Shabi told Sky News that the Tory leader was:
letting down the public when he does not stand up to scrutiny. And I think the disdain he is showing in not doing so is to the public, not to the TV channels.
This isn't just about Boris Johnson hiding from TV interviewers. Its the disdain this shows for the most basic democratic concept of public scrutiny pic.twitter.com/i0xXzTeEoe
— rachel shabi (@rachshabi) December 5, 2019
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She recently wrote that the election on 12 December is a choice “between the nativist, hard-right, hard-Brexit Conservatives and Corbyn’s Labour Party, which has produced the most radical left policy platform the nation has seen in decades”. She also made it clear that Labour is “battling against a billionaire-backed Trumpian campaign of aggressive fake news from Boris Johnson’s Conservatives”, and that “Labour’s manifesto met a mostly hostile, incurious reception in much of the British press”. In short, even-handed scrutiny of Johnson’s party at this point is vital but sorely lacking.
Shabi has criticised the mainstream UK media, for example, for dismissing the recent “NHS sell-off leak” as “no biggie”. And she characterised the press response to a new “leaked secret document showing Boris Johnson misled the public” as “yeah, whatevs”.
Johnson is ensuring there isn’t a fair or balanced debate
Johnson recently chickened out of a Channel 4 climate debate, having previously refused a debate with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the same channel. And while Corbyn has already done an interview with the BBC‘s Andrew Neil, Johnson has yet to do the same:
Come on @BorisJohnson, what are you scared of? Surely you can defend your record of supporting austerity, inflicting huge cuts on public services, police and armed forces and letting your big business mates into our NHS? And as for your lies…#VoteLabourpic.twitter.com/VquA0PcA5W
— Jennie Formby (@JennieGenSec) December 5, 2019
Boris Johnson’s decision to hide from Andrew Neil is clearly getting to him. Shouting at journalists and comparing Andrew Neil to Lord Buckethead is not a good look. He should do the right thing, and do the interview. #GeneralElection2019 pic.twitter.com/iCKtF0VKvx
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) December 6, 2019
Today I added a new lie to the Dossier. Johnson: "I’m perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC":https://t.co/tfVKwlWx1d
— Peter Oborne (@OborneTweets) December 5, 2019
Former Daily Mail columnist Peter Oborne, who is now contributing to a website detailing “the lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations of Boris Johnson and his government”, has also blamed the media for not being tough enough on Johnson. Oborne slammed “senior BBC executives” who “think it’s wrong to expose lies told by a British prime minister because it undermines trust in British politics”. Labour’s John McDonnell, meanwhile, has accused the BBC of “being played” by Johnson.
Oborne has also criticsed the worrying Tory decision to ban critical journalists from Johnson’s campaign bus:
Johnson has banned the @DailyMirror from his campaign bus. Reporters from other papers should have boycotted the bus until the Mirror was allowed back on. Some things are more important than access. These are dark times for British political journalism:https://t.co/eqbWLbI8T0
— Peter Oborne (@OborneTweets) December 6, 2019
This all jars with the fact that even Johnson had previously said voters “need to see interchange between their potential leaders”, essentially calling for ‘as many debates as possible’:
Bottler Boris Johnson has pulled out of a Channel 4 debate scheduled for tonight, which is quite odd, because it wasn’t that long ago he was saying that debates are “essential”.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) November 24, 2019
Johnson can avoid public scrutiny because he has the establishment right behind him
The Conservative Party is in bed with Britain’s billionaires, and they back it to the hilt as a result. And this is all the more dangerous when they dominate the UK’s media environment and can push their clear anti-Labour position far and wide with little interest in balance. Even the country’s public broadcaster, the BBC, has faced fierce criticism for its alleged pro-Tory bias.
Officials in the UK military/intelligence establishment are working with the corporate media to stop Corbyn becoming prime minister. Here’s the evidence. New research from Declassified UK by @DCKennard. https://t.co/2qyFl30OWf
— Declassified UK (@declassifiedUK) December 4, 2019
Corbyn’s party has over 500,000 members and is offering bold, sensible policies to empower British citizens. Its manifesto also has the backing of countless economists. But Corbyn is challenging the power of the ultra-rich, pushing for an ethical foreign policy, and promising major media reform. That’s why establishment forces fear Corbyn so much: because he represents real change. And that’s why Johnson barely needs to try. Because Britain’s billionaire media is right behind him, and leading a full-on offensive against Corbyn.
But on 12 December, voters have a real chance to shut this putrid network down once and for all.
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