The Conservative Party gained hundreds of seats in the local elections. But despite the victories, the mainstream media couldn’t stop themselves continuing to circulate desperate smears about Jeremy Corbyn.
And it says a lot. Because either it means the media now smear Corbyn by default, or these outlets still fear a Labour victory in the general election. But either way, they were caught red-handed.
Scandal No.1: Corbyn speaks to voters
Residents of Greater Manchester voted in the Labour’s Andy Burnham as mayor at the elections. He won a massive 63% of the vote. Yet Beth Rigby from Sky News noticed something about the victory celebrations that left her “speechless”:
They're having a rally to celebrate winning Manchester without the man who won it. Speechless (not them, me) pic.twitter.com/tKeUlf1Tnf
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) May 5, 2017
Seemingly, Rigby cannot believe that the public dared to celebrate the victory without consulting Burnham first. And worse, they even turned out when local MP Rebecca Long-Bailey invited the leader of the party they’d just voted for to address them in that celebration. A leader that, as someone quickly pointed out, the crowd were quite pleased to see:
It would be really fair reporting if you told people that they were in fact chanting Jeremy Corbyn. pic.twitter.com/G89vAcAzHJ
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) May 5, 2017
Scandal No.2: Burnham shows support for Corbyn
Meanwhile, Politics Home’s editor Kevin Schofield shared some other awful ‘news’ for Corbyn. But by news, he meant a ‘somebody told me that Burnham told somebody else’ type scoop:
Told Burnham told Labour MPs he wasn't going to let Corbyn have a good picture on a day hundreds of labour colleagues lost their seats.
— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) May 5, 2017
Strange, as Andy is showing strong support and loyalty to Corbyn today: https://t.co/5xsm47oEtQ
— Grassroots Voices (@GrassrootsJC4PM) May 5, 2017
In particular, Burnham said that Corbyn appeals to young people. And he warned against people calling the general election “too early”.
Scandal No.3: Someone in the Labour Party is briefing against Corbyn
The BBC‘s Laura Kuenssberg, of course, also had to get in on the act. She tweeted gossip from a “Labour source” about Corbyn’s team and its response to the losses it suffered:
Labour source says, there's ''A blatant attempt to blame individual councillors for a terrible night in Labour-cowardly from Corbyn's team"
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 5, 2017
Kuenssberg didn’t acknowledge, however, that it’s “cowardly” not to have the guts to admit who you are when briefing against your own party. But she did have to concede that Corbyn’s team said the accusation was a lie:
Labour leadership completely denies claims of 'blame game' underway against councillors
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 5, 2017
The real scandal: a broken media
These ‘stories’ didn’t have the effect intended. One just looked like an attack on voters. The other painted Burnham as a hypocrite. And the last only revealed that the Labour Party continues to contain saboteurs.
But that surely wasn’t the point. The point was likely the same as it’s always been: to attack Corbyn. But coming on the day when the party suffered local losses, these acts beg a question. Are the media attacks on Corbyn now just second nature? Or is the media not satisfied that these local losses will translate into the same for Labour at the general election?
Only around 36% turned out to vote in the local elections. And they didn’t take place in all councils across the country. So perhaps it’s the latter. But one thing’s for certain, people need to vote if they want to choose the direction of their country. And until then, it seems the smears are going to keep on coming.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. People can call 0300 200 3500 if they don’t already have a national insurance number.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
Featured image via Rwendland/Wikimedia
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