The media goes into ‘attack Corbyn’ mode ahead of a possible snap election. His response is sublime.

Jeremy Corbyn
Tracy Keeling

Rumours are flying that a snap general election could be imminent. Dutifully, a number of Britain’s media outlets have lurched into ‘attack Corbyn’ mode. Both the Financial Times (FT) and the Daily Mail, among others, came out fighting against Labour plans for housing and workers if it gets into government.

But little do these anti-Corbyn warriors know from within their establishment echo chamber that the plans are supported by a lot of people. And Jeremy Corbyn’s own response to the attacks helped explain why.

Right on the money

The FT‘s front-page story on 2 September was about a Labour plan for employee ownership. The proposal, first floated by shadow chancellor John McDonnell in 2018, would see companies with 250 or more employees create an ‘inclusive ownership fund’ (IOF). Companies would put 1% of their shares into this fund each year. Once the fund, which workers would own, reaches 10% of a company’s equity, the yearly transfer of shares would end. Labour says the plan would give workers a boost to their salaries of up to £500 via dividends for the shares. It would also give workers a voice in company votes as shareholders.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




But here’s how the Financial Times decided to describe that plan to its readers:

Labour would cost UK companies £300bn by shifting shares to staff

Clearly, that headline doesn’t give a positive impression of Labour’s plan; even though, as Jacobin points out, companies routinely ‘cost’ themselves value in a similar way, by issuing new shares. The difference is, these shares are often issued so companies can hand them to executives – to prop up their already excessive pay – rather than workers.

In response to the FT‘s cynical headline, Corbyn sublimely cut to the core of the plan, saying:

Keep ’em coming

The Daily Mail also trotted out an attack piece on Labour. It claimed John McDonnell will “declare war” on buy-to-let landlords. It told readers that the plan gives a “chilling insight” into what would happen under a Labour government. In reality, McDonnell revealed that his party wants to tackle the “burgeoning buy-to-let market” by making it easier for workers to buy the homes they live in. Corbyn himself raised this idea back in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Mail went for an attack on the Labour leader’s appearance. Standard.

So clearly, the mainstream media have now got their game on. Expecting an imminent general election, outlets have pulled out the ‘get Corbyn’ artillery. But their ammunition is lacking. Because here’s the sum total of what we learned from these attacks: Labour wants to help workers shafted by the economic system and renters robbed by the housing system. Corbyn also supports human rights and sustainable shopping.

That the media finds any of this ‘chilling’ really does sum up the disgraceful state of the industry today.

Featured image via The Guardian/YouTube

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
    1. The fact the FT actually share a labour policy undistorted (despite the negative headline and critical comments) is a welcome development and might reveal more than it looks.

      So far, the anti Labour MSM took great care in AVOIDING presenting labour policies at all, not even in a critical way, because they know those policies are highly popular (when presented to the public individually without naming the source) and are very aware of the adage “no such thing as bad publicity”. That’s why the attacks always been personal, never about policies.

      I might be over optimistic, but could it be that the FT are realising how hopeless and damaging the Tory Party has become to the economy and business at large, apart from the fringe group of hedge fund managers, but cannot be seen supporting Labour openly?

      I don’t know, but the fact is clear to me that any more years of Tory rule, hard brexit or not, is a threat to capitalism itself and, ironically, the mildly socialism “McDonnellism” is the best way to save capitalism from devouring itself! Perhaps the City wizened about it?

    2. You pose intriguing thoughts.

      I wonder how many people in the City understand how market-capitalism used to function. Likely, not many people taking up employment there after Mrs Thatcher took office.

      Setting aside the connected matter of ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the profound choice facing the UK is (regulated) market-capitalism versus neo-liberal economics. The latter results in sequestration of wealth by very few. That is, capital is denied to markets and thence to entrepreneurial endeavour.

      Wealth drives opportunity, influence, and power. There are many people by traditional standards regarded wealthy. That is people whose fortunes are measured in tens of millions of pounds extending to a couple of hundred million or so. At one time the upper end of the distribution of wealth, despite reaching the stratosphere, tailed off rapidly.

      Nowadays, aided by market deregulation and latterly by quantitative easing, being wealthy starts around one billion pounds. People who may be regarded as very comfortably well off, including Cameron and Johnson, stand little chance of becoming peers of the billionaires. “Unto him that hath shall be given …” seems a universal truth; only now the rate of acquisition appears to increase far faster than linearly as the size of corresponding base accumulations of wealth increases along the distribution.

      Well heeled politicians, newspaper editors, and persons in the City, rub along with the super-wealthy and fool themselves into thinking they are part of that social circle. Indeed, they are treated with seeming respect and distant ‘friendship’. Yet, the reality of their status is no greater than that of a valued retainer in an eighteenth century palace.

      The nature of the unbridgeable divide eludes them. Their wealth is sufficient to offer opportunity, influence, and power. However, these instances are orders of magnitude less than those of their ‘betters’ (most people are better than Johnson in moral worth). The difference is barely noticeable most of the time. After all, the lord in his castle hardly cares how his stewards order affairs in the slum outside where they are regarded to be great and powerful men.

      We are a little way from when the mega-rich can pull up the drawbridge behind them. When that happens Camerons and Johnsons shall continue to live in comfort for a long while but the value of their assets compared to that of their ‘betters’ will rapidly decline. Opportunity, influence, and power (except for a while over lesser serfs of the mega rich) will dwindle.

      So it is for many other people in politics, finance, and the professions, who regard their positions inviolable. They smugly stand on cracking ice covering a deep lake of despair. Some may boast about their bonuses whilst quaffing unfit to drink Beaujolais nouveau. Others, those with chattering class inclinations will mention gains in their trivial share portfolios, bond yields (not at present a jolly topic), and why paper gold is a good investment (not so, be warned). These are the people beguiled by prospect of quick profit from further privatisation (e.g. the NHS and state schools). For them, neo-liberalism is an opportunity and may the Devil take the hindmost.

      Satan is a wily old bird. Patience personified (demonified?). He will show these proud economic ignoramuses that it is they who now are hindmost. They shall join the other serfs whom before they affected to despise.

      The rabble will be useful stock for maintaining genetic diversity. If they are bright enough to grasp the need for out-breeding the super-elite in their towers will induce hybrid vigour thereby but (sensibly) reject offspring regressing below the anticipated mean. The alternative scenario is decline through in-breeding as with ancient Egyption Pharaohs and modern day European monarchs; genetic insularity will lead to collapse; the rabble will start the whole cycle again.

      The sorry prognostication can be averted if enough people with the wit to do so grasp the meaning of ‘society’. They don’t have to sign up to the more ridiculous ideas of ‘equality’ or the obverse of ‘diversity’ promulgated by people with more time on their hands than sense. Yet, they must recognise that the worth of others is not measurable by money. Neo-liberalism is route to extinction of human creativity and ambition; a huge substructure of free thinking beings is necessary to support those. Restoring market-capitalism within a mixed economy is the way forward. Also, required is restoration of collective ambitions transcending those of ‘consuming’ and pursuit of wealth with no end purpose for it in mind.

      —–

      Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license (sic).

      —–

      Author’s email: atlanticcouncil@protonmail.com (It’s genuine)

      —–

      Bitcoin appreciation to:

      1Kz9AteVKnt3xb4wfDtAZH2DhnU3dy1Wkt

      1. Are you a Journalist? You certainly seem to have the requisite skill set for it, and I know this sounds like I’m blowing sunshine up your ….. but I can’t help it, your posts are so good, at times I think I am reading The Canary or an RT article.

        It may just be me (I hope there are others who appreciate what you write), but I find your eloquent usage of our wonderful language a breath of fresh air, and your intelligent analysis of the subjects involved clearly shows you do your research.

        Your posts, particularly this one, are a cornucopia of delightfully linguistic artistry, that flow like honey through my eyes and into my appreciative word-munching cerebellum. More than once I have been treated to words I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing before, and mostly their meaning is clearly derived from the context.

        If you aren’t a Journalist, or writer, I would whole-heartedly suggest that this may be a good career move for you, obviously only you can decide that, and if you aren’t, and don’t go that route, I will continue to enjoy revelling in the works of art identified as your comments or posts.

        I must admit that I hunger for well written articles, with good punctuation and layout. I am not so good at this presently, but I hope to learn from you, and improve my own skills. There are far too many badly written articles, comments and posts, which savage the English language with bad spelling, punctuation, and structure.

        Truly remarkable, thank you again.

    3. Pursuit of wealth without any end purpose sums it up well. It’s a world without a dynamic you mean brought about by the rabble?
      I think this rabble is far more astute than Smyth-Mogg thinks, and is unreliant on a breeding cycle to accomplish the diversity we need to survive.
      Corbyn’s plan looks like a CO-OP in nature , and companies in Spain do very well competing against the formal “Capitalism” model.
      Narrowed minded papers. As exciting as a Horse with Blinders on, say delivering milk in the 19th century.
      Uninspired.
      Will find out in the next General election who takes these owner’s viewpoint seriously. What they peddle isn’t news.
      A suprise coming?

    4. And now consider the John Mann appointment. This is the sign that the Tories will push antisemitism up the election agenda. Mann writes: “The Jewish community is the canary in the cage for the health of everybody else and society. That has been the case throughout history. ” History covers c 10,000 years. A “Jewish community” has not existed for that long. Nor is there a united “Jewish community”. It includes Norman Finkelstein and Netanyahu. Mann engages in the typical Zionist, not Jewish, tactic of granting Zionists, not Jews, genetic superiority. The Jews ie Zionists are the measure of everything, and always have been. This is not mere intellectual weakness but delusion.
      Mann is now Witch Finder General for the Tories. He should begin his search for Jew-haters (a better term than antisemites) among the Zionists. This is Jabotinsky: “Our starting point is to take the typical Yid of today and to imagine his diametrical opposite. Because the Yid is ugly, sickly and lacks decorum, we shall endow the ideal image of the Hebrew with masculine beauty.” There is the expression of Zionist Jew-hatred, a hatred which has been responsible for a century and more of abuse and, of course, the murder of Jews who refused to sign up to the Zionist project.
      Mann knows the Labour Party is not “institutionally racist”. He knows Jew-hatred is a peripheral problem. He is a tendentious advocate for the Israeli State. And what does he have to say about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine?

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.