Watching live, I too did not think that John McDonnell’s Chairman Mao joke was wise, because of the obvious misrepresentation to which it was open in the right wing press. But in fact while the openly right wing media all have a go, they all respect the basic tenets of journalism by fairly reflecting both the content and the context of what Corbyn said:
The Labour shadow chancellor mocked the Chancellor – who he dubbed “Comrade Osborne” – for encouraging China to invest in British infrastructure projects…
After joking about the sale of public assets to the Chinese government, Mr McDonnell said: “To assist Comrade Osborne about dealing with his new found comrades, I have brought him along Mao’s Little Red Book.”
Mr McDonnell accused his Tory rival of selling off Government assets to foreign nations such as China.
He said: “Nationalisation is ok for him as long as its by any other state but ours.
“To assist comrade Osborne in his dealings with his new-found comrades, I have brought him along Mao’s Little Red Book.”
The Shadow Chancellor, who could not be mistaken for Jimmy Tarbuck even on a good day, was essaying a satirical dig at Mr Osborne for becoming too chummy with Chinese investors. He argued that Mr Osborne was nationalising our economy – but turning it over to the Chinese state.
That is pretty plain, is it not? And actually fair journalism.
Yet astonishingly the Guardian ran three whole articles entirely about the McDonnell gaffe. You could read every single word of these three articles and not learn the basic information provided in each of the three Blue Tory papers above. The utterly disgraceful Jonathan Jones, John Crace and Tom Phillips all managed to produce articles which utterly omit what McDonnell actually said and why he said it, to contrive to give the impression that McDonnell was quoting Mao straight and with approval.
As a member of the NUJ myself, I cannot say how much it pains me to see colleagues renouncing every single tenet of professional, let alone ethical, journalism in order to produce a deliberate distortion of the truth. Even the Blue Tory newspapers did not here sink to anything like the depths plumbed by the Red Tories of the Guardian.
Crace, Jones and Phillips have crossed a line and are not journalists. What are they? Paid lying bastards.
The embittered has-been Blairites at the Guardian, by-passed by history and despised by the public, still resentfully nursing their support for the Iraq War and insistence it improved the world, have turned a once great newspaper into a journalistic abomination.
UPDATE: This is absolutely beyond parody. The Guardian have just published a FOURTH article on this subject, by Roy Greenslade, which still fails to say that McDonnell was referring to Osborne’s disposal of British assets to the Chinese state. Instead Greenslade cuts and pastes the most damning comments he can find in the Tory media. Not of course including any of the Tory media quotes given above which, unlike the Guardian, tell you what McDonnell was saying.
When do you think the fifth Guardian article is coming?