Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a huge fan of Jeremy Corbyn.
I could come up with some solid reasons as to why I don’t think the current leader of Her Majesty’s opposition is not a great candidate to be Prime Minister – but being a spy for the Czechs is certainly not one of them.
In whose tiny mind does this type of fake news slur seem like a good idea? Well, apparently in the mind of our country’s Defence Minister and some of his colleagues.
The current Prime Minister,’ in office but not in power’ Theresa May, should have condemned and sacked Ben Williamson for accusing Corbyn of betraying his country. Likewise, Security Minister Ben Wallace, who scandalously compared the Labour leader to cold war double agent Kim Philby, should have been dismissed too.
Instead her weakness, once again, has clouded her judgement, and the PM not only failed to chastise the perpetrators of these mindless slurs, but arguably joined in with her “I know he likes cheques (sic)” remark in yesterday’s PMQ s exchange.
In years gone by Labour leaders, particularly but not exclusively, left -leaning Labour leaders, would be forgiven for losing sleep over this sort of nasty tripe.
The power of the mainstream media was such that Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock faced a daily barrage of hostile attacks and were genuinely undermined by The Sun, Mail, Express, Telegraph, and many others. Even Tony Blair got the Fleet Street treatment as the opposition leader, and Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband still have the scars on their backs from an aggressive press strategy that cost both of them support.
Social media is undoubtedly used and abused by some, but the ability of people to now distinguish between outlandish propaganda and facts is undoubtedly a force for good. When it is combined by good old fashioned and robust BBC journalism as displayed on the Politics Show by Andrew Neil here then it is a joy to behold.
In days gone by Neil’s vintage performance would have been witnessed exclusively by political anoraks. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, this clip has gone viral in a big way.
The Tories need to learn that the days when you could come up with a negative narrative, and let it fester in the minds of the electorate have long since gone. Social media equals Rapid Rebuttal on speed.
Corbyn has many areas of weakness that can be legitimately attacked. But, if the Tories continue to treat the voters as fools, and overreach in their Corbyn – bashing, they will fail to regain the support they need to form a government that can actually govern.