Monday, 22 February 2016
The Canary; selling false hope.
Although I am not a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, my opposition to his leadership of the Labour Party is largely not based on policy. Indeed in some respects I am further to the left than Corbyn. My opposition to Corbyn is based on the fact that he is going to give us another Tory government in 2020 and probably lead Labour into oblivion with fewer than 200 MPs.
However one of the bright rays of sunshine in all this up to now has been The Canary; a new left-wing blog which presented news in an alternative way, and subject matter which other news platforms failed to cover. But all that has now gone with their publication of a profoundly misleading article “Corbyn wins 18 elections by a landslide, the media’s silence is deafening”. This article is so deeply dishonest and disingenuous that, for me it has badly discredited The Canary, which is a pity.
The reason this article is so misleading, is that it leaves out the crucial information that the turnout in all these 18 elections (which were elections for delegates to Young Labour) was a paltry 3.5%! Yes that’s three and a half percent! To describe anything with such a low turnout as a “landslide” is disingenuous to the point of dishonesty. Let’s face it, it is a lie. This post was written deliberately to deceive, not least in terms of the headline. But it’s worse than that…
After New Transphobe discredited itself so profoundly by including so much transphobic drivel, and support for those who wish to bully and silence trans people, any new news source on the left is welcome, but this blog post has important implications if you will bear with me…
The first is the reason why The Canary needed to come out with such mendacity, betraying a deep lack of conviction amongst Corbyn supporters. These people are desperate for the appearance of some success, any success. The Corboines have been clutching at straws on a regular basis since September and this is probably one of the most significant examples of this. If Corbyn wasn’t doing so badly there would be no need for The Canary to resort to such misleading drivel.
So this blog post is significant in that it reveals what the Corboines have been denying since Corbyn was selected; that he is failing as leader of the Labour Party and they know it. A number of people have been likening the support of his 260,000 supporters to a religious cult, something I have resisted up to now. This post s making me want to reconsider my opinion. Why write something like this if you are confident your leader is winning? This looks more like desperately fighting for time, an attempt to maintain support in the hope something will turn up.
But it is worse than that. The derisory turnout in this election, a turnout which makes the European elections or the Police Commissioner elections look convincing, undermines one of the Corbiones biggest claims. The claim that Corbyn was enthusing, energising and engaging the country’s youth, or at least the youth on the left, is thoroughly undermined; presumably another reason The Canary fails to mention it. If this claim were true you would have expected very considerably more votes cast in this election.
Let’s face it the only people who are likely to be decieved by this are the Corboines themselves; this represents a clear example of self-deception and speaks volumes about the way the Corbyn project is proceeding. If you have to decieve your own supporters you are not just doing badly, you are desperate.
The Tories have had a disastrous 9 months since the election. They are deeply split on Europe, they have brought in some profoundly unpopular changes to Working Tax Credit and pensions, which will hit people who voted for them last year, they have got Britain involved in a costly and pointless war with no exit strategy, they have proceeded apace with dismantling the NHS, have provoked a doctor’s strike and a teacher shortage, while child poverty soars. Yet they are 14 points ahead in the polls, polls which are more likely than not, on recent experience, to be underestimating Labour support.
Labour has to get past its self-deception if it is ever to be in a position to effect positive and progressive policies in this country again. This blog post is worrying in that it shows how those on the left are prepared to engage in such spectacular self-deception rather than face up to the challenges faced, not only in terms of obtaining power, but ensuring the continued existence of the Labour Party.
A friend recently said she thought Corbyn was committing a political crime; that of selling false hope. It seems that The Canary is now also selling the same false hope too.