Dear Robert Peston - An Open Letter
Dear Robert Peston
In your Facebook post on 27th September 2017, you wrote:
"The Labour mob loved and worshipped him, in what was more religious festival than traditional conference"
I’m assuming, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that you are a journalist and as such, you choose your words carefully. I have also heard you often repeat that you are impartial. By choosing to refer to legitimate delegates to a party conference as a ‘mob’ you have shown that you are definitely not impartial, you have allowed your personal beliefs get in the way of your journalism. There are many other words you COULD have chosen.
The Labour delegates,
Labour Party members,
Even, the Labour faithful, if you wanted to imply partisan behaviour.
But instead you decided to use the term,
The Labour mob.
Dear Mr Peston, I am not part of a 'Mob' nor (in case you were planning on using the term) do I belong to a 'gang'. I am a (now) proud member of the Labour Party. Please do not use such language when referring to me and those hundreds of thousands of members like me.
What you saw was not religious fervour, it was something not seen in this country for many years, a resurgence of HOPE. By the tone of your piece, I’m also assuming that you see this as a curious or odd thing, do correct me if I’m wrong.
I find people believing in hope a positive thing, but then again, what do I know?
I’m not an esteemed ITV journalist, I’m just a curious onlooker, turned participant in the political landscape of Britain.
I would most like to take exception to something else in your post.
"But truthfully these shifts are easier to see in the rear view mirror than through the front windscreen"
Actually, these shifts are remarkably easy to spot, if you are looking in the right place. I, myself, spotted the paradigm shift starting back in 2015 and I wrote about it in July 2016, once I had established without a doubt that it was happening.
“I believe the Paradigm is shifting.
By this I mean the societal Paradigm is shifting, dragging the political paradigm along with it. This may be all wishful thinking on my part, but I think I might be at least partially right about this.
The last shift of this size culminated with Thatcher. I believe her period of governance issued the end of the Community and the rise of the Individual.
Collectively, as a society, we began a period of celebration of the individuals, the entrepreneurs, the idea that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make a success in life.
The pinnacle of success was seen through the veil of money. The more you had, the more you showed.
Hedonism and excess were the watch-words of the late 80s/early 90s.
Now, I believe we are shifting back from Individual to Community.
By community, I don’t mean that we’ll all be living in communes, wafting patchouli and dancing naked around fires.
I mean that we have gone as far as we can with this idea that all you have to do is decide to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you can create a successful life.
More and more we are becoming aware of the various inequalities.”
Please find the full post here
So, yes, Mr Peston, if one exists in the South East media bubble, with the accepted view of society echoing constantly around, of course you missed it. I, however, was in the long-abandoned North West of England, seeing the results of government policy first hand. Speaking and listening to people, because I’m a chatty sort.
Another part of your post I would like to dispute, is the idea that
“He thinks the mountain, the British people, have at last migrated to him – that the huge surge Labour enjoyed in the election was just the start, not a flash in the pan of a dire Tory campaign”
I believe that he is indeed correct in his thinking and you are very definitely wrong to suggest that it is a flash in the pan brought about by a dire Tory campaign. Yes, the Tory campaign was dire, but to attribute Corbyn's success solely to that is to deny what is actually going on in the wider country.
I would suggest to you, it was due to election rules and a decent Manifesto. In my article “Who Knew?!” I wrote:
“When May called the election, I wandered around telling everyone that under normal circumstances Labour should win. Closer to the election I realised it was likely to be a hung parliament, because the campaign period was much shorter this time. People laughed at me!
The morning of the election, I cheered up some of the campaign team for my local MP, by explaining, in detail, how a hung parliament was a foregone conclusion.
(In my model, I was looking for wins in the Tories heartland. I ignored Scotland, because I didn’t know enough about Scottish politics to hazard a guess.
Scotland shocked me, until I remembered that Kezia Dugdale distanced herself completely from Corbyn and requested that he not campaign there. Idiotic!)
People will attribute Corbyn’s Labour turnaround to his ‘improved media handling’ or a change in his approach.
This is nonsense.
He grew in confidence, yes, but that is not why he was successful. He was successful because, for the first time, the press had to give him ‘the floor’. Up until the start of the campaign, the public were only allowed to view Corbyn through a veil of the media’s making, the media showed the public their version of Corbyn.
Election rules meant that the veil was lifted and the public experienced the man himself.
Once that happened, it was a forgone conclusion. He exudes authenticity and integrity. People naturally respond to that. Given a normal length election cycle, it would have been a labour landslide…”
You are welcome to read the full article here if you would like to educate yourself on the view outside your South East Media bubble/echo chamber.
So, dear Mr Peston,
Feel free to share your views, but be honest. Admit that your views are coloured by your personal opinions and formed in a narrow self-reverential South-East bubble. And until you learn to choose IMPARTIAL LANGUAGE, DO NOT presume to describe yourself as an IMPARTIAL JOURNALIST.
For more by this author, visit Amanda Murphy's blog