One columnist for The Mail on Sunday, Dan Hodges, tried to take the public for a ride on 19 April. But they very quickly made him eat his words.
Better the devil
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the UK will hold a general election on 8 June. And Hodges decided to add his two pennies’ worth on what impact opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn would have on the country should his party win:
There is not a single thing wrong with this country that would be improved by installing Jeremy Corbyn as its Prime Minister.
— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) April 19, 2017
But Hodges didn’t find many people who agreed with his assessment. Instead, he inadvertently gave commentators a platform to list the many things they do believe would improve under a Corbyn government:
NHS, Foreign policy, education, wealth redistribution, poverty reduction, bolstered public services, tackling tax evasion….. to name a few
— Olly T (@Olly__thomas) April 19, 2017
Start with a few easy ones. The NHS & education, and care of our elderly and disabled. All targets of Tory thuggery.
— John Metcalfe (@JohnMetcalfe28) April 19, 2017
Respect for human rights? Access to the single market (i.e. Our single most important trade partners) Only minor points…
— Joseph Allchin (@J_Allchin) April 19, 2017
Tell that to the 1000s of people affected by the welfare cuts! Your ignorance and blind hatred of Corbyn is astounding.
— Tricia Murray (@TMurrayKent) April 19, 2017
Hodges describes himself as a “tribal neo-Blairite”. And he is very critical of Corbyn. The columnist, for example, wrote an article after the tragic murder of Jo Cox that called on the Labour Party to “kill” its leader. So it’s no surprise that a potential Corbyn victory doesn’t fill him with enthusiasm.
But his statement was so sweeping that it didn’t sit well with some who don’t support the Labour leader either:
I'm no fan of his, but the private school VAT policy would certainly improve the social fabric.
— Dominic Carter (@DomCarter90) April 19, 2017
I'm no Jez supporter but that statement is plainly bollocks
— Michael Bronstein (@MichaelLeam) April 19, 2017
Meanwhile, some commentators stated that they didn’t believe a continued government led by May would fare any better:
There isnt a single good thing in this country that couldn't be ruined by giving May a blank cheque / no parliamentary opposition
— Schlist (@Schlist) April 19, 2017
Shooting your own foot
The public believes that Corbyn will make these improvements because he has consistently worked in parliament on those issues, first as an MP and now as the Labour leader. And his latest round of pledges confirms his commitment:
Let me remind you of Labour's Easter Policy Blitz. We were ready for this moment. pic.twitter.com/UWhctyoYeu
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) April 18, 2017
And that’s not an understanding that Hodges could have missed. But in his mad dash to convince the public that they should not vote for the Labour Party at the general election, he ignored this completely. His deception, meanwhile, backfired and ended up making him look like a fool. Because people wouldn’t fall for the con.
That’s a lesson all media outlets and politicians would be wise to learn quickly. Because many of the public are now acutely aware of the spin machine, and their tolerance for it is diminishing. So it’s time for honesty not spin. As Hodges just found out.
– Read more Canary articles on the general election.
– Register to vote!
Featured image via Kerry-anne Mendoza
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?