Jeremy Corbyn set out his media policy in a speech in Edinburgh this morning, it felt very sinister in its implications. That is not just Guido’s feeling, that was according to the Labour Party’s former Head of Press & Broadcasting, Jo Green;
“I find elements of these media reforms rather sinister. And I don’t believe for a second that they are motivated by a belief that a future government should be held to greater journalistic scrutiny.”
Corbyn wants to set up a state-backed British Digital Corporation to rival Netflix – in addition to BBC iPlayer – he wants it to work in the interests of the many not the few and he wants to “democratise” the BBC with an elected board. We all know what this means, invariably left-wing activist cranks would get editorial control of the BBC and Laura Kuenssberg would be burnt at the stake. Everywhere in the world this happens the media becomes a tool of of despotic governments – this may be why it appeals. Corbyn’s friends in Tehran and Damascus have media channels which pump out glorification of their sponsors and denunciations of their opponents. Continuously hammered by a free press, you can see the appeal for Jezza.
Even in Western European countries (like France) where the government subsidises some of the media in the interests of diversity or plurality, the subsidised media become captured tame creatures unwilling to bite the hand that finances them. The only guarantee of an independent media is financial independence. Profitable news outlets are fearless because they know they don’t have to bend the knee to survive.
The hard-left’s imperative to control the media stems from their essentially totalitarian world view. Their dreary left-wing papers have no popular appeal so they want to control the genuinely popular press which they correctly see as permanently antagonistic towards their ambitions. John McDonnell has been candid in the past;
“I don’t think we should let the traditional media off the hook… Where there is a distorted report or an inaccurate report, or where there’s a non-report by the traditional media, we take direct action against it.”
The hard-left and their opponents agree on one thing, a free press stands in the way of their transforming society…