Saturday 25 August 2018

However Hard We Have To Fight For It

Electing editors is not a good idea. Look what has happened to The Guardian. Beyond that, though, I merely reproduce, with my emphasis added, this superb Twitter thread by Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman):

It never fails to tickle me how allergic our public school, trust fund baby journalists are to being reminded of their own privilege. Their “THIS IS FASCISM” response to Corbyn’s plans to #ChangeTheMedia are a case in point. 

In 1987, 49% of our top journalists were privately educated - compared to just 7% of the wider population. 30 years (and all that New Labour) later, the figure is 54%. Ethnic minority, disabled and women journalists are also vastly under-represented. 

This isn’t news. Everyone knows it. And mainstream media types bemoan the status quo while taking zero action to effect change.  This has created a herd mentality. It’s a group think. This is why on austerity, on Brexit, on Corbyn, and on economics, it hardly matters whether you pick up the FT or The Guardian. You’ll get the same views, with more or less hand-wringing. 

Finally, a potential PM says they have a plan to actually tackle the problem. Do these liberal folks welcome it? After all, they’ve been saying they want things to change for decades, while they only got worse. Nope. Instead they equate breaking up their nepotistic system of privilege to LITERAL FASCISM. 

The sons and daughters of the media-political class are now falling over each other to deny they had a single advantage. But you know, when your folks are networked, the world is your oyster. They can put a call in to the university you applied to, they can set up an internship or column with a paper, they can pay your rent during your unpaid internship. 

Plus, you’ve been educated alongside your future peers - educated specifically to take over from your parent’s generation. You know this from birth. You have so much support you can’t even imagine being without it.

Still, there’s the odd token grammar school kid. And the odd working class kid done good. They’re made to feel special, and their presence calms the consciences of the privileged majority. They can kid themselves that the only reason things are unequal is that people are unequal. Some just have more get up and go than others. 

But now Corbyn’s removing the barriers. And this will prove that working class people don’t need more get up and go, just a level playing field. Everything you need to know about our media’s commitment to that “broad church” they’re always yacking on about is on show now. 

Since Corbyn became leader, the left has been pilloried as an echo chamber. Never mind being the largest political movement in the country, the largest socialist party in Western Europe, gaining 40% of the vote in the last election, or positive polling and policy reception. 

No one on the Westminster press pack could understand what was happening because they’re a million miles removed from the average Brit. In reality, they’re the echo chamber. A tiny network of obscenely privileged and powerful media-political types bunkered within 50 square miles of each other, calling the rest of us mad, bad and delusional. Just think about the privilege it takes to hold that view. 

And that’s why #ChangeTheMedia is a revolution. One we need desperately. However hard we have to fight for it.

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