Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that he was maligned and smeared by the mainstream media over the fact he wished to break up the oligarch controlled monopolies and redistribute wealth to the poorest in society.
Speaking with Lucas Cumiskey of The Islington Gazette in his home constituency, Corbyn says that the majority of the smear campaign against him was unfairly negative and rightfully points out that no other leader received the treatment he did, showing the inherent bias from the media against those who refuse to bow to the needs and whims of billionaires.
“I think some of the media were concerned with the MacTaggart lecture I gave in Edinburgh two years ago about ending the monopoly ownership of TV [stations] and newspapers. But also we were under utterly relentless attack from very powerful forces in Britain because we were proposing an economic strategy of redistribution and they didn’t like it.”Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn, who advocated a “kinder, gentler” form of politics, goes on to lament the huge amount of personal abuse he received during his time as leader, saying that he doesn’t “mind political criticism, I don’t mind challenging on the policies, but there has been a huge degree of personal abuse thrown at me and my family it’s not acceptable, it’s not done to other parties to the same extent or any extent at all.”
Speaking in November of last year, Corbyn pointed out the fact that two billionaire press barons now own half of the UK’s top 10 daily newspapers following the sale of the i newspaper to the Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) for £49.6m. The DMGT, chaired by Lord Rothermere, has a portfolio which includes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro. Rupert Murdoch’s News UK meanwhile owns The Sun, Sun on Sunday, The Times and the Sunday Times.
Research carried out by David Deacon and Dominic Wring of Loughborough University during the 2019 General Election showed that the press was overwhelmingly negative in its portrayal of Labour, with their research proving that “Labour [had] accumulated a substantial proportion of negative stories in the national press, with only the Conservative party showing a positive balance in the press ledger.”
The comments by Corbyn highlight one of the major issues with so-called democracy in Britain and America, that being the complete domination of the mass media by the super-rich who continue to promulgate their pro-capitalist and often far-right agenda. These outlets are prone to engaging in fake news campaigns and stirring public unrest, often surrounding issues such as race and civil rights, to ensure that the population see socialist and progressive politics as a threat to their wellbeing while their true agenda is simply to ensure the expansion of their own empires and bank balances.
Jeremy Corbyn, and more recently Bernie Sanders, have both faced the full vitriol of this threatened media establishment, with Corbyn having faced what can only be considered the biggest campaign of disinformation seen on British shores since the Zinoviev letter of 1924. It is essential for the future success of socialism and the continuation of democracy that this cabal is challenged.
Main Image: Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, speaking at a political rally during the Labour leadership election, in Matlock, Derbyshire, 16th August 2016 | Sophie J. Brown