Labour’s cabinet reshuffle has been dominating the news for the past few days. What really ended up becoming an underwhelming restructuring of the party was portrayed as a watershed moment for it. While this really wasn’t the case, it seems that the media has tried its best to make it one (more on that later).
What’s the problem with media scrutinising this, you might ask? Well, by spending their time prying into internal party politics, they are losing sight of far more pressing problems. At a time when parts of the UK are suffering from flooding and losing billions of pounds in damage it seems that the media is endeavouring to create news rather than deciding to report it.
In fact, when Jeremy Corbyn attempted to query if more could have been done to react faster to the floods, this was the response that he got:
Not only was he given a fleeting and vague response, but he was on the receiving end of a jab that didn’t really work. It doesn’t give me great pleasure to squash a poor attempt at humour, but I think it would be a lot more helpful if PMQs consisted of more meaningful discourse rather than hurling jibes at one another. This way, the media has even less of an excuse to avoid reporting real news.
If you thought that this was the only bone I have to pick with the media, then think again. A few days ago, a Labour MP who goes by the name of Stephen Doughty appeared to resign publicly from Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench live on television. Now, I wouldn’t be making as big as I am about to on this had this had not been for two things.
Firstly, it has been claimed that Jeremy Corbyn was not informed of his decision to resign prior to the announcement being publicly aired. While I doubt that Mr. Doughty is bound by any legal protocol to make sure that the leader of the Labour party is aware of his resignation before the media, I think it’s in poor taste for that not to be the case. The fact that the BBC abetted him in doing this has left a lot of people questioning the broadcaster’s claims of being non-partisan.
Secondly, and more importantly, the BBC is now facing accusations of attempting to artificially create a political narrative to deliberately derail Corbyn. Perhaps at this point you’re still unconvinced that there were any ulterior motives behind the interview and think that the evidence doesn’t incriminate the BBC enough. A blog post outlining the thinking which went on behind airing the interview was taken down. You can read it here.
Below is a segment from the blog post.
Although he himself would probably acknowledge he isn’t a household name, we knew his (Stephen Doughty’s) resignation just before PMQs would be a dramatic moment with big political impact…When it did, with about five minutes to go before PMQs, he was precise, measured and quietly devastating – telling Andrew that “I’ve just written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the front bench” and accusing Mr Corbyn’s team of “unpleasant operations” and telling “lies”.
For a news outlet which is expressly meant to be impartial, remarks like these fuel the thought that the media is calculating and manipulating its decisions to negatively impact Jeremy Corbyn. A petition calling for their resignation has already gained traction, garnering in excess of 5000 signatures.
The events of the past few days have left me with a lack of faith in the media’s purpose to educate and enlighten – nowadays it seems to be more keen to foster needless drama and division.