- Date published:
8:56 am, September 15th, 2015 - 153 comments
Categories: afghanistan, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, International, Media, Politics, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics - Tags: jeremy corbyn, Josie Pagani, tony blair
The one thing the left wants more than anything else is a clean contest of ideas where all sides of an issue are properly explored. That way the chances of the proper decision being made is maximised.
This is an especially important role for the media. After all their power to broadcast ideas widely, although weakening, is still formidable. And newspapers with national reach and State owned media ought to be especially careful that all sides of arguments are presented.
This is not a peculiarly New Zealand problem. Australia and the United Kingdom also seem to struggle with the concept of independence. Rupert Murdoch’s reach in all three companies seems to have tilted things permanently in favour of the right.
The argument about the flag yesterday is a classic example. John Key says that Labour will not agree to changing the law to allowing a fifth option, red peak, to be presented, Labour sticks to its position that the vote to change should actually be held first, and suddenly it is again all Labour’s fault.
Exhibit A is Brook Sabin’s tweet:
Labour had a choice. Red Peak or politics. They could have said they were putting politics aside to back "the people"
— Brook Sabin (@BrookSabin) September 14, 2015
But this is what John Key said according to that paragon of independence, Mediaworks owned TV3:
Earlier in the news conference when asked if he would consider changing the law to include Red Peak Mr Key said it was “not my intention” to change the options.
“You’d be asking me to jump in front of a process.”
Key was never going to change. So why did elements of the media suddenly start claiming that Labour had been wrong footed?
Exhibit B is Josie Pagani’s recent Herald Column. I have to admit that I find her comments really frustrating because she always advocates for a “middle way” approach without actually analysing if the “middle way” approach is right or explaining what it might entail. I am a firm believer that elected representatives should support the correct way and educate and advocate if the “middle way” is not the correct way.
She says this about Jeremy Corbyn’s election:
Ashcroft’s analysis shows Corbyn has been elected by activists more concerned about validating their anger and feeling good about themselves than by people who will make Britain better. They think its more important to show their rage about inequality than to reduce inequality. Labour’s base has indulged itself, convinced of their own principled virtue rather than asking hard questions about why most voters don’t trust us to deliver on our principles.
But Labour’s purpose is to do good, not feel good.
Jeremy Corbyn blamed the media for Labour’s election loss multiple times in his victory speech. This is a cop-out. Lecturing the media won’t change their minds next time around, and only begs the question of why activists are able to see through pernicious lies while voters are not.
In relation to the media this is what Corbyn actually said:
“I also say a huge thank you to all of my widest family, all of them, because they have been through the most appalling levels of abuse from some of our media over the past three months. It has been intrusive. It has been abusive. It’s been simply wrong.
“And I say to journalists: attack public political figures, make criticisms of them – that’s OK. That is what politics is about. But please don’t attack people who didn’t ask to be put in the limelight, merely want to get on with their lives. Leave them alone, leave them alone in all circumstances.”
Anyone see where Corbyn blamed the media for Labour’s election loss?
Pagani also said this:
Corbyn’s politics are narcissism, where hard decisions never need to be made, where the unpopularity of a policy is evidence not of its failure but of its virtue.
Yet modernising Labour has failed to offer a compelling alternative. It has failed to demonstrate Labour can be hard-headed about our priorities as well as soft-hearted in our intentions, that we have a way to provide caring community services that meet voters’ aspirations for better lives and their questions over whether we can be fiscally competent. Alternatives to Corbyn’s emotional appeal have been so weak, it has sounded like the only other option is to split the difference with the right.
Here is an invite to Pagani. How about she analyses Corbyn’s positions over the past few decades and says which ones are wrong and why. Then we can have a proper discussion about if and why Corbyn will be a failure and an unfortunate distraction. From where I stand he has advocated for and stood on the right side of many issues for many years.
If she wants a list this post from the World turned upside down is a good starting point. No doubt Crosby Textor is busily attempting to undermine the blog post’s conclusions but such is modern politics.
My really abbreviated summary is that Corbyn opposed Apartheid for decades, was opposed to Pinochet’s take over of Chile, was an early supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights, supported the miners during Thatcher’s attacks on their union, opposed selling weapons to Saddam Hussein in the 1970s and 1980s, was involved in the campaigns seeking the acquittal of the Birmingham Six and the Guilford Four, opened dialogue with Sinn Fein not long before the Thatcher Government opened up secret talks with Sinn Fein, opposed Labour’s introduction of University Tuition Fees which was contrary to Labour’s 1997 election manifesto pledge and has resulted in the average student now having £53k of debt, opposed the private finance initiative which was used in part by New Labour and has resulted in a cost to the taxpayer of £10bn a year and will end in more than £300bn being paid for assets worth just £54.7bn, opposed the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 and this view was supported by a majority of Britons in 2009 and Britain eventually withdrew its troops in October 2014, saw through the ‘dodgy dossier’, the claims of weapons of mass destruction and campaigned and voted against the Iraq war in 2003 and helping to organise the biggest demonstration in British history and remains a leading figure in the Stop the War Coalition, being a long-standing campaigner for the rights of the Palestinian people, beginning his advocacy at a time when Western public opinion was largely hostile to the Palestinian cause, advocating for public ownership of UK’s railways, being a long-term campaigner in CND, and has always opposed Britain having nuclear weapons and campaigning against austerity.
That is the most epic sentence I have every typed. On issue after issue Corbyn was either at the forefront of change or he has been shown with the passing of time to have adopted a position that has been shown to be correct. To describe Corbyn as being narcissistic and to claim that he picks unpopular causes only to be virtuous is insulting.
If you need to understand why Corban will potentially be an outstanding leader then the evidence of his decision making over the past 40 years and how over decades his decision making has been vindicated should be more than enough proof.
The guy is a freaking left wing saint. Does Pagani really think that war mongerer and contributor to the weapons of mass destruction delusion Tony Blair is somehow better?
The frustrating thing about Pagani’s public role is that I cannot work out what she supports or what she things about important issues. Yet she occupies a privileged position in our media apparatus and apparently speaks for me and many others. But repeating right wing attack lines against left wing politicians only damages the left and means that the contest of ideas that the left yearn for is not occurring.