Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership election. You probably heard. He wasn’t supposed to win – he wasn’t even supposed to run – but he did it. Not only did he win it, but he won it with the largest party mandate in the history of British politics. That’s quite an achievement considering the entire main-stream media had turned their collective fire-power against him.
When they weren’t mis-quoting him to criticise his “plans”, they were making fun of his clothes or accusing him of anti-semitism by proxy. He was unelectable, they said. He was old fashioned, they said. He was a security risk. And he won. He won at a canter.
Because, nowadays, when the media print a dishonest opinion piece, the public have an immediate right of reply. When they misquote a public figure, the public figure can tweet a correction instantly. When they lie about a crime scene or protest or war crime, fifty eye witnesses can upload cell-phone videos to youtube and everyone can see with their own eyes what really happened.
The old saying goes that a lie goes halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on – and that used to be true. But only because the lie was given a private jet, while the truth had to walk. The internet has rather evened the odds in that regard.
Nowhere is this new world more apparent than in the coverage of Jeremy Corbyn. When Michael White writes absurd, nonsensical swipes at Corbyn in the place of political comment – a non-profit alternate media outlet can knock up a response and upload it, for free, in a matter of hours. When George Osborne is quoted as calling Corbyn a “security risk” for being anti-Trident, there are thousands of voices waiting to shout “Rubbish!” in the comments section. Thousands of people ready to point out Osborne’s own agenda, serving his rich friends in the arms industry and aiding American foreign policy.
I doubt – when newspapers and magazines opened up this feature – they ever thought it could be used to so totally undercut their authority. Power structures are always slow to adapt, always sure they have everything under control. But, below the line, they control nothing. Which is why they so desperately want an excuse to shut it all down. To go back to The Guardian which, to an analyst of modern Orwellian media, is the gift that keeps on giving. The attacks on BTL commentary have been three-fold:
1. Simply closing the comments down. Long standing policy, especially with regards to Israel. If any story that contradicts the media narrative is reported it will be closed for comments – any attempt to comment on the story in other, related articles will be removed as it is “off topic”.
2. Discrediting dissenting voices. Most notably done with Russian stories. Pompous nonsense articles that describe ficticious “troll houses”, interviews with moderators who know there are “Putinbots” working shifts to try and discredit Shaun Walker and Luke Harding. As if that’s something that’s difficult to accomplish. Pathetic attempts, designed to propagate the idea there is a public consensus on all things Russian, and anybody straying from it is an agent of the enemy. Paranoid. Stupid. Ineffective.
3. Attacks on the very idea of comments themselves. You see, free speech is very upsetting because sometimes people say things that aren’t true, or are true but are also rude. People have the right to not be offended, and as such comments on the internet are actually harmful to a civilised society. They have a nice batch of gullible, navel-gazing idiots for this…from both sides of the Atlantic.
For several years now the MSM have suffered defeat after defeat with regards to setting a popular narrative. They failed, abysmally, to set up the pro-Syria war agenda in 2013. They failed – time after time – to establish the supposed “Russian invasion of Ukraine”. And they failed, catastrophically, to assassinate the character of Jeremy Corbyn by portraying him as some kind of dangerous Marxist lunatic. Simply put, the Media Machine doesn’t work anymore.
Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the leadership election isn’t just a triumph for the man over the hideous Blairite mannequins he was running against, but a triumph for the people over a media establishment that has lied to us for generations.