Friday, 19 June 2020

Why Labour lost the 2019 General Election: a relantless, pernicious attack on Jeremy Corbyn's integrity

I was very interested to read your exclusive report “Revealed the dysfunctional ‘toxic culture led to Labour election defeat,” (19 June 2020; accompanying news analysis of the ‘Labour Together’ report on the 2019 General Election demise listed 10 reasons.


In Chapter 2 of the report headed ‘Longer-Term Driver’ it states:” The immediate issues of this election accelerated and crystallised a worsening disconnect between Labour and key groups of voters (p.40)and adds these comprised “longer-term political and sociological shifts, some of which have been in train for decades”


But Brexit differences aside, the Tories’ ‘Stop Jeremy Corbyn’ was certainly a major driver of the Conservatives’ success, as the report concludes. Labour activist, prospective Parliamentary candidate Faiza Shaheen, put it bluntly “Overall, we lost because of a very effective smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn” (p.81)


I believe this is demonstrably true, but this report is in denial, and  barely mentions th media’s pernicious ly  negative characterization of Corbyn.


On p.51 it reports that the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University found in 2018 that online media (including social) are now more important sources of news than print for every age group (though social media considered on its own is still less important than print for those aged 45 and over

The first recognition of this crucial social fact comes on page 80, half-way into the report, when it states: “Leaders of left-wing parties will always face a barrage of ruthless personalized attacks and smears from the right, both in the mainstream media and now increasingly via social media networks.”

The report does, however, identify that “the sharp collapse in support both for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour between December 2018 and June 2019) involved "the controversy of the Party’s handling of anti-Semitism." (p.58; DataPraxis analysis of You Gov data:

Semantic analysis of responses to open-ended questions conducted for the review by Datapraxis suggested that “negative views of Jeremy Corbyn were a key factor behind support for the Conservatives.”(p.60).

How did people form these negative personal views, as only a very tiny number would ever have met Corbyn?

The tabloids (and the Telegraph and Times) predominantly set the daily media  news agenda, picked up by the national broadcasters and re-inforced by regional newspapers and local TV & radio, and echoed in the many digital platforms. All attacked Corbyn relentlessly.

This is the problem Starmer needs crack

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