Monday, 27 September 2010

slight shift back towards centre

It wouldn't sell as many papers as 'lurch to the left' perhaps, which summons visions of communist zombies, or 'Ed the Red', which suggests an unabashedly socialist viking. I think, though, that 'slight shift back towards centre' would be a more accurate reflection of Ed Miliband beating his brother to the Labour leadership.

Another thing in big letters today is the fact that Ed Miliband became leader of the Labour party by a narrow majority and thanks to the trade unions. But I don't think that anyone keen on the present coalition Government should go on too much about small majorities. Theirs - like the mint that detonated the bloated Mr Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life - is wafer-thin. Also the trade union votes represent the wishes of their members, ordinary working people. Rather more ordinary working people preferred Ed to his brother David, rather more MPs preferred David to his brother Ed. Who are the right wing sections of the media for: ordinary working people or Labour MPs?

Yes, this might be boring if you are not in the UK or not interested in how the British Labour party chooses a new leader. I also concede that the Labour party's electoral college looks pretty clunky. But it is revealing how a large section of the media, whose proprietors may well have outlets where you are, have so swiftly characterised the new Labour leader as a crypto-communist. This is, I take it, part of a larger scale mission to establish right-wing positions as the default. Watch out for more old cliches falling out of media cupboards.

I became aware of all this today because the Daily Mail is the only paper in the waiting room at my dentist's. Later on a bus, I had to move a copy of the Metro to sit. It was so strident I checked online. Yes, strident there too. Someone had even invoked the donkey jacket worn by former Labour leader Michael Foot (if you weren't around, it was a jacket). So redundancy means time to notice things like misrepresentation, which I'm not guiltless of myself. For example, when the dentist said, by way of conversation "Back at work then?" I said "Arghhsh!" It wasn't a lie in the circumstances, and "Na err-hunhun!" would have been difficult. Likewise I had a haircut on a Saturday to avoid accusations of a day off.

Meanwhile back at Fruitcake Minature College the Head of Animal care has also become Chaplain because we suddenly realised we didn't have one, and she was ideal, having no experience or religious commitment. And also, in honour of the imaginary Hardacre Collage we have instituted a motto for our own miniature college: there is no cure for stupidity.

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