It’s time for decent people on all sides to stand up to Britain’s media mob



‘Be kind.’ Wasn’t that the mantra repeated over and over in the media after the death of Caroline Flack? ‘Be kind.’ The broadcast media and the tabloid press had largely been responsible for Ms Flack’s celebrity ascent. Their relentless pursuit of her almost certainly contributed to her personal descent. It was too late to be kind to her then. 

I thought at the time the media Establishment pushing the ‘be kind’ mantra was hypocritical. After the behaviour of that very same media over the last few weeks, I know I was right. The hypocrisy and malice of this baying mob disgusts all decent people – regardless of their politics. The British media have lost the plot.

In the world of 24 hour news there is a constant fight to ‘break’ the story. Like a pack of hyenas, we watch these journalists scurry from victim to victim, the voices of Beff, Boulton and the Beeb reaching a crescendo as their faces contort and they squeal, ‘apologise!‘. Apologise for this, apologise for that. Apologise for not apologising. Apologise for whatever we, your media overlords, have decided should be today’s reason for contrition.

Then we have Piers Morgan. On the one hand, revelling in every anti-government sentiment he can manufacture; on the other, lamenting with fist-thumping faux outrage that no government ministers will appear on ‘his’ show. We all know he only wants them on to shout at them and grandstand, simply to give him a few more slivers of triggering Twitter content. It’s all about him – his own self-interest and self-promotion – nothing else matters.

There’s a lot more to the media flogging of Dominic Cummings than concern over a car journey. He is seen as an Establishment-breaking architect of Brexit, who makes it his business to ignore and outwit the media. They hate him and they want to get him. And they hate us for defying them, too.

How dare we ignore them on Brexit. How dare he ignore them. It was the self-proclaimed anti-Brexit campaign group Led by Donkeys which turned up with a media advertising van at the Cummings’ home. Do you really think they actually care about his movements? Of course not. They saw the opportunity to pull a stunt which was designed to discredit and humiliate Mr Brexit. All while the media mob were in attendance. It was base – and unacceptable – and backfired.

It’s been a grim spectacle. We had The Guardian Photographer Jill Mead scrawling messages on the road outside the Cummings’ house, photographing the graffiti and flogging it. We had Emily Thornberry encouraging the mob on twitter. We had freelance writer Andy Dawson, a contributor to The Mirror and – quelle surprise! – The Guardian tweeting foul-mouthed abuse at the wife of Michael Gove, detailing how he’d like to assault her husband in front of their children. What happened to the old mantra, ‘report the news, don’t be the news’?

The media are playing a highly damaging and dangerous game which is stoking acrimony – and leading growing numbers of us little people to simply shake our heads and switch off. It makes me wonder if they’ve always been this terrible. The awful behaviour of our main news outlets can no longer be ignored. Bring back John Craven’s Newsround!

Clare Golby was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Coventry North West in the 2019 General Election. Follow her on twitter: @MrsGolby