I write this, as you all by now are probaby well aware, as a left of centre, card carrying member of the Labour party. And I write this because I am, quite frankly, sick of fellow minded folks trusting this diabolical rag despite it being a paper that is inconsistent, hypocritical and simply, makes no sense whatsoever. Let me take the liberty to explain this to you.
This is, after all, a paper, that after years of supporting the Labour Party decided a week before the last election to support the Liberal Democrats. This it did citing as its motive the Liberal Democrats support for proportional representation (P.R). Yet immediately after the formation of the Con-Dem coalition, some ten days later, this ‘news’paper decides to renounce that support.
That to me does not make sense. Firstly and most simplistically, why drop a party immediately after it gains power for the first time in 60 years, just because it goes into coalition with a party you don’t like. Moreover, The Guardian’s switch is more staggering considering its support for PR (which as I said earlier, was the reason it publically gave for switching its allegiance from Labour to the Lib Dems.) Proportional Representation almost universally leads to the formation of coalitions, so for The Guardian to declare its support for the Lib Dems because of their support for PR, then weeks later to renounce that support because of the Lib Dems going into a coalition, which would be more, not less, likely to occur with PR, is frankly bonkers logic. If the Guardian’s support for the Lib Dems was based on them winning the election outright then it did so contrary to the vast majority of the evidence from polls, most political analysis and was reliant upon a swing that was unlikely even to the most ardent and politically naive Liberal Democrat.
I say this not because I am annoyed at the Guardian switching its support from Labour to the Lib Dems. That genuinely is not my problem. My problem is that the Guardian is repeatedly held up and used by members of the Labour Party or people on the left or in the centre as this beacon for sensible left of centre reporting and analysis. But in reality, this paper is just as unprincipled and flippy floppy in its nature, as any of the red tops or Murdoch press engine. But at least the red tops do not pretend to be sensible.
I don’t like the coalition. I dislike most of its policies, I don’t trust its underlying (largely Conservative) principles and I also don’t believe it is actually as stable and unified in purpose and compromise as is said (though I do not, myself, think this will become apparent for a number of years). But these are politically based, and I would argue very rational reservations for the coalition. My reasoning, even if you do not agree with it, is consistent. The Guardian’s scepticism of the coalition is not sound, consistent or based on anything other than rather politically naive and ill-considered malice. Yet despite this people on the left continue to quote it and rely upon it ad nauseum, believing, as I said, it to be a principled and consistent proponent of the ‘progressive’ wing of politics.
So I implore any self-respecting left or centrist person with an interest in political journalism which is not sensationalist but fair, sensible not senseless, to read the Independent, not the Guardian. Even the Telegraph, though a right-wing paper with which I have many disagreements, is at least consistent and sensible in what it says, even if I disagree with it. If you want a challenge, rather than mindless spouting, read that. But do not quote the Guardian pretending that it is anything other than TWADDLE!
By Sean Woodcock