ITV political editor Robert Peston attempted to paint working-class UK people as pro-Donald Trump on 3 June. Peston made the claim in an attack on Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour leader announced he will speak at the anti-Trump protest on 4 June. But contrary to Peston’s argument, British people uniformly hold a negative opinion of the US president.
Peston based his piece on the idea that only middle-class Londoners are anti-Trump:
— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 3, 2019
But he appears to have plucked that claim out of thin air:
According to YouGov polling, 61% of working class northerners have a negative view of Trump, compared to only 23% who view him positively.
As well as speaking at the protest, Corbyn boycotted the state banquet for Trump. Labour’s view is that the UK government should maintain a businesslike relationship with the US president, but not roll out the red carpet for him with an official state visit. Theresa May and the Conservatives, meanwhile, have literally done that.
“Patronising and offensive”
On social media, people condemned Peston:
The idea that only middle class Londoners could dislike a racist, sexist and hateful President is patronising and offensive.
— Natalie Bloomer (@natalie_bloomer) June 4, 2019
Update on this! Apparently the new line from Very Serious Commentators is Corbyn joining the protests against Trump will alienate working class people particularly in the North. Ignore all the polling showing they bitterly oppose Trump, apparently they're MAGA cap wearing bigots.
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) June 4, 2019
It's super convenient how 'the working class' just believes what all the cruise missile liberals believe all the time https://t.co/Yx6NLnfvS2
— Jack Saundrs (@jack_saundrs) June 3, 2019
You're the son of a peer, from London.
I assure you, working class northern voters couldn't give a flying f*ck about Trump's state banquet.
— Tom Pride (@ThomasPride) June 4, 2019
The Westminster lobby's arrant ignorance and hopelessness starts to make a certain sense when you realise that they sincerely believe the phrase "working class northerner" is entirely synonymous with "fascist." pic.twitter.com/Wdw1P9qD1X
— Ally Fogg (@AllyFogg) June 4, 2019
The ITV political editor really exposed his own biases with this attack line. Corbyn’s opposition to Trump is in line with public opinion, while May and the Conservatives are appeasing a far-right president. So Peston resorted to using fantasy working-class northerners to try and undermine Corbyn’s position. And he only ended up with egg on his face.
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