Posts Tagged ‘Press’

The tragi-comic end of Wreathgate is a timely reminder of how far British politics has fallen

01/11/2018, 08:23:23 AM

by Rob Marchant

You will recall how, a few months ago, a certain party leader furiously denied, then in the end implicitly accepted, that he laid a wreath at the grave of Palestinian terrorists: essentially in the face of overwhelming evidence that he did just that.

Thanks to the painstaking work of some ordinary folk, as well as journalists, piecing together maps and photographs from the event, it was made clear that the route he took through the cemetery would have made any other explanation untenable.

For many of us, this was a watershed moment. We knew he had a long history of hanging out with dubious people and supporting unpleasant causes, but we wanted to believe there was still a chance that he was merely naïve and occasionally mendacious, rather than a serial liar. This shattered that possibility.

Through five years of Miliband’s leadership, Uncut criticised him, often heavily. We praised him, too, when he got things right. But we never called him a liar, because he was not one. Corbyn is not in the same category politically, of course. But neither is he in the same category personally.

Jeremy Corbyn lied about not laying a wreath. It may seem a minor thing, in the greater scheme of things, but the fact that it does is more a comment on today’s politics than anything else. The only plausible explanation was simply that a man who aspired to be PM could not be seen to be openly supporting terrorists (and worse, Hamas, terrorists with an ingrained anti-Semitism that can be traced back to their founding charter).

So it was really no surprise to find that the Leader’s – or, we assume, his Communications Director and legal team on his behalf – that he made a complaint to the press regulator about the coverage of the event.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

“Transparent” is the new “progressive”. Oh goody.

18/07/2011, 12:00:13 PM

by Tom Harris

Did I hear correctly? Did David Cameron actually say that every meeting or discussion any MP has with a journalist should have to be registered from now on?

No, he didn’t, actually. Though that’s how some outlets were reporting the Prime Minister’s views when he made his statement on the News International inquiry last Wednesday. All ministers should register such encounters, and the opposition should follow suit, he slyly suggested.

Can you imagine the panic that must have gone through both front benches at that point? What, tell the world that I’m having a drink with So-And-So from the Daily Whatever tonight? What happens when So-And-So’s byline appears on a story in tomorrow’s edition revealing that “a senior minister/front bencher” is unhappy with the leadership of “the leader/Prime Minister”? The ancient right to stab one’s leader in the back while being nice to his face is sacrosanct and was even included in Magna Carta. Probably.

And it would be extremely foolhardy to risk it and not register such an encounter, what with all these nosey bloody parliamentary researchers desperate to spot MPs having discreet conversations with journalists and email them to EyeSpyMP on Twitter.

This all smacks of the silly and damaging one-upmanship that prevailed during the expenses crisis of 2009; remember when Gordon and Harriet were reported as wishing to ban all MPs from having outside interests on the basis that it would damage the Tories more than us? They had to settle instead for the half-way house of forcing MPs to declare every penny of outside income, however small, and to invent a figure for the time spent earning it (“Harris, T: writing a post for Labour Uncut – four and a half minutes – remuneration nil”). (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon