If there was one thing we had confirmed during the recent, overly prolonged General Election campaign it is that the Fourth Estate aka the MSM are not to be trusted. The mixture of selective quoting, misquoting and outright lies meant that, to a large extent, they controlled the direction of the narrative; however, their control was complete, the influence of social media meant tha tthe real whoppers were picked apart within minutes, a trend that will only grow over time. But the old saw still resonates, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.
So I find it puzzling that, as the Labour leadership elections begin to build up steam, so many are basing their opinions of the candidates on the output of the Fourth Estate. On Friday last the Guardian, the paper that spent five years trashing Labour at every opportunity only to belatedly offer its support days before the election, ran a piece on a speech given by Andy Burnham that suggested he
…….. might back further welfare cuts.
It further stated that he had been asked
….. after the speech about his views on welfare and that he said Labour was right to challenge indiscriminate welfare cuts.
City AM went further, they reported that
Andy Burnham will today admit that Labour got it wrong on business and the economy, and that the party cannot win the next election if voters believe it gives the workshy an ‘easy ride’.
Throughout that day, on Twitter and on a number of fora I visit, the consensus appeared to be that people felt they could not support Burnham because of the views that were being reported by the Guardian and other papers, including his trashing of Ed Miliband’s leadership. The mood was one of increasing despondency.
But, as Tim Fenton pointed out over at his ever excellent Zelostreet blog, it was all total bollocks. In the speech Burnham didn’t criticise Miliband, in fact he said
…. we managed to put up a fight. We developed a powerful critique about how globalisation and the casualisation of work had changed lives and left people feeling insecure. We had good individual policies.
And he did not use the words “welfare” or “workshy” at all, not even once. So, once again, we are seeing evidence that the hacks employed by the MSM are lying through their keyboards and attempting to control that narrative; the big question is, why are we letting them do it to us still?