The British electorate must look beyond a national media saturated in right-wing partisanship. Collective failure to heed bias has ensured 7 years of Tory rule and Brexit – enough is enough.
Since his election as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has been branded “unelectable” by a host of commentators; most of whom have never won an election in their lives. This rhetoric wasadopted by an innumerable abundance of political figures to the point that Corbyn’s leadership was contested following last year’s EU referendum. Much to the scorn of the demonising mainstream media, 62% of half a million Labour Party members reaffirmed their trust in the longtime MP for Islington North. On the brink of a snap General Election, the unelectable myth is now at its zenith.
Perhaps unbeknownst to a large chunk of the British populace, Rupert Murdoch owns The Sun, The Times and Sky, with his publications historically supporting Thatcher and Blair. In addition the BBC, which is in theory an “independent” news outlet, sits at the forefront of the decidedly negative media portrayal of Jeremy Corbyn. Andrew Neil, who presents the network’s flagship Daily Politics programme, is editor of the conservative Spectator magazine. Prominent BBC figure Nick Robinson was once a Conservative youth president, and Lord Patten, governor of the BBC Trust until 2014 was former Chairman of the Conservstive Party.
It is therefore no surprise that anti-Corbyn rhetoric is affecting the average voter. For many, it’s all they are exposed to, such is the extent of Britain’s Conservative media monopoly. The genius of effective political propaganda is that it’s simple. It is much easier to accept that “Corbyn’s unelectable” than to do homework. Who wants to take time out of their busy lives to compare party policy? Ian Hislop recently challenged the BBC’s overly pro-Conservative coverage on Have I Got News for You:
The only thing as sure as Britain’s right-wing media bias is that the neoliberal product offered by New Labour is certainly unelectable. That situation was summed up precisely by Labour’s beating heart, Tony Benn, who put it that Blairism is Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement. Indeed, David Cameron defeated a feeble Tory-lite Labour with ease two years ago.
This begs the question: what is it about Jeremy Corbyn that makes him unelectable?
The Labour leader has consistently been on the right side of history, displayed in issues such as his campaigning against Saddam Hussein’s murderous ruling of Iraq – while the UK government were still selling him millions of pounds worth of military equipment.
Moreover, Corbyn was right when it came to military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The then backbencher had prescient knowledge of the ills that intervention would bring and was a prime figure in the Stop the War Coalition which drew the largest public demonstration in British history in 2003.
Meanwhile, Theresa May voted in favour of such disastrous interventions. Strong and stable, you say? The decision of May and many others to go to war in Iraq is generally considered a criminal mistake that directly fuelled the terrorist retaliation of groups such as ISIS. Nevertheless there are already numerous reports that May is set to call a snap vote on the further bombing of Syria should she win the election on June 8th.
As was recently revealed in the Sunday Times’ rich list, there are more billionaires in Britain than ever before. And yet food bank use is at a record high. Inequality is rife across the nation, ensuring an ever-increasing gap between the struggling many and the privileged few. After seven years of Tory austerity that has served only to strengthen inequality, Corbyn is offering a better kind of politics that gives power to the powerless. The biggest mistake of the electorate would be to misconstrue what is a new type of leadership as a lack of leadership.
If anything, the election campaign so far is a clear indication of what sort of government we can expect after June 8th. Under Theresa May, Britain will be as boxed in and protectionist as her exclusive, invitee-only campaign stops. Her arbitrary pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands all but confirms this.
With Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, however, a galvanised spirit of collecivism will penetrate divided streets across the nation. The renationalisation of railways and the phasing out of the privitasion that is crippling the NHS will reignite a sense of community that has in recent years been replaced by fear. Fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, fear of foreign powers, fear of Scottish independence.
The only rational fear that exists in British society is felt by the powers that be towards Jeremy Corbyn. The likes of Mike Ashley, Philip Green and tax-avoiding multinational corporations fear the prospect of a Prime Minister who would bring an end to zero hour contracts and the beginning of a society owned and equally shared by its people.
Yet media ownership remains in the hands of the privileged few, meaning a Corbyn victory is highly unlikely. But they said that about Donald Trump. Indeed, they said that about Jeremy Corbyn himself when he pursued the leadership of his party. And they said that about Attlee, who led Labour to a shock landslide over Churchill’s Conservatives at the end of the war, bringing about a new dawn that ushered in Britain’s greatest political achievement – the NHS.
Let’s make June the end of May.