Apropos of press coverage of Corbyn, and the Rightward migration of our political baseline, I keep thinking, with apologies to Bertrand Russell:
“The establishment does not determine who is Right – only who is Left.”
The contrast between how media engage with Corbyn – and ideas from the Left – compared to the likes of Cameron – and ideas from the Right – is interesting.
To even engage with ideas that are not-Right seems to give them the heebie-jeebies. Ideas firmly rooted the Right are the presumed baseline, and form the establishment (particularly the establishment of thought). Other ideas are outliers that challenge this establishment.
Media that may not even realise they are neck deep in the establishment are going bananas over Corbyn. They fear if not him then the conversation he creates. They don’t fear that some kind of Leftism might supplant the hegemonistic Right now that Corbyn is atop the Labour party. This is not going to happen and every pundit and analyst knows it.
It’s a more subtle fear they are feeling. A subconscious fear, even. It’s a fear springing from the alternative viewpoint that is now challenging at the top table, and Corbyn certainly has a legitimate platform that requires attention. It’s a fear that’s manifesting as this ridiculous media storm, with all the usual spinning going on by various politicians and press officers.
Regardless of how hard various folks want it not to be so, Corbyn has the mic. He has the limelight.
The tantrum around Corbyn is evidence that the establishment subconsciously understands a real problem: that Corbyn will talk directly, and from the Left, about many things they really don’t want to talk about. That they don’t want talked about. He will put forward views they don’t want to print in their newspapers, for example, even to attack them.
Are the sheer presence of Leftist views at the top table an inherent challenge to the relentlessly Rightwards drift of the political baseline? Could this be what the establishment instinctively understands, and fears? is this why they doth protest too much?
If Corbyn can ride out the blather and just talk about substantive issues day, in day out… he still won’t preside over a Labour government. But while he’s there, the establishment is unable to exclude the non-Right from the debate entirely.
I think what we are seeing now (aside from OOH LOOK A STORY!!1) is that suddenly, faced with being unable to avoid real Leftie talking points, establishment types have no chill at all.