There are two massive reasons for that nightmare election result that corporate media won’t be talking about

Parliament at daytime.
Ed Sykes

The corporate media and its pundits were quick to try and blame Jeremy Corbyn for Boris Johnson’s nightmarish election win on 12 December. But there are two massive factors to blame that they won’t be analysing in-depth any time soon. These are:

  1. The mainstream media’s endless, years-long propaganda about Corbyn and its utter failure to hold Johnson’s Conservatives to account. This has been a powerful weapon in the UK’s class war, protecting and campaigning for the interests of the rich and powerful. And it highlights the desperate, ongoing need for a radical democratisation of Britain’s media.
  2. Our electoral system giving the Tories a majority of MPs even though it got a minority of votes. The devastating division of the anti-Tory vote, meanwhile, helped to hand the Conservatives seats that united anti-Tory candidates could have won easily. This horror story highlights the urgent need for electoral reform.
Without a media revolution, the ultra-rich will continue to dominate

Brexit was undoubtedly a key factor in the election, handing the Brexit-obsessed Tories numerous longstanding Labour seats because many people perceived Labour’s position on Brexit as an attempt to undo the 2016 referendum result. But other issues were clearly important too. So in stepped the billionaires who dominate Britain’s mainstream media. And their information war against Corbyn’s Labour (both on Brexit and other issues) surely helped to tip the scales in Johnson’s favour. As comedian Frankie Boyle wrote:

Labour has been monstered in the media throughout the campaign, and largely been judged by different standards than the Conservatives.

Johnson, however, avoided scrutiny as much as possible. And the Tory campaign clearly focused on dirty tactics:

Britain’s establishment media also had a clear anti-Labour position from the very start. Even public broadcaster the BBC faced fierce criticism for its alleged pro-Tory bias. In particular, the smearing of Labour’s veteran anti-racist leader was endless (despite his party’s very strong record on stamping out racism), although there was barely a mention of the Tories’ appalling record on racism. Corbyn’s enemies in the Labour Party, meanwhile, had been fuelling this vile propaganda campaign against Corbyn ever since he became party leader. As film legend Ken Loach said:

In fact, as historian Mark Curtis pointed out:

Our current media is simply not fit for purpose. And if we want a truly transformative left-wing government any time soon, a media revolution is vital.

Our electoral system is rotten. Continuing as we are is not an option.

Only two thirds of eligible people in the UK voted in the election, and we obviously need to reflect on why a third chose not to vote. But putting that issue to one side, our electoral system is in desperate need of a radical overhaul. Because in our current system, some votes simply matter more than others. And having to vote for a party that’s not our first choice just because it has the greatest chance of winning is all too often a necessity (particularly for progressives).

In this election, the Conservatives got around 43% of votes, but about 56% of all MPs. Labour (and other parties), meanwhile, would have won more seats in a more proportional electoral system:

As Green Party co-leader Sian Berry insisted:

But smaller anti-Tory parties, fully aware of the rotten core of UK’s electoral system, also need to reflect carefully. Because in numerous places, they helped to put the Tories in power:

In other cases, a majority of people were clearly against the Tories; but pointless division in the anti-Tory vote helped to deliver a Tory MP:

All progressives must campaign for media and electoral reform

Parliament isn’t everything, and politics doesn’t just happen when there’s an election. We can all use our dignified rage at this nightmare election to organise creatively to improve our communities and lay the groundwork for change:

On a national scale, however, it’s absolutely vital in the coming months and years that both media and electoral reform are at the top of any progressive, anti-Tory agenda. Because changing both is the best way to fight back, and failing to do so could cement the Tories’ power even further.

Featured image via Tom Saint

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  • Show Comments
    1. All true but not the real reason Labour lost if you listen to people in the Labour heartlands. The leftwing press has as much responsibility because it ignored voices like Grace Blakely who said EU membership is incompatible with Labour’s manifesto on nationalisation and public investment. The real error Labour made was calling for a second referendum. It should have backed Brexit even more than it did in 2017.

    2. The(Tory) billionaire controlled media not only orchestrated the Corbyn smear campaign.For decades they have been pushing their agenda of hatred and division,not only with their gaslighting tabloid headlines,but more insidiously through dumbing people down.All the current TV reality shows are devoid of any political content and the cinema is reduced to action hero remakes.And low and behold,the moronic masses produced by this brainwashing will always vote for someone they can identify with.Enter Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.As the machines get smarter the populace gets dumber.

    3. You are a bunch of morons. You I imagine everyone is against you. You need to reflect on the reasons why people think Corbyn wasn’t fit. Get real. Instead of insulting sensible people, albeit Northerners, listen. It’s easy to say; that fool doesn’t agree, ask; who is the fool, you or them?,

    4. Many Labour supporters are currently at the first step of the stages of acceptance.
      (Denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance)

      If they fail to leave step one and accept and work towards step 5, years in the wilderness await Labour.

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