I just posted a response to an article about The Guardian coming out in support of Yvette Cooper in the UK’s Labour leadership race.
It has been bothering me for a while but I only just realised why.
We make a big deal about a free press in other countries. If the press in Venezuela support Chavez its because he controls them (he probably does), but when the press here take a stance it is somehow seen as independent…
So who is behind the Guardian – with its significant influence over partiocularly the centre-left – choosing Yvette Cooper… Is this an “independent and free press”, or is it simply another vested interest of the type we would deplore if it happened elsewhere?
My comment on the Guardian site is repeated below. I’d genuinely love to know the answer!
“So I have a serious and important question about this.
“The Guardian” supports Yvette Cooper. What does that mean exactly..?
Does every single member of staff at The Guardian, from the boardroom to the print room and the entire suppy chain support her… Unlikely…
So how was it decided that “The Guardian” – an indefinite entity comprised of 1000s of individuals with different views, a history and a brand, should choose her over the other candidates?
Was there an election internally? Was every member of staff consulted? Was it one member one vote or did the editors get more say, was it fairly conducted? And if there was some kind of election (even an informal poll on the intranet!) – what were the results? 100% for Cooper? 55%? 35%?
And if this didn’t happen, who has decided that these 1000s of people are happy to support her… A combination of the financiers and the chief editors..? i.e. The upper/middle-classes who stand to lose significantly if a left-wing debate ever became mainstream and accepted…
So which is it? Does The Guardian practice the democracy it preaches and if so, where’s the transparency – show us the results!
Or should this actually read “5-6 rich and powerful people who happen to work at The Guardian support Yvette Cooper…” – in which case it rightly carries a lot less influence.
I strongly suspect not to see an answer to this! 😦”
One thought on “Labour leadership and a Free Press in the UK”
Hmm curious… 5000+ comments before mine, then 3 hours after I posted the above, it changes to “closed for comments”… Coincidence perhaps but it was Sunday lunchtime, hardly the typical time to close this stuff off surely..?