The Guardian view on the Labour leadership.
Wanted: Tolerance and compromise. Editorial.
I read this article twice. The first time, I thought that I had picked up a piece which had strayed into the pages of the Guardian, as if by accident from another newspaper. Only upon the second reading did I realise, with a growing sense of incredulity, that this was in fact a Guardian article and moreover, one written under the heading of, ""Editorial": The Guardian view on the Labour leadership: wanted – tolerance and compromise".
I found the "Editorial" to be a little puzzling, because here they are, calling for, "a collective effort to work together or even merely to coexist tolerantly, based on compromise and mutual respect" when, for the past 12 months or so, the Guardian has been in the vanguard of those media outlets calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be removed from the leadership. Successive journalists from this paper, and numerous "Guest opinions", Polly Toynbee, Neil Kinnock, David Blunkett and others, have consistently produced articles unfairly critical of Corbyn and his leadership, and frequently reproducing smear and distortions carried elsewhere, designed to undermine Corbyn's position to assist some other member, more acceptable to the Guardian (and a perception of their readership preference, which strangely enough was not generally reflected in the "comments" sections of the articles). It is widely known that the Guardian preference of candidate in the leadership election of 2015, was Yvette Cooper and it is clearly obvious that Owen Smith received the most positive coverage during this 2016 leadership contest, albeit that the newspaper now seems to accept that Jeremy Corbyn will be re-elected as Labour leader at around 11:45 today. The general theme supported by the Guardian, probably since May or June of last year, has been the "Anyone but Corbyn" line and using any smear or distortion to promote that argument.
This is what I found so surprising about this mornings plea for unity, tolerance and respect within the party, when they have been instrumental for so long in supporting and encouraging those divisive and disruptive elements which have brought us to the position we are in today. However, if the Guardian is sincere in its conversion, and now seeks to throw its considerable influence and weight into the fight against the Conservative government and unite behind the leadership of the party to bring about a Labour victory at the next General election whenever such election may be called, then we in the Labour party should welcome such a conversion and move forward.