Saturday, 17 June 2017

Reflection time to look back to Corbyn in referendum

Over a week since the election I still do not find much to convince me that the print journalists have changed all that much. Includes some broadcast aspects as well. In Guardian today John Harris considers changes in Corbyn reputation as reported and mentions " a vocal minority of online celebrants" who lack the nuances of the experienced print soforth. Thing is, can the online still be considered a minority outside the world of the columnists? Much could ebb and flow but a return to print as the main driver of election  opinion is pretty unlikely and this matters.

In the New Statesman Jason Cowley writes that " The armies of online Corbynites boast about slaying the beasts of the MSM (mainstream media) and abuse anyone who dares to remind them that Labour did not win the election." well , this blog considers that Fleet street is still an issue. In 2017 social media has started a base, that is all that is obvious. Still think print format could be a bit more polite.

Do these operations really intend to transform as online? They seem to have given up a bit, often just knocking Facebook and Google without explaining what they offer on their own sites. Maybe it is just the nature of a columnist to avoid a read/write medium. Guardian announcement on tabloid format had almost nothing about a web policy.

Anyway, back on topic, this may be a good time to ask some questions that may get an answer in the new spirit of open exchange and unity. It has sometimes been reported that "Benn was sacked in the middle of the night". What seems to have happened is that a report appeared in both the Observer and the Sunday Times that Benn intended to resign from the Shadow Cabinet and would encourage others to do so. There was a phone conversation with Corbyn. How could he continue given the printed reports? Later it was reported that Benn was not the source for the reports. So how do such things happen? Is it possible that someone from the Guardian or New Statesman could hazard a guess. Even the Observer or Sunday Times might reveal something in the new climate.

As mentioned in a recent post I am still interested in the two heckles of Corbyn reported on BBC TV news at the end of the referendum. They were intended to show that Corbyn was blamed by his own supporters. On Twitter it was widely stated that one was linked to Portland Communications and one to the Lib Dems. Neither claim has been considered by the BBC as far as I know. How do they decide which heckles to report? I do not know of others given the same amount of attention during 2016 or 2017 so far.

Jason Cowley, as linked above, also wrote about Corbyn that "He was a long-standing Eurosceptic, and so his leadership in the EU referendum campaign was lacklustre." This is just not true. So it is also misleading to write that he was "abused and traduced" as if this was in the distant past. Estimates are that 65 -70% of Labour voters voted for Remain.

The information I would like is about how the TV appearances were decided on. The official campaign with Will Straw seems to have been close to Cameron and HMG. Alan Johnson had some influence on the Labour Party office whatever the Leader was supposed to be doing. ( just my guess, no info to check this on). Corbyn was supposed to be aimed at youth. He was strong on Sky but shown late in the referendum. Was it his idea to go on the Last Leg ? Why did Channel 4 block him from using clips on his own YouTube channel ? He has been often criticised for only giving the EU 7 out of 10 but rarely is this shown in context.

During 2017 it seems well accepted that any TV clip is online, either from fans or the broadcasters directly. There should be more on Corbyn in the referendum so people can make up their own minds.

The main bit of the story that remains to be explained is what happened one late weekend as the polls turned out difficult and Cameron decided to make space for Labour. Who was involved in this discussion? Step forward Gordon Brown and Lord Darling to share a platform with George Osborne. Who would know how such things happen? Not that long ago.

I am not just raving on about the same things that never get a response or answer. The issues are still currant. Reading the FT there is some recent support for a cross party approach to Brexit. This might mean Labour support for something moderate. Corbyn would be involved but he was not so strong during the referendum. Lord Darling appeared to back a "punishment budget" from Osborne. Corbyn was seen as a bit of a spoilsport in pointing out that as Leader he had not agreed to Labour backing for such a situation. "Not exactly helpful" said Norman Smith on BBC News "They are supposed to be on the same side".

Over the next few months Corbyn may make a case for a jobs first Brexit. It remains to be seen what this means when in discussion with others. Those who prefer to get back as closely as possible to remain once seemed to be pushing alternatives to Labour but could now start on reporting what Corbyn has actually had to say.

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