What Next For Starmer as the Media Attack Dogs are Unleashed?
Posted on May 11, 2022
As the right-wing press launched their attack dogs on Kier Starmer this week, seeing the views of different people made interesting reading.
After weeks of demanding critics “move on”, the discovery that Starmer may have infringed regulations set a new tone. Days and days of allegations about hypocrisy and demands for his resignation, followed. The Ukraine crisis we were told was more important than a garden party, suddenly became yesterday’s news.
Starmer had no choice to act in this game of media poker. So, with controlled, some might say, manufactured dignity, he offered to resign in the event of a police fine. It has shut down the press for now but only whilst they draw for breath and think of reasons for Johnson coming out of this unscathed.
The Daily Mail threw the first canary down the mine. ‘STARMER ACCUSED OF PILING PRESSURE ON POLICE’, ran the headline yesterday. The reaction on social media platforms was one of shock but only if you are stuck in your own echo chamber (like I am, sometimes). Outside of that chamber, things are somewhat different.
Daily Mail readers treat their paper like it is God. It is like a religious cult they have been unwittingly drawn into by manipulative journalism. They start off by reading the sports pages and doing the crossword, then, within six months, they are quoting it down at the golf club. They join in the chorus of their masters, calling high court judges ‘the enemies of the state’ and demanding the return of workhouses. I have witnessed it myself.
Mail readers will be shocked as well but in their own way. Shocked that the Labour leader would pile pressure on the police. They won’t see that The Mail, in effect, is perverting the course of justice and getting away with it. They get away with it because they have the government’s back and are owned by seriously rich nom-domiciles.
And that, in my opinion, is why The Sun, The Mail, The Express and The Telegraph have got all guns blazing at Starmer. They are paranoid, living in fear that one day, someone in opposition will put an end to industrial scale tax avoidance. Worse still, they could have their assets impounded and face criminal charges. It is of small comfort that they live in a permanent state of fear about the coming of the pitchforks.
The thought of being led from their castles in handcuffs is what drives them on. If it means calling judges ‘enemies of the state’, accusing the opposition of ‘putting pressure on the police’, and stoking a class war between those who have a bit, and those who have not very much, so be it. It will always be the case that if those who looted the treasury are going down, they will take the country first. The irony is that they portray themselves in their shitrags as being patriotic. Why wouldn’t they if the serfs are prepared to believe them?
Attacking the Centre Ground
Starmer, like Blair before him, has attempted to move to the centre of politics to gain traction. It has worked to an extent, but the haemorrhaging of left-wing support has diluted this strategy, perhaps more than he hoped. What is palatable to some, is unpalatable to others, and is in turn, an eternal Labour Party issue. ‘Venn that!’, as the saying goes.
What we are witnessing now, is proof that if an opposition leader is anywhere near the centre-left ground, he or she is labelled a danger to society in the non-domicile media groups. Starmer is known to have misgivings about non-domicile status and offshore tax avoidance. That, for the likes of Dacre, The Barclays and Murdoch, is good enough reason to pile into him over his curry and beer event/non-event, in Durham.
If found guilty, Starmer will go and so will the (arguably) more talented, Angela Rayner. It will heap the pressure on Johnson to follow. Don’t bank on it though. Johnson’s team and media allies will already be working on a reason Starmer should go and he (Johnson) shouldn’t. It will be along the lines of Starmer being a hypocrite and starting the whole sorry affair in the first place.
Beating up the Playground Grass
It will become school playground stuff where Starmer is the teacher’s grass who got beaten up by Johnson. Bar stool fascists lap that sort of stuff up. They are the foot soldiers of Johnson and the media that controls them. These cultists are not for turning, even when they are having to cut down on beer and the kids new gear (thanks for that one Paul Weller, I knew I’d use it one day).
“Imagine how bad it would be if Labour got in?”, they will cry, as their last form of defence. I am not a left-wing purist, but I struggle to believe how the handling of the pandemic could have been worse. One day, in history books, Covid will be described as ‘The Great British Pandemic Money Heist’.
How much worse can you get than spaffing £37 billion on Test & Trace. Or writing off £8 billion in Covid fraud, sending Covid patients from hospitals back to care homes and killing more people than anywhere else in Europe. Then, just to put icing on the cake, having a host of law-breaking parties to celebrate world beating failure.
Surpassing that, would be some achievement.