The front page of today’s Times newspaper carries the ‘news’ that socialists are ‘uglier than Tories.’ Next time you hear an establishment media journalist waxing lyrical about their fine profession, you might want to refer them to this.
Too nice to be pretty
Tom Whipple is Science Editor for the Murdoch-owned Times newspaper. Judging by this piece, his remit involves sexing up scientific papers, in order to bag a spot on the front page. In this case, the work of Rolfe Peterson, a Professor at Susquehanna University. Entitled ‘Ugly truth of socialism laid bare by researchers’, Whipple’s report states that according to science, socialists are uglier than Tories. He writes:
And continues [paywall]:
Labour voters might think that their beliefs are rooted in ideas of social justice and Conservative voters might think that their allegiance stems from a faith in the power of the market. But how much of it is actually based instead on their respective attractiveness?
Or, put another way, if Karl Marx had had a better beard, would 20th-century history have been rather different?
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
But in true Murdochian style, Whipple waits until the final line to point out that Professor Peterson refutes this interpretation of the study. He writes [paywall]:
Although Professor Peterson said this did not prove that looks determined politics, he maintained it would be wrong to say looks were unimportant.
In other words, in marginals, don’t ignore the ugly vote.
Thankfully, people did sit up and take notice.
— russjackson (@docrussjackson) January 31, 2018
— duncanpoundcake (@duncanpoundcake) January 31, 2018
Make it stop
The UK media, almost wholly-owned by six [pdf, p6] billionaires, has put a lot of time and money into stigmatising sharing. That’s why for the past 30 years, any one to the left of Thatcher opened all their political conversations with “I’m not a socialist, but…”. And why the UK media recoiled in horror at the Corbyn project and set out to kill it in its crib.
Whipple’s front page story is more of the same. Not only are lefties limp-wristed, kale-munching, terrorist sympathisers. They’re ugly too.
What’s particularly sad about this piece, is that it overlooks a big lesson we could learn from the study. Namely, that being in possession of (any) social privilege can make a person less able to empathise with those who are not. And that can lead them to vote for conservative parties, which tend to favour maintaining privilege over challenging it. That often prefer punishment over rehabilitation. And of course, who view the welfare system as a wafer-thin safety net of which only the most desperate, innocent souls are worthy. While socialists tend to see the welfare state as a bedrock of functioning society. And believe that creating better conditions for everyone, from cradle to grave, benefits us all. And frankly, couldn’t give two shits whether conservatives or socialists are considered better looking.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via The Times
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?