Also, as Finlay Macdonald commented recently, the way the NZ media roll over and wave their legs in the air when British royalty hoves into view.
Yeah, because that's so much worse than the frankly noxious media tendency to start using the royal we every time some sports team does moderately well or how we're supposed to lapse into a state of national melancholia when they don't. There's nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but a mature culture also knows how to leave space for people who just don't share it -- and aren't required to.
It’s not enough for journalists to assure us in the abstract that they make these judgements when Cameron Slater comes to them with a tip. Their rationale for why stories should matter to the public need to become a part of the output of journalism as well, both as a form of accountablity, and as a narrative device.
Sure -- but that also requires a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability, which the media is very good at demanding of everyone but themselves. And, yeah, the media have got to stop saying "just trust me" when an awful lot of people don't, and for good reason.
First riots breaking out in London. Maybe this is an indication of what is ahead.
And guess what one complete idiot has pretty much guaranteed will be leading every newspaper and television report of the protests in Whitehall: Obscene graffiti on the memorial to "The Women of World War II" almost literally hours after the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. With enemies like that, who the hell needs friends?
Unbelievably, he now appears to be doing a u-turn on his u-turn.
Good God, what a prime plonker. At least Ed Miliband (and Nick Clegg) managed to leave the stage with some dignity, while Brand is living his ex-wife’s lyrics…
Two interesting pieces about the influencers. First the Guardian on the influence of Crosby Textor
And here's the Guardian leader, which really gets to fashionable bogeyman-free heart of where it went so badly wrong for Labour:
In trying to make sense of a defeat on a scale that so few expected, one moment of the short election campaign stands out in retrospective significance. Mr Miliband’s battering at the hands of a Question Time audience about Labour’s record on public expenditure revealed a failure that traces right back to 2010. Relieved of the burdens of office and with another leader walking away within days of defeat, Labour indulged in rather introverted discussion about its next leader. It missed the critical opportunity to take on the coalition narrative that Britain had been left bust by excessive social expenditure, as opposed to being bankrupted by the bankers. It then compounded the error by failing to maintain a consistent, intelligible message about how Britain might grow its way out of debt.
On top of this failure of political direction came a failure of strategy. There was a certain on-paper plausibility to the calculation that envisaged that Labour could creep over the line with 35% of the vote, by holding on to all of Gordon Brown’s 2010 vote and then adding a chunk of disillusioned Lib Dems. Some extra voters were won over, but nothing like enough. Others flaked off to Ukip, the Greens and above all the Scottish Nationalists, while the Lib Dem deserters did not in the end come more or less en masse to Labour as had been assumed, but were instead shared with the Conservatives. As the Democrats have often found in the US, when they have tried to construct rainbow coalitions out of class- and colour-defined blocs of the population, groups that can be counted on wholesale in theory often splinter into individuals that it may not be possible to count on at all. Labour must again learn to tell stories, in a voice – and perhaps an accent – that speaks to the individual ear, and the country as a whole.
In short, you can blame as many dirty diggers as you like, Labour just got the basics wrong and have been for a very long time. The basics the evil Lynton Crosby seemed to grasp very well (from the piece Hilary linked to):
[W]hile many of the Conservatives’ opponents and many journalists and voters were assuming that the Tory campaign was drifting or stalling, Crosby’s well-funded infantry were quietly, busily seizing the marginals. Another of his favourite electioneering phrases is “below the radar”.
While it may offend the sensibilities of everyone around here, the Conservatives were constantly pushing a very simple message of "don't put what you've got at risk" to people in marginals who might not have loved everything the government had done over the last five years but weren't being given a clear, coherent alternative. And that doesn't actually make the British electorate a pack of idiot sheeple.
Your post seems to imply that ‘Labour getting Daleked in Scotland’ was a last-minute surprise
First, a cheerful PAS welcome Ieuan! I can understand that read, but of course it wasn’t a surprise that the SNP was going to have a very good night. But in fairness, when that BBC exit poll dropped Nicola Sturgeon was (rightly) highly skeptical and – perhaps for the first and last time ever – singing from the same hymnbook as David Cameron: “Very nice, if true – but let’s all calm down and take nothing for granted." (I think most pollsters should, but probably won't, be signing on come Monday morning. It's simply bizarre how badly wrong they got it, but again blaming Rupert Murdoch is just lazy and self-serving ideology.)
It’s a bit more complicated than ‘rabid right-wing press sabotages election for Labour’ but it seems to me that the implications of the Scottish referendum have not yet played out.
No disagreement from me. I’m listening to pro-Union but not completely unhinged Scottish author Alex Massie on National Radio right now. We both agree with you – and it’s going to be interesting times ahead on both sides. (I’m wondering when someone is going to ask Sturgeon, for example, if she still holds the view she had earlier this weak that any British Government without Scottish MPs in it is “illegitimate.” Not the best starting point for forming a functional relationship in Westminster, you might think.)
I think it was the scare tactics of the newspapers at the last minute.
I’m sure the newspaper proprietors and hardcore Labour partisans would love everyone to believe that, but I’m just not buying such a simple reason for the polls getting it this wrong. For a start, you can’t blame the London papers for Labour getting Daleked in Scotland. Or the broad reality that Labour just didn’t benefit enough from the Liberal Democrat vote collapsing everywhere else.
There was also a very low turnout
I think calling a 66.1% turnout (and the highest since 1997) "very low" is stretching it a bit, but it's certainly far from ideal.
proletards and toryscum
Now anyone want to take a guess why Labour isn't having a very good night?
Re politicians photographed eating, this from a few weeks ago, is glorious:
During the last mid-terms, someone on the internet did a slideshow of politicians eating things. If any PAS reader is contemplating standing for Parliament, at all costs avoid battered sausages on sticks. Think about it.
Good god, this exit poll is depressing.
Meh... exit polls in the UK are... shall we say, variably reliable. To show my age, I remember 1992 when the BBC's exit polling projected a slim but workable Labour majority. The polls that really counted didn't quite work out that way.
Is that Sun cover trying to remind people (pork, bacon, Milliband’s face pulling) that Ed is a yid?
I've been thinking about this a lot more than I should and I'd say "probably not." (And anyone getting ready to smite me... stand down and keep reading.) But it was still an exercise in bog-standard media fuckery: Editorializing through epically unflattering photo selection, and all the groan-inducing bacon/pork puns flowed from there. (It's really hard to eat on the run with dignity, which is why I suspect Queen Elizabeth is not going to swap out her handbag for a more nourishing kebab on her next walkabout.)
At least in my book that's more than obnoxious enough -- and it's a game the broadsheets like to play too. Last election day, The Daily Telegraph pulled out ever photo they had that made Gordon Brown look like a furious badger in search of a pub fight, and The Guardian went with a "candid" shot of David Cameron behind a door, looking like a creepy uncle waiting to surprise the kiddies on Christmas Morning.