Why Do The British Mainstream Media Get Politics So Wrong?

Mick Hall thinks the media continuously call politics wrong. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.
Over the last decade the mainstream media, including the Guardian has persistently called wrongly the main political issues of the day. In 2010 they failed to foresee the emergence of the UK Tory-Lib Dem coalition government,  nor the Tory majority government which took power last May.
In 2011 they all supported military intervention in Libya to overthrow the Qaddafi regime, the outcome of which turned the country into a failed state and gave Isil a base to attack the EU a mere 329 miles from the European mainland. In Greece it claimed Syriza would not gain a second mandate, at best they would have to enter a coalition with the pro austerity right.*

Isil in Libya.

Only last week in the Canadian Federal election the MSM was predicting a fourth term in office for the sitting far right PM Stephen Harper, when in reality his party lost 60 seats with the Liberal Justin Trudeau being elected the new PM. The Guardian outdid itself by claiming Harper a crook and sleight of hand political manipulator, has perfected the tactics of taking and holding power – in spite of the demands of democracy.

As to the Labour leadership contest at first it belittled, then smeared the winning candidate Jeremy Corbyn, and shamefully continues to right up until to this day. The look on Andy Burnham's face when the result of the ballot was announced was a sight to behold. It was one of defeat and bewilderment, highlighting just how much the political space in the UK has changed. That look summed up perfectly the beginning of the end of the neo liberal political age, in which leading British politicians on the center left believed the only way they could gain power was to kowtow to the Banksters, multi national corporations and media oligarchs like the Murdoch crime family.

Today I doubt even the most dim witted neoliberal, say the likes of David Cameron, would fly around the world to be anointed by Rupert Murdoch. Although to be fair to the dolt he has of late made a habit of playing court to the Emperor Xi Jinping. How the 'comrades' must laugh in the Forbidden City. It can't be long before they make Cameron apologise for the Opium Wars. What must they have thought when Cameron swanned around his local drinking the cheapest beer in the pub with Xi Jinping, while wearing a red poppy which in China is symbol of the hurt the British caused during the Opium Wars?

Whereas Richard Nixon flew to Beijing to bring China in from the cold to act as a bulwark against the USSR, the British Tory PM goes cap in hand with a begging bowl. How that must make Maggie Thatcher proud. the first of her heirs to gain power helped create the Omnishambles which is today's middle east, the second crawls on his belly before a communist dictator. Still I diverse.

Rather that looking back and considering why they make such a hash of their political coverage, these hacks continue to wallow in the past. Oblivious to the hatred and contempt which increasing numbers of their fellow citizens feel towards the neo liberal elite. It is not an exaggeration to say they're regarded by millions of voters not only as arrogant and greedy but also totally incompetent, the latter is especially true of the Blairite new labourites and those like Balls, Cooper, Kendall, Burnham and the Milibands, who travelled in their wake. All two time losers electorally, whose austerity lite policies have not placed a LP leader in 10 Downing Street in over a decade.

So why does the MSM cling to such discredited flotsam limpet like? The reason is clear. Most of the leading journalist today have assiduously built their Westminster political contacts with the governing elites. For the last 20 year or so it just so happens this group of politicians, whether Tory, Lib Dem, or Labour all adhere neoliberal economics. It was almost inevitable this cancer would seep within to the very marrow of these journalists, not least because it chimes with their bosses beliefs, making it a certainty they would plough a very narrow political farrow.

When Corbyn came out of nowhere and snatched the LP leadership from under the Blairites' noses, he knocked British politics off it's neoliberal kilter, and the MSM had no one to turn to for copy but those he defeated. Defeat is a very sour fare and thus they have found themselves completely out of step with the optimism many of us feel about Jeremy's victory, especially the tens of thousands of young people. This generation of bourgeois journalist are huffing and puffing and spewing out bile hoping against hope Corbyn's victory is an aberration and will be short lived. Then it will be back to business as usual: their political contacts will pick up the pieces and return to their rightful place in the political hierarchy.

If I were them I would not be holding my breath, because whatever the outcome of Corbyn's victory five years down the line, he will have shown the electorate another world is possible.

For me this stuck in the Westminster neoliberal elitist huddle was perfectly demonstrated in an email I received last Thursday from the Guardian's political editor Patrick Wintour, after I had sent a letter to the paper pointing out Corbyn won the leadership contest fair and square, thus the Guardian needs to show him respect, and give him the coverage a leader of the opposition deserves.

Amongst other points Wintour wrote:

"I will watch myself - as it were -  to make sure we are giving Jeremy Corbyn the prominence his office deserves. On  your broader point his election victory was clear, but it is also true his leadership is controversial." 

Patrick is seemingly oblivious to the bigger story behind Jeremy's victory which spans across the UK, and consciously fails to ask himself this question as if were he to do so it would make his position untenable:

 "Regarded as controversial by whom?"

Not the majority of LP members and supporters who voted for Corbyn in large numbers for sure. Nor a sizeable section of the electorate who before he was elected LP leader hardly knew who he was.

The truth is those who find Corbyn's victory controversial are the neoliberal, political, media, and business elites, the creatures who mainly inhabit the Westminster and city of London huddle. People like the LP front bench spokespersons and MP's who carp and whinge into the ears of journalists like Wintour. Who then repeat these words as coming from an anonymous MP or front bench source who is expressing widespread opinion. In reality this widespread opinion is no such thing, for if it were truly widespread these creatures would put their words on the public record.

Wintour seems oblivious to the fact the reason most of us despise such politicians whatever their party, is because we are nauseated by such cowardly behaviour. MP's speak to and for their constituents, and if they have something to say which is important enough to tell a journalist then it must be on the record. Other wise it is mere tittle tattle.

Such shenanigans is why so many of us have looked for political salvation beyond the corrupt and putrid Westminster huddle.*

Sadly it seems due to self interest all of this has passed dear old Patrick Wintour by. To be fair to him he is far from the worst of the MSM hacks.

What I find amusing about both the Journo hacks and the neoliberal LP MPs response to Jeremy's victory is they are repeating the same mistakes we on the left made when Mrs Thatcher first came to power in 1979. We did not believe it would last when she started to dismantle the post World War Two consensus, which the Tories, Liberals and Labour all adhered to between 1945-1979. Collective bargaining with employers and unions being equal partners, Council Housing for all who required it, a mixed economy with both parts on an equal footing, a public service NHS, and a welfare state which provided support for those in need from the cradle to the grave. (Now that would be a program worth supporting today)

Our problem was we were far too conservative with a small c, we could not think beyond our narrow political perspective. We simply did not believe a British politician who had benefited and prospered under such a system would wish to destroy the societal gains which the generation who fought WW2 built with their sweat and blood; and certainly not for no better reason than to gain political advantage for a tiny percent of the population.

How wrong we were to believe the English ruling class were a dying breed, a thing of the past. Well now it's their turn to understand we socialists haven't gone away.

If there is one valuable lesson Mrs Thatcher taught the Left it was to think outside our comfort zone. The victory of Comrade Corbyn tells me we have finally learnt that bitter lesson. Long may it last.

* I have ceased using the word bubble as the word huddle more exactly describes the consciousness of this group today.

A Dictionary definition of Huddle: A group of people huddle together, they stay very close to each other, especially because they are frightened.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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