Posts Tagged ‘Ferrets’

UKIP and the Conservative Media Celebration of Labour Defeats

May 24, 2014

[Image: BBC]

Yesterday I reblogged Mike’s piece ‘Dire Day for the Tories – So Why Were the Pundits Hammering Labour?’ commenting on the way Dimblebore and the other election commenters were presenting the elections as if Labour had suffered massive losses when in fact it was the reverse. In fact the Conservative media have form for this. It doesn’t matter if they get absolutely hammered, so long as Labour loses to another party.

Years ago, when I was still at school, Labour lost an election in Scotland to, I believe, the SNP. This is now pretty common, but it was remarkable thirty or so years ago when Mrs Thatcher was still the occupant of No. 10. The right-wing press, such as the Mail and Express, seized on this as a massive Labour defeat. You could have been forgiven, looking at the headlines, that this was something for the Tories to celebrate North of the Border.

In fact the opposite was true. Labour may have come second, but the Tories were pushed into either fourth or fifth place. Malcolm Rifkind complained to Thatcher that her policies had destroyed the Conservative party in Scotland, and this is precisely right. From what I can remember of the result, if the members of a ladies’ knitting circle or the local branch of a trainspotters’ or ferret-fanciers’ club had put up candidates, they would have won more seats than the Tories. This didn’t appear to matter to the Tory editors, however. What mattered to them was that the leading opposition party in Britain as a whole should be seen as losing, and so damage their electoral credibility that way. It was only secondary that in the election the Tory candidate had reached the same number of votes and amount of credibility as the Monster Raving Loony Party.

It was this attitude, I think, that was influencing Dimblebore and the media commenters on the election as the results came in on Thursday night.