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However, if we were to believe everything in the media, Labour couldn’t organise a piss up in a vat of vodka. And Corbyn, according to our commentariat, is nothing more than a terrorist-loving, deficit-denying, loony leftie leader. A weak leader at that. But the majority of British people are not idiots. They are able to look past the bias within our right-wing media.
The reporting before the Oldham by-election must show that this is exactly what we all need to do. We all need to take a moment to look beyond the headlines we’re fed, day in, day out, by the mainstream media.
The hype that was created in the run up to Oldham’s by-election was entirely manufactured by the media. It was no ordinary by-election to them; it was an opportunity to focus on the negative effect of Corbyn, against the supposed rise of UKIP.
We were told that Labour’s majority would be slashed, with one overly-pessimistic Labour insider saying it could be decreased to lower than 100. The media concocted a lie to make a Corbyn defeat look even worse than it would have been. They were ready to make any defeat look like Corbyn was to blame, making his leadership look plausibly unelectable.
It should be obvious, but let me spell it out in plain English. The right-wing media have an agenda. An agenda dead set on destroying Corbyn. Had Labour lost ground to UKIP in Oldham, the media hype afterwards could easily have snowballed catastrophically.
But the Labour party won. The media got it well and truly wrong, and not for the first time.
And so, when the results came in and the media had no suitable ammunition left to throw, what did they do? They changed tact. It was no longer Corbyn’s first big electoral test. This was local lad Jim McMahon’s victory.
The media have once again shown themselves for who they are – opportunists. In this case they were unable to effectively take advantage of the situation, as, unfortunately for them, what they wanted to happen did not.
However, despite the first big test for Corbyn showing signs of positivity, Labour should not get too carried away. There will obviously be a few days of celebration for the Corbynistas. A few days to rub the media’s grubby brown nose in it. But one victory in a safe Labour seat does not mean much in the grand scale of things.
Public perception is easily swayed. Corbyn and co need to stay on track. They need to fight the Tories every step of the way. Despite the media’s negativity towards them, they have already forced the government to back down on Tax Credits and police cuts, and gradually they are beginning to wrestle the narrative back onto issues of real importance for the British public.
Just think about it; if any other Labour candidate had been elected as leader during the Summer, the Tories would have got their way with austerity. The cuts would have gone on unchallenged, and ultimately, the country would have been brought to its knees.
Yet the media happily fails to mention these Labour victories.
The bias of the media is out there, it is obvious and we all need to recognise is. We have a cynical media of opportunity; a media that uses the news as an underhand vehicle to incite their own views upon us.
Corbyn is not perfect and he would be the first to admit it, but we can’t have a media that paints him out to be the worst of the worst. It undermines democracy, it undermines the political process and it undermines our ability to think critically and make up our own judgements based on fact, not spin.
We cannot let a group of wealthy, right-wing elitists control what we think, and more importantly, how we vote. The Oldham by-election is one of many occasions that the media have so obviously misrepresented the truth for their own ulterior motives.
The red-top-rag, black or white version of reality is dead. Now is the time for full colour media.