Tory Manifesto Launch: What the fuck is going on?
Before I begin, if you are averse to journalists using expletives, you should close the article now. Some say that it shows a lack of awareness of the English language, I say there are no better words in the English language, especially when it relates to the Tories.
Anyway, to the content.
If there was ever a more bright, loud, obvious, fucking screaming example of the collusion between the Conservative government and the British free press than its coverage of their manifesto launch in Halifax, then I haven't seen it. If, I, a relatively obscure admin on a page that has been active for under 2 weeks, can become aware that Halifax was to be the Tories destination of choice, then I'm sure the ITN van parked outside Dean Clough last night was aware also.
Let us explore the role of an independent press for a moment. Is it, say, to make sure that the public are informed with the necessary details that they have come into possession of? In the UK, the answer is no. Is it to go against the wishes of the people they against are supposed to hold to account, and report on their findings regardless? In the UK, again, evidently not. Not a single word has been mentioned on any news or media platform regarding the location of the manifesto launch. Why? Because whereas Labour rely on a crowd to create a positive atmosphere for them in the face of the dogs, the Tories attempt everything in their power to avoid this scenario, including forcing the press into silence.
Yesterday, as rumours began to circulate, I was reliant on drip-feeding and hearsay as a source for my information. Were they arriving at the station at 10am? Was it to be at Dean Clough? My knowledge was based on the fact my dad’s friend’s friend works at a restaurant in the same building and had been told that police were to be expected tomorrow. Not the BBC, despite Laura Kuenssberg being fully aware that it was to be today, but my dad's friend's friend.
Whilst we’re on the topic of Laura Kuenssberg, and I don’t mean to focus on one individual because they are all involved in this, but yesterday she did something very interesting. She released a tweet with regards to information she had acquired that the Tories were planning to stop free school meals for infants. First and foremost, this is a leak of information. Where are the headlines at the start of the BBC 6 o clock news berating a policy that harms young children? Secondly, she is the journalist that copied her headline about the Labour Manifesto directly from the Tory playbook: more borrowing, more tax, more spending. The analysis of this information did not press her buttons quite as much.
The collusion really is startling. Even as I am writing this I am yet to hear confirmation about its location. Jeremy hunt conducted two interviews this morning, on both BBC Breakfast and on on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, in which neither of them declared his location. The BBC narrowed the search to West Yorkshire, with ITV opting to leave location out entirely. What the fuck is going on?
The moment that the broadcasters and newspapers caught wind of the launch location, it should have been released to the public, just like it would for any other party. Thankfully we were able to act on leaks provided to us and act on them where others clearly failed in their duty. A protest was able to be organised, however small. The last 24 hours have represented a gross failure for the press and, ultimately, democracy.