The Sun Goes Down

10 June 2017, 20:57

sun

After the biggest sustained assault on any living thing since Dresden, the right-wing press failed to turn the country against Uncle Jezza.

Just the reverse, it would appear.

It is almost as though we have decided we do not like being told what to do by off-shore billionaires who have only their own interests at heart.

The headlines screamed from the front pages of the usual papers in the run up to the election saying that Corbyn is not strong or stable.

And the polls showed him doing better.

So they ramped it up a bit - Jeremy Corbyn is a friend to the terrorists and he has a suspect device hidden in his beard.

And the polls showed him doing better.

You could sense the papers rolling up their sleeves, as though to say: "Right!" - Jeremy Corbyn eats babies and he wants yours as a snack that he can eat between meals without ruining his appetite.

And the polls showed him doing better!

The papers must have thought: these people are not doing what they're told. Like Scottie out of Star Trek, "Were giving it all we can Captain, but we cannae lose him"

Corbyn dogged Mrs M like a bad smell.

Actually the bad smell wasn't him, it was the Tories' campaign slogan about "strong and stable versus a coalition of chaos".

When I first heard it, I thought it was quite cute - clever, almost.

The second time I thought cute will only get you so far and the fiftieth time I heard it I wanted to hurl my television out of the window just to make it stop.

The Conservatives hugged themselves when they said it - strong and stable...coalition of chaos... They acted as though it was the best use of the English language since Shakespeare.

One smug MP after another took turns at saying it over and over, delighting in it again and again.

Repetition did not improve it. As a political slogan, Nixon's "I am not a crook" was better.

On top of the grating irritant that was that parroted catchphrase, the Tories were guilty of believing their own press.

They thought Corbyn was such a calamity that they could send out a lightly grilled pile of doggy-do and it would beat him, so they didn't really try that hard. Unless that WAS them trying really hard, in which case we're all in big trouble.

The Donald  factor might have had something to do with the result as well. Cosying up to a lying, unstable, infantile, climate change denying egomaniac didn't do Mrs M any good at all.

Most people in this country, away from the pull of Fox News, can see what a scary buffoon is Donald Trump, young people especially, and that appears to have been the key - the youth vote.

Brexit and Trump seems to have awakened an interest in politics among the under 24's that has lain dormant since Thatcher.

The generation derided as tear-stained snowflakes, who are only interested in sharing pictures of their personal areas and staring into their phones all day, rose and spoke out in huge numbers.

The Sun was so afraid of their participation, and what it would do to the result, that it printed a comical guide for its older readers on How to Stop Your Kids from Voting.

If that did anything, it will have shown their offspring which newspaper to avoid buying, should they ever get the urge to look at the dead-tree press.

They probably won't, of course. The newspaper industry is in terminal decline.

The traditional press is in danger of losing its power.

Social media has taken its place among the young and the Conservatives were relatively absent on-line, in the run up to the election, whereas Labour engaged quite heavily on Twitter and Facebook.

Labour encouraged social media users to register to vote, the Conservatives did not, apparently preferring their friendly papers to do their canvassing for them.

Over a quarter of a million under-25s registered to vote on the last possible day. The evidence suggests they did not vote Conservative.

Times have changed.

It is no longer The Sun wot will win it.

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