Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Only The People had the wit to endorse Ed Miliband for Leader of the Labour Party. The appointment of Lloyd Embley to edit the new seven-day Mirror is richly deserved.
The Independent is consciously broad in the range of opinion that it publishes. The Murdoch papers are best left undiscussed for the time being, but they were certainly never pro-Labour as such, rather than merely supportive of a puppet Leader who knew nothing about the Labour Movement except that he hated it. If Times readers, especially, had suspected that their paper had gone Labour, even New Labour, then they would have stopped buying it. It is inconceivable that any actual votes were swung.
The Mail and Telegraph titles, and those owned by Richard Desmond, find themselves opposed to the Coalition from its Right, variously conceived. But there are potential points of contact with the vision of Ed Miliband, with whom come Jon Cruddas, Maurice Glasman, David Goodhart and the new Demos (oh, what a storming of what a bastion), and so on.
The Guardian has supported the Lib Dems at the last three General Elections, the first of which was 11 years ago now. People sometimes tell me that I am wrong about this, but as a postgrad at the time I remember discussing it with Tory contemporaries who found it hilarious. That was before the 11th September attacks, never mind the Iraq War.
By sticking to that Lib Dem line even once it had become politically possible for Labour to lose, but while it was still psephologically impossible for the Conservatives to win an overall majority (as it still is, and as it will still be even after the boundary changes), The Guardian made itself more to blame than any other publication for the subsequent formation of the Coalition.
It continues to provide platforms both to the Far Left and to those yearning for David Miliband, who devised the entire Coalition programme years ago when he was running Tony Blair's Policy Unit, and whose only objections to the cuts as Leader of the Opposition would have been that they did not go far enough, did not hit the undeserving poor hard enough, and were not accompanied by wars against Syria and Iran.
Such traitors in the camp are cheerfully held up as authorities elsewhere, too, in such forms as Dan Hodges and Oliver Kamm. Until today, the Mirror Group titles, at any rate other than The People, were also showing dangerous tendencies in that direction, having backed the wrong Miliband for Leader.
But not anymore, we trust. Britain is now looking suspiciously like an emerging democracy, with media that could be persuaded to give a hearing to views, and to politicians at least open to views, offering a real alternative to the moral, political and literal bankruptcy of neoliberal economic policy, unrestrained liberal social policy, neoconservative foreign policy, European federalism, and the supposed "centre ground" on which the 1970s sectarian Left and the 1980s sectarian Right have met over the last 20 years.
Who knows, perhaps Maurice might even take up that column that he never felt able to accept in The Sun on Sunday? Among other voices telling the story of the present age, which is the redefinition of British and wider politics in terms of, when you really look at it and look into it, the second-generation and second-degree reception of postliberal theology. Over to you, Lloyd Embley, with, in Nigel Nelson, a Political Editor well-connected to the communities in which postliberal theology is lived out; if so are you in your own right, Mr Embley, then please forgive me.