Today’s Sunday Times front page almost makes the BBC mocking up a ‘Russian’ Jeremy Corbyn look balanced. It attempts to characterise supporters of the Labour leader as Russian stooges:
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) April 28, 2018
Alleging a ‘Moscow connection’, the article attempts [paywall] to explain away Labour’s 40% voteshare in the general election through Russian bots. In response, Labour MP Chris Williamson branded the story a “bullshit smear”.
Delegitimise the Corbyn-led movement
This front page comes after a long line of attacks trying to paint Corbyn as pro-Russia. Not least, was BBC Newsnight. The flagship political show caused outrage in March after photoshopping the Labour leader onto a Moscow backdrop. Not long before, The Sun attempted to tarnish Corbyn as a Soviet asset because he met a Czech diplomat in 1986. This is part of the establishment campaign to delegitimise the Corbyn-led movement and, in the words of Owen Jones, “turn the clock back” on the 2017 election result.
But it’s nothing new. Painting threats to state and corporate power as agents of Russia has long been the habitual reaction from the establishment. Labour leader Neil Kinnock faced the same, from the same newspaper:
— Saboteur Aesop 🔵 (@TheFabledAesop) April 29, 2018
And in the 1980s, the powers that be used similar propaganda against the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The media and political class painted anti-war and anti-nuclear protestors as Soviet spies. One example is the following Sun front page:
The Conservative connection to Russia
At the same time, the media sidelines connections between the Conservative Party and the Putin administration. In under two years, the Conservative Party has received £820,000 from Russia-linked companies and oligarchs. The Russian embassy also tweeted support for the Conservative Party during the 2017 election.
But it seems the media doesn’t only sideline Conservative links to foreign powers. A WikiLeaks cable exposed that the US wrote about the anti-Corbyn Labour MP Ruth Smeeth followed by the words “strictly protect”. WikiLeaks says the description means the Labour MP is a US “informant”. Yet the mainstream media has barely acknowledged this. Smeeth responded in 2011, saying she “would not consider” herself a US government source.
Double standards aside, the attacks on Corbyn and the progressive movement are part of a sinister trend. The powers that be appear desperate to stop the formation of the people-powered government Corbyn promises. It’s up to people to fight back.
– Take action with Stop Funding Hate.
Featured image via Chatham House/Flickr
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?