The Labour Party’s media monitoring brief is, as I have mentioned before, a superb piece of work. It can sometimes be a ltttle misleading however, particularly when read overseas.
As I read it this morning in the US, and enjoyed the detail of what struck me as something of a scandal (the row over Forgemasters) and then potentially another (St Helena airfield getting support after lobbying by Michael Ashcroft) I assumed these stories were being covered fully and in detail back home.
But then I noticed comments on my blog of yesterday, and responses to my tweet of earlier today, to the efffect that there was something close to a news blackout on these stories across the broadcast media.
I ask just one question, and would be grateful if just a few of the journalists who read this might reflect upon it … if these were stories which had been happening during any of the 13 years up to May 6, 1997, do you think they might have been covered more?
We got used to the Tories enjoying the benefits of a lame and often lickspittle press in the run up to the election. It is quite something to see it continuing afterwards.
Imagine the villification too (Daily Mail front page – and see also p 4,5, 6 & Comment) that would have been heaped on GB if he had made the Britain junior partner in WW2 comment. Cameron says it = is reported as minor item on TV news, swiftly forgotten.
You were & still are the Prince of spin, so you’d know how it works. In fairness you did a bloody good job. However the the truth has a nasty habit of coming back & biting you in the arse when you least expect it, as you have discovered no doubt.
Thanks so much for the mention of Forgemasters today.
The cancelation of an £80m loan, for a project such as this, seemed as strange as it was devastating for those who’s jobs were lost as a result. But now the mist is starting to clear and reveal some old-politics Conservative sleaze.
Jack Straw did a good job in taking it to Nick Clegg at PMQs in the week but his long, dry questions allowed the Lib Dem leader to dodge giving an answer.
Now we need the Labour leadership candidates to stand up for those who maybe stayed at home or voted Lib Dem at the election, expose this for what it is and, most importantly, get the loan back on the table.
A quick reminder… Its a loan.
Its a loan to install a 15,000 tonne press, to create new jobs in Sheffield and to give a boost to the UK manufacturing industry.
It is a loan and you get your money back. You will not get back the billions that will be spent in the next 5 years on the NHS reorganisation.
Cameron’s world war two Gaffe was covered on the Jeremy Vine show and I was surprised at how many people were really upset with his comments. People took genuine offence at the lack of respect they felt was shown by DC
to the people who fought agaisnt Hitler and stayed in London during the Blitz. But Labour missed a trick because this showed Cameron’s basic lack of knowledge relating to WW2 and Labour should expand on this if he realy did not realise that We were not the juinior partner to the US in 1940 then how much does he know about economice, social policy and health care. I think there are big gaps in his knowledge. Spin and having the sun on your side can only take you so far. Labour needs to have the right leader in place to take advantage when this rabble starts to disintegrate. Question is can Labour stop its nateral urge to lerch to the soft left and tendancy to write suicide notes when elections come along. By the time of the next election they may well wake up to reality and regret that Tony Blair Labour’s best ever election winner was pushed out far too early.
The British media have been a sham for the past two years. The only place I’ve seen them pressed has been Channel4 News, and occasionally Newsnight. The main bulletins have been lame though, now over-run by right-wingers like Nick Robinson, Stephanie Flanders and Robert Peston, peddling the coalition line of “it’s all Labour’s fault”. Labour are responsible for two things, solving the global banking crisis, and the current economic recovery. We will have to shout loudest when it starts to go tits-up, and make sure the media take responsibility for supporting the wrong decisions. They have cheerleaded this ridiculous excuse for a government, and must be held to account as well.
If Brown had come out with a Cameron like gaffe over the war he would have been hauled over fire naked covered in oil for it,but “call me Dave” gets away with it,for me its the fact he got something so simple wrong that’s frightening its not a gaffe its just poor preparation or worse its poor education which i don’t believe it is.
But his constant downplaying of Britain is annoying every chance he gets he has a go,at the election its “broken” now we’re “junior partners”to America yeah we know,he is and should starting acting like our prime minister and start to blow our counties horn a bit.
THIS IS WHY I AND SO MANY PEOPLE DONT VITE
I AM INTERESTED ENOUGH TO READ THIS, BUT ALL OUT POTENTIAL LEADERS ARE IDIOTS, IDIOTS LEADING BIGGER BUNCH OF IDIOTS (PARTY). PROBABLY LAUGHING AT HOW GREAT THE 2/3 PARTY SYSTEM IS WE ARE STUCK WITH THEM FOREVER
Maybe it is too early to start discrediting the government…Am sure the papers would become more active once it is clear that the government is becoming more unpopular
History was never my strong point either but I’m starting to get the idea of the new Cameronian analysis:
Battle of Waterloo – the Yanks took the brunt of the flak and without them we’d have lost.
Trafalgar – the special relationship’s finest hour. Pity about the friendly fire at the end.
1066? Obviously the country was run down after a period of profligate, enervating Labour government.
Coming to a free school near you.
Ally, the surprise growth figures of 1.1% for the first quarter which Alastair Darling says vindicated our policies won’t be publicised much.
Neither will David Davies’ remarks about the “Brokeback Coalition”.
As you will no doubt say if any Labout government had had the above plus;
St Helena lobbying
A minister resigning within weeks due to sleaze… we would have been crucified. You would expect the BBC to report these things but they’re too scared of the tories and Murdoch.Shameful.
As a side note to the people saying Cameron never had any charisma – that’s a bit harsh. Cameron made his name with his warm manner and engaging political style with an unusually fair respect for his opponents. But he looks past his peak. In fact, he was probably at his peak 4 years ago. Certainly, he looked better in opposition than in government.
Alongside Obama, Dave looked like he couldn’t handle the pressure and seemed to appear distant or self-absorbed whenever Obama was talking.
Alastair Campbell is right. The new government is getting a surprisingly easy ride. If it continues, I can’t see Labour with much hope of winning the next election. But I’m slightly concerned with the lack of a real leader in their ranks, especially given that Cameron is already starting to look like a bit of a glib leader. I honestly can’t see either of the Milibands being Prime Minister. I think David Miliband is the best of the lot, but he might have to bulk up on his physique or something. No offence to him, but he still looks like a bit of a ‘skinny geek’. I just can’t envisage him being PM. Even if Cameron’s government does mediocrely, I can’t see any of the Labour leadership contenders (David & Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Diane Abbot) beating Cameron in 2015.
In my opinion, Labour need a vibrant, powerful politician who will attack the government. Otherwise, we might see a Tory government or coalition government for 2 or 3 terms. Let’s face it, Gordon Brown had a more powerful presence, call it a kind of charisma, than any of the current leadership contenders.
Unsurpringly, the media honeymoon with Cameron continues and his party’s popularity remains high in the polls,(while the Lib Dems continue to sink). Think the gaffe about 1940 will be a bit of a watershed because Cameron’s mask has finally slipped. It reveals little intellectual substance behind the ambitious, upper class, nimble footed PR man who wanted to be PM because he’d be “good at it”.
In contrast, Gordon Brown looks to be finally coming into his own. His work for Africa demonstrates his gravitas, altruism, and ethics. He may not have been best suited to the role of PM but it’s a breath of air to have him back on the scene because he makes the coalition leaders look like a pair of Kensington estate agents.
On the media, I worry more about the polticial/financial sleaze allegations that never see the light of day in the national press – of which there are plenty that can be substantiated and would be in the public interest to publish. In this age of so-called greater transparency, I sometimes think that what has become most transparent is the lack of transparency!
Incidentally, can’t fathom out why my edition of today’s Guardian has hidden a few measly words about the new GDP figures on p.35. Surely this is hugely important news and warrants detailed analysis. Has redeemed itself, however, by excellent by Polly Toynbee on where she thinks Labour should be heading.
What can the Labour Party do to counteract relentless, biased reporting in the media? Prior to the election it convinced many voters that the economy was in a desperate mess and afterwards it continues with further hammering home of the idea. Every time a ConDem politician opens his/her mouth they are quick to refer to this “mess” and their words are frequently reported in the media. The policies of the previous government regarding the deficit are hardly ever mentioned let alone promoted in the same way and yet they could well have been right. We now see an encouraging and unexpected increase in economic growth which could well have been encouraged by policies implemented prior to the election. The media, at best, has skated over this. My question as to how this bias can be countered is not rhetorical! Some radical and original thinking about how to engage the public in a genuine and informed debate is essential and urgent. I’ve not many answers myself!
Ed Balls is playing the man-marker role brilliantly. Wherever Michael Gove goes with Education policy, Balls is there to nail him with a tackle. Now he’s pinned him into the corner flag, where Gove tried the trick of watering-down the the Admissions code. We need a few more ball-winners at the moment, while we search for a new manager.
The coalition have had a servile media on their side since day one, yet they still keep making infantile errors. They look weaker by the day, and there are cracks appearing everywhere. Thanks to David Davis, for finally admitting what Laboour have been saying all along, that the Big Society is a cover of deep and unpopular cuts. A few months in power and an admission of guilt that they lied to the public.
Still no coverage by the BBC. They used to have some guts, but now they don’t have any balls. Thankfully, the Labour party do.
I share your concern. I work internationally and every time I come back to the UK I am astonished by the level of anti-Labour bias in the media. A couple of days ago David Cameron said the UK was junior partner to the US in 1940- a time when the US had not even entered the war. It was a slip up and I thought little of it at the time. Then I thought what would have happened if Gordon Brown had said this. I think it would have been the main news story by the evening with coverage of the reaction of angry war vets and a humiliating public apology from Mr Brown. This is one example of countless that could be cited day after day. My own view is that this bias is so expreme and pervasive that Labour should stop dismissing it or wishing it away. True, less people may read newspapers but news feeds news and there are numerous avenues for this bias. People who are concerned about this should start exposing it as much as possible to the light of day. Labour politicians should take every opportunity to refer to this bias on radio, TV and other outlets. In the US there is a Centre for Excellence in Journalism that monitors press bias and provides statistical evidence of bias in reporting. There is an urgent need for something of this kind in the UK.
According to Polly Toynbee 48% of people blame Labour for the “mess”. This shows what a biased media can do!
But it was the derivatives market in USA which caused the financial crisis which caused the recession which caused the deficit. It is finally time to understand this. It was not Labour overspending as Mr Cameron has claimed. It is not only history skills that the PM must improve.
More regulation is OK, but would not have been able to prevent the crash. It is always a new instrument which causes these problems. And there were huge crises during the time of tighter regulation, as Niall Ferguson says in the New Statesman.
The Lib Dems, the reserve side of the Tories, are now down to 13% in the polls. Will they quit the coalition next year if the AV does not go through?
And only 41% now approve of the government´s performance.
British economy is now in the hands of ideological amateurs. The Tories opposed bank nationalisation, fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing – all vital parts that prevented depression and helped Britain to get out of recession.
And with the help of irresponsible media British public continues to believe that it is “all Labour´s fault”.
I agree with Polly Toynbee that Labour needs to offer an alternative economic policy.
Spot on, Charles (and Val).
One of the most important things the new leader can do (when he or she is elected) is to tear up the page in the party politics PR ‘rule book’ that says, ‘Thou shalt not moan about the media being against you because the floating voters will all think you’re a shower of cry-babies.’
The thinking behind this rule is totally specious. Also to be torn up should be the pages, ‘Thou shalt not be negative about your opponents because the floaters don’t like it and therefore won’t vote for you’ and ‘Thou shalt not boast about one’s achievements.’
Already I’m constantly apoplectic with rage re. Labour people on news programmes NOT constantly bleating ‘SORRY, WE’RE NOT HAVING IT – WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!’ when these Coalition Public school Nit-Wits and Bed-wetters tell the world that ‘We have to do this; it’s all Labour’s fault.’
It’s time, as the philosopher once said, ‘to take the bull by the balls and kick these punks very hard precisely where it hurts.’* It’s like the page on ‘How to deal with a kicking in the Local and/or Euro Elections’ which says that everyone representing the Labour government has to humiliate themselves in radio and TV land saying, ‘We’re sorry and we’re going to listen.’ I dread to imagine how many seats this cowardly, woebegone, flaggelating pile of dog-dirt of a strategy cost us back in June.
TIME FOR CHANGE – Oh, Yes Indeed!
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