The BBC‘s Andrew Neil accused the government of spreading “outright lies and disinformation” about Jeremy Corbyn on 21 February. Addressing Brexit minister Steve Baker, the Daily Politics host said this was the “real scandal” in the current smear campaign against the Labour leader.
“Has he betrayed his country?” asks @afneil after claim from defence secretary about the Labour leader
Get the news that really mattersSign me up
"Jeremy Corbyn, I think, is a grave danger to this country because of the ideas in which he believes and what that would mean…" @SteveBakerHW
Continue reading below...
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) February 21, 2018
Another day, another smear
The right-wing media have tried to convince the nation that Corbyn was a Soviet collaborator. They’re basing this ‘scoop’ on the word of a former Czech spy. One who says he created Live Aid and whose claims about Corbyn become more elaborate every time he makes them (that’s what you call a ‘tell’).
Your Defence Secretary, our Defence Secretary… has said the leader of her majesty’s opposition has betrayed his country. In what way has he betrayed his country?
Baker didn’t answer the question but claimed Corbyn is a “grave danger to our country”. He also insisted that the “free press” in Britain was just doing its job. Neil listed all the evidence contradicting the right-wing media’s claims – evidence that should have stopped the so-called story in its tracks, had the press been doing its job.
The BBC host continued to list other ludicrous statements made by Baker’s colleagues, including saying Corbyn “sold British secrets to communist spies”. And Neil delivered a scathing verdict on the party of government for “piling in” on the media’s smear campaign:
Surely the real scandal, Mr Baker, isn’t what Mr Corbyn has supposedly done or not done. It’s the outright lies and disinformation that your fellow Tories are spreading.
Damn straight, Neil. It’s outrageous enough that British tabloids publish stories about politicians that have next to no basis in fact. But it’s downright scandalous that the party of government has jumped on that smear bandwagon to help its own cause.
Many times on the show, Baker insinuated that Corbyn must answer the questions raised by this smear (he has). But the Conservatives’ behaviour during this desperate campaign raises another very important question: are they fit for government?
I think we all know the answer to that.
– Join The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured image via screengrab
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.