the real elites, one way or another, are taking We The People for mugs.

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Anonymous said...

Remember her on peston. Pointing at pointy things on a board attempting to look learned but not outdo Her boss. She didn’t impress me then and she won’t impress me parroting fatbollocks rubbish. Thing that really disgusts me about all of this is the sheer nepotunistic levels of cronyism. A journalistic dido Harding.

Jonathan said...

With Allegra covering No10 Comms and Laura K covering the BBC,Keir Starmer supporting the government line at every opportunity, Britian is now effectively a one party state.