In late 2015, I had one of those ‘shouting at the radio’ moments while listening to Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live.
John Pienaar interviewed some senior Tory who bemoaned non-stop then-PM David Cameron’s complete inability to get any legislation past Parliament. Moments later, he interviewed a journalist who droned on about the inability of Labour under Corbyn to be ‘effective opposition’ and how bad this was for the country and for democracy. Pienaar mmm’d and aah’d understandingly.
I found myself literally screaming at Pienaar, “Ask the f***ing QUESTION!!” – the “f***ing question” being, of course, “How can you say Labour is ineffective opposition when my Tory last guest was just complaining about not being able to get any legislation through?”
That’s what a real journalist would ask – and of course the question was never put to the droning pundit.
The reality, of course, is that Cameron was forced into a huge – even a record – number of U-turns by Labour’s very effective opposition:
That pattern has not changed in the slightest since Theresa May became Prime Minister, as even ‘Guido Fawkes’, one of the most unrepentantly right-wing commentators, admitted:
Naturally, that hasn’t prevented the bulk of the media – including, ironically, the Daily Mirror – and even Labour ‘moderates’, constantly talking even until now about how ‘Britain needs an effective opposition’ as if it wasn’t blindingly obvious to any journalist interested in actual news that we already have a very effective one.
Any viewer/reader who isn’t paying close attention to the facts, though, is likely to be fooled.
That same technique is being used now with regard to Brexit. BBC News, BBC radio, other media and press are all focusing on Labour’s situation with regard to Brexit in order to divert attention from who’s really in a crisis.
Of course, Labour’s situation is complex. Many Labour MPs want to remain in the EU, while most of their constituencies voted to leave it. But Jeremy Corbyn is playing a difficult hand well and the situation even presents him with opportunities.
On the other hand, while Theresa May will repeat her Brexit doggerel and claim to be giving voters what they want, in reality she is drowning in Tory-created chaos and desperately trying to look like she’s waving.
May knows that she has no cards to play with experienced EU trade negotiators – she was warned as much by Britain’s departing ambassador to the EU and chose instead to ‘shoot the messenger’. Her nonsense about ‘red white and blue Brexit’ and the meaningless ‘best possible deal’ are the most pathetic camouflage for her weakness and floundering imaginable.
Mrs May was reduced to grovelling to the odious Donald Trump in the desperate hope of a trade deal she can wave like Chamberlain‘s ‘piece of paper’ peace promise from Adolf, praising Trump on a ‘stunning victory’ when he won only a minority of the popular vote, pissing away any semblance of integrity by failing to stand up to Trump on his ban on Muslim immigrants or his eagerness to authorise torture, while offering Britain’s crowning glory, the NHS, up as a sacrificial lamb to dislodge an ‘America first’ crumb from Trump’s tight, tiny fist.
By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Trump’s torture statement was statesmanlike and authentic.
Then on Saturday May met Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and drooled,
I’m proud that the UK stood with you on 15 July last year in defence of democracy
when the reality was that Erdogan’s pretext-based move to round up and imprison political opponents was the act of an opportunist despot rather than a democrat and Britain had just finished being told scare stories of Turkish mass immigration in an attempt to scare people into voting to leave the EU. She’s so desperate for a deal – any deal, with anyone – to shore up her credibility that she’ll do anything, say anything, forget anything in pursuit of that short-term goal.
To anyone who sees, hears, reads about actual news and facts, there’s only one conclusion: Theresa May is flailing, floundering, drowning in a sea of self-inflicted chaos, with what passed for her credibility in tatters and sharks closing in.
Which is why the media – aided by the Tories and by right-wing Labour MPs who want his departure – will be talking non-stop of Corbyn’s and Labour’s ‘troubles’ even though they’re nothing compared to shark-infested cesspit Theresa May has got herself into and has no idea how to escape.
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