Sunday, 21 May 2017

Len McCluskey states the obvious about Labour

Media Bias & Public Taste
by Brian Bamford
Len McCluskey Hits the Deck! (photo - Daily Telegraph)

THE leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, in a telephone interview with POLITICO magazine*, was merely stating the obvious when he says that it would be 'extraordinary' if Labour won, and went on to say that it was the Labour party leader's problem of his public image that was to blame, and for this he accused the media of 'media bias'.

He blamed all this on the media's 'constant attack' on Corbyn, internal party divisions, and on the consequences of the public support for the Prime Minister Theresa May when she was 'jumping on the bandwagon of hard Brexit.'

He said he was not holding out much hope for an upset victory despite the popularity of many of Labour’s left-wing policies, unveiled at the party’s manifesto launch in Bradford, West Yorkshire, today.

McCluskey claimed the working class voters who say they are going to vote Tory for the first time are doing so 'because their mind is being turned by the constant attack of the media on Jeremy Corbyn and the image that they’ve pinned on Jeremy.'

For McCluskey it is the same old story, as it is for most of the left, blame the media when things go wrong.  How can they be so surprised about media bias?

Meanwhile, today in the New York Times the novelist Joan Smith writes about the sexualisation of British politics in which 'Mrs May lounged on a sofa in a pair of leather trousers for an interview at the end of a momentous year that saw her move to No.10 Downing Street.'

Joan Smith, a feminist, justifiably suggests;  'The public probably knows more about what she wears than it does about what she wears than it does about her policies, confirming just about every sexist stereotype'.

Only a mediocre Marxist mind or a feeble-minded feminist, would expect that the public would find politics more fascinating than fashion and leather pants and especially 'eye-catching footwear'.

Ms. Smith writes:  'Isn't it demeaning, not to say sexist, to focus on how she dresses?'

In summing up Ms. Smith writes:  'This is all the more disappointing at a moment when the Conservative Party has overturned the traditional order of British politics by fielding a competent, personable woman against a male opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who looks and sounds like a throwback to the 1970s.'

Are the media to blame for focusing on what they believe the public like?  Or are the British public to blame for preferring fashion and the sexy style of Mrs. May to the dreariness of Mr Corbyn and John McDonnell?

* Overnight Mr. McCluskey underwent a change of mind on this matter, and on the BBC this morning he said that 'following the launch of Labour's manifesto, which he said had been warmly welcomed by his union's members'.  This only suggests a kind of collective catastrophic psychological condition in which Labour supporters, like McCluskey, don't know whether they are coming or going.


John P said...

Hi Brian, but Len changed his mind within 24 hours of saying this!


Editor said...

McCluskey only seems to have changed his tune about Labour's chances after Dave Prentis of UNISON took to Twitter on Tuesday night to hit back at his fellow union boss, insisting only a Labour win would constitute a successful campaign.

Dave Prentis ✔ @DavePrentis

Success = a Labour government. That's what care workers, nurses and teaching assistants need.
Let's get out there #labourdoorstep
10:45 PM - 16 May 2017

Trevor Hoyle said...

Not clear what your position is Brian. "McCluskey states the obvious" -- well it is obvious because it's true that the vast majority of the mainstream corporate media are, and always have been, against Corbyn. ANY leader, no matter who, with such a sustained campaign of vitriol waged against him, including the so-called left-of-centre Guardian, would have struggled to overcome such a negative media image.

Are you saying that Labour shouldn't blame the media? And I don't think Corbyn or McDonnel are dull at all. They state their case and explain their policies in adult, measured tones. To expect them to go all showbiz and join the media frenzy is to support exactly what is wrong with the political climate in this country. And for Joan Smith (isn't she also a Guardian writer?) to extol the talents of Theresa May, a lacklustre politician with no discernible qualities except right-wing spite, is risible.

Brian said...

Trevor writes:
'ANY leader, no matter who, with such a sustained campaign of vitriol waged against him (Corbyn), including the so-called left-of-centre Guardian, would have struggled to overcome such a negative media image.'
Donald Trump,had to put up with an arguably much more negative media campaign in run up to the US Presidential elections. I looked in vain in the leftish liberal New York Times for anything sympathetic - it was all derisory comments and reports. But Trump knew how to swing with the punch and how to hit back. Corbyn and co., don't seem to know how to do that. I know that Trump too complains continually about 'fake news' and media bias, but none of us should be surprised about journalistic bias - it's just that many on the left don't know how to confront it.