I wrote the following when away from home for a few days, never able to fully escape…
I watched Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party Conference speech live on TV on Wednesday, and as an incidental but crucial observation I thought it very good, obviously for me wanting to hear socialist principles articulated with conviction, clarity, warmth and genuine belief. This is what I saw and heard, as did most of the conference delegates it would seem, though not according to BBC bloated political commentator Andrew Neil. Almost immediately after Corbyn had finished, Neil as anchor of the BBC programme showing this went to the ‘outside’ reporter in the foyer of the conference centre who conducted a live, impromptu, in-your-face interview/straw pole of delegates exiting the venue. His question to all was quite simple: what was their view of/response to Corbyn’s speech? He managed to get between 6-8 or more people to respond immediately, and almost all were without hesitation positive, some just expressing that simple response, and others expanding on the policies they were pleased to have heard, a number commenting favourably on Corbyn’s delivery and persuasiveness.
Of this admittedly small straw pole – but I repeat, live and immediate and therefore an honest set of responses – there was one dissenting voice. Only one. This was, however, immediately countered by another person who argued quite forcibly against the dissenter. It is worth mentioning also that the crux of the singular negative observation was that the person hadn’t heard how Corbyn intended to deliver his policies/suggestions, so it wasn’t even opposed to the principles of them – not perhaps surprising, I admit, as the person dissenting was still a Labour Party member.
Straightforward then, yes? Not according to Andrew Neil. His immediate summation of that live, impromptu questioning of exiting delegates’ responses – which were all positive, bar one – was that here we TV viewers all were instantly after Corbyn’s speech and witness to the ‘fact’ there was already in-fighting and argument. Apart from being patently untrue (!) this was the most despicable piece of broadcast journalism to generate a negative narrative that simply did not exist on the evidence we had just seen. All of us watching. Saw and heard. Witnessed as a viewing nation. Andrew Neil simply lied.
Two things: (platitude alert for the first) there may well have been more than one dissenting voice from those who watched Corbyn’s speech in the conference hall, but this wasn’t presented in the BBC interviews given live; (prat alert for this second) earlier in the day, Neil had conducted an interview with two guests about Main Stream Media (MSM), obviously including the BBC, and whether this had reported contrarily on Jeremy Corbyn and the conflicts of late within the Labour Party. Fumbling with saying the initials MSM and pathetically even the term Main Stream Media (how ridiculous), Neil in interviewing the two clearly conveyed his personal view that the BBC did not indulge in such negative reporting.
Pants an inferno.