Monday, 9 April 2018

Don't Be Spooked

Of course they are all spooks, or at least in the pockets of the spooks. How else do they emerge fully formed as pompous "experts" in their early twenties, as Douglas Murray did? How else did Oliver Kamm attain his position on The Times with no journalistic background whatever? What else stops The Guardian from going bust, and guarantees it a spot on every panel while the Left is vilified in abstentia, not in spite of Jeremy Corbyn, but precisely because of him? And so on.

15 years later, spooky supporters of the Iraq War are still pontificating away. Almost everyone with a platform today was spookily predicting a three-figure Conservative majority this time last year. And no one in the spooky commentariat will lose their meal tickets when Sergei and Yulia Skripal are respectively dancing the hokey cokey across Salisbury Plain and the Steppes.

But while all of that is grating, does it matter anymore? The weekend's polls still showed Labour with 40 per cent support, statistically tied with the uncriticised, unscrutinised Conservatives. The sheer oddness of it all is the absence of even broadly pro-Corbyn voices from what are supposed to be commercial products, thereby wilfully foregoing millions of potential customers. Even ABC has brought back Roseanne in order to monetise Donald Trump's base, since the business of business is business.

Only the spooky connection, not least to the bank accounts, can account for the fact that every Fleet Street title would rather see its circulation remain in free fall than countenance so much as one pro-Corbyn columnist per week. The nearest approximations are Owen Jones in The Guardian and John Prescott in the Sunday Mirror, of whom it is striking that Prescott is by far the more reliable. Yet he has just published his last column. I have a similar suspicion about the Chosen One when I say that Jones's early emergence as the Licensed Lefty Impersonator was itself highly questionable. One might even say, spooky.

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