Are the media in Britain trying to dictate the political agenda rather than reporting on what goes on? I read somewhere a suggestion that, in the upcoming General Election, ‘the media have decided, rightly or wrongly, that they want a contest’. This will be more exciting than a clear win for either side, so they are treating the Conservatives in such a way that a visitor from space might imagine they and not Labour had been in power these last 13 years. Labour, on the other hand, are getting very light treatment, even when they resort to foulmouthed invective against the Tories.
Interestingly the BBC hardly reported 20 economists supporting the Conservative contention that the £178billion deficit run up by Labour needs to be tackled sooner rather than later. When 60 other economists supported Brown’s line that we can spend our way out of recession (which is what his policy amounts to) it was headline news on the BBC. To add to its fairness and objectivity the news item referred to the 60 as ‘leading’ economists. There was no qualification of the adjective of course – other than their agreement with Brown (and the BBC?), one presumes.
Locally our papers seem anxious to give credibility to the ‘story’ put about by our two Lib Dem MPs about the impending closure of A&E and maternity services at Kingston Hospital. This is in spite of a very explicit letter from NHS SW London setting out the facts in the matter and a clear statement from the Health Minister in the Adjournment Debate last Monday. One might have thought it in the public interest that this letter be published in its entirety. However, it was written on 27th January and I haven’t seen it in the local papers yet.
One wonders if Mr. Falchikov’s kitchen table isn’t groaning under new confections the media might swallow. Time will tell. Watch this space!