Every single mainstream media outlet has painted Tony Blair’s Brexit speech as a “major intervention”.
Endless hours of television footage, radio commentary and column inches have acted as free publicity for Blair’s self-proclaimed political rebirth.
The word “intervention” means to step in or to take action, often in a positive manner following a negative impact. It’s a noun of grandeur, often used in politics, which paints a picture of something of importance occurring. It grabs your attention. It makes you want to read, listen, or watch what is being said. “Major intervention” even more so especially when it is plastered across headlines, social media one-liners and towards the top of news articles.
So why has Tony Blair’s speech been classified as a major intervention? And is it fair to call it so?
Major political interventions, most people reasonably expect, would be reserved to describing people with power, influence and widespread public support. Tony Blair, by contrast, is a yesterday man of UK politics who has actually achieved something quite rare in uniting the political left and right in their loathing of a man who led this country into an illegal war on the back of a dodgy dossier and fictional weapons of mass destruction. There is still a groundswell of opinion that Blair should face punishment for the decisions under his leadership which led to more than a million civilian and military fatalities.
But, more than that, according to the latest major survey Blair is even less popular and less relevant than Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As YouGov revealed in October, if Blair became leader again voting intention for the Labour Party would fall from 21% to a crushing 15%. Just to put that in context, UKIP polled 15% in the most recent Westminster voting intention survey. Another opinion poll earlier that year showed just 15% think Blair could be forgiven for his disastrous decade as Prime Minister, while 53% think his actions are unforgivable.
He might be wealthy and well-thought of in the circles of elites. But generally, among the wider population, he is despised by a significant number and remains politically impotent and irrelevant.
Journalists like Ian Dunt, well-known for his anti-Brexit views, were only too quick to try and capitalise on the speech, and inflating its importance, tweeting: “Like it or not, Tony Blair just became the most important person in politics again.” While James O’Brien told radio listeners the speech was “an act of epic courage and principle.” No, it wasn’t, and you have to be seriously deluded to claim that to be the case.
This is just one example from thousands of how the mainstream media attempts to frame something in a narrative that supports their end game. In this case, that narrative is trying to overturn the result of the EU referendum.
Another example this week was the Daily Mirror’s Mikey Smith. He published a piece inferring President Trump had been racist by saying to a reporter, who happened to be black, “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” as he referred to a cancelled meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Smith gleefully tweeted: “Donald Trump’s shocking response to a black reporter at #TrumpPresser.” In his usual inflammatory fashion, Trump had simply asked a rhetorical question to try and embarrass said reporter. In no way was there any evidence that what Trump actually meant, as Smith falsely infers, was: “Are these friends of yours because you share the same race and you all stick together?” – Though, no doubt, that’s what the likes of the Mirror would love him to say.
You see the mainstream media positively revel in divisive propaganda packaged up as respectable news. TV presenter-turned-virtue signaller Gary Lineker portrayed Tony Blair as a “marvellous orator” following his speech but this highlighted exactly the problem which has developed in the Western world. The liberal elites would seemingly rather have an excellent, polished speaker (that deceives the public) in charge – see Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton or David Cameron – than somebody from outside the political mainstream like President Trump, Geert Wilders or Nigel Farage who are not afraid of speaking what many believe is the truth, stick to their promises and principles and are unafraid of offending snowflakes or adhering to the hideous constraints of political correctness.
People are done with that. The silent majority are done with polished politicians who promise the world but deliver very little. They want real individuals in charge and there is growing evidence that as the mainstream media do their best to resist this sweeping political change, more and more people are seeing the ‘news’ for what it is: fake. Almost 39,000 people voted in an LBC poll on whether it was Trump or the media telling the truth – a whopping 72% voted Trump, 12% said the media and 16% concluding neither. No doubt many will put that poll down to Russian interference but these are the same people who deny that decades of forced liberalisation are coming to an end.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain