by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Mastodon: @RabBrucesSpider1@Mastodon.Scot

Twitter: @RabBrucesSpider

While there have been lots of public complaints about Jeremy Clarkson’s misogynistic comments, the media outrage seems to me to have been rather less than the outpourings of fury over Nicola Sturgeon saying that she detests the Tories. Perhaps my own confirmation bias is at work here, but I haven’t seen nearly as many furious articles about Clarkson. His comments have been reported, but usually in bland terms, while there were huge debates about whether Nicola Sturgeon should have said anything so detestable as expressing her detestation. Tory politicians, in particular, seem to be maintaining a much lower profile this time around. Since Mr Clarkson compared his hatred of Nicola Sturgeon as being comparable to his hatred of a mass murderer, I’d venture to suggest that his words were far more detestable than anything Nicola Sturgeon said.

Most of the focus about his remarks has been on his use of a scene from Game of Thrones to express his hatred of Meghan Markle. He has apologised for any offence and promised to be more careful in future, but, as with most such comments, the damage has been done. Quite why he thought that using a Game of Thrones analogy was appropriate is beyond me since George R R Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones series, often goes out of his way to shock readers with such scenes.

The media, of course, is funded by wealthy people whose aim is to maintain the status quo because a Tory regime (or even a Tory-light Labour one) suits them perfectly. This is why The Sun newspaper is still churning out its propaganda despite eye-watering financial losses. It is in the interest of the Establishment to have a means of distributing its view of how the UK should operate. This is the reason why The Sun published Mr Clarkson’s outrageous comments; it is the reason that the Michelle Mone PPE scandal was largely ignored by the media until the outcry became too loud, and even then the reporting was often superficial. It is the same with the rapid and highly persuasive debunking of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s claim that giving nurses a pay rise would cost every household £1,000. Anyone who does not rely on the mainstream media for their news will know this is a highly inaccurate and misleading claim, yet the debunking gets barely a mention, while the lie has been repeated so often that many people will have fallen for it.

Which is, of course, the whole point of repeating lies in the media. Since hardly any TV interviewer challenges such assertions, the lies are able to sink into the consciousness of those who lap up such short, punchy phrases even if they have the same relationship with the truth as the claims about NHS funding which the Leave campaign put on the side of a bus.

I’ve also seen some criticism of our new Queen Consort for hosting a dinner at which Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan were present. It should be pointed out that plenty of other, less controversial "celebrities" were there as well, but the presence of these two arch Meghan Markle haters has been pounced upon as yet another sign of poor judgement on the part of the royal family. Social media has gone into overdrive about this sorry affair, and I've seen some people state that they believe the past week signals both the end of Jeremy Clarkson’s career, and the beginning of the end for the royal family. Perhaps I am too cynical, but I doubt it is the end for either of them. The royal family is at the very heart of the Establishment, and even though it sometimes suffers criticism, the media is generally very supportive no matter what the royals do. This may change slightly with a new King on the throne, but I doubt it. The Establishment needs the royal family as a figurehead and a distraction from daily life. Republicanism is frowned upon to such an extent that it barely gets a chance to make its case to the public. Adulation of the royal family is a cornerstone of Britishness, so I doubt that simply inviting a couple of misogynistic right wing celebrities is going to make much of an impact. As for Mr Clarkson himself, as long as he keeps saying things which align with the interests of the royal family, I’m sure his career will be just fine. It may take a slightly different path if the public refuses to engage with him, but he’ll still be around to dispense his particular brand of unpleasantness.

As ever, people need to realise that the media is not our friend. Demonisation of striking workers is already in full swing but, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the media are currently out of step with public opinion. This may change if the constant barrage of anti-Union propaganda continues, but I doubt it. Everyone can see what 12 years of Tory rule have brought. Some may revel in this because they believe that keeping foreigners out is more important than anything else, but more and more people are able to recognise where the root of the UK’s problem lies. The media will continue to try to persuade people to act against their own best interests by portraying anyone who seeks to disrupt the status quo as dangerous. Remember how they treated Alex Salmond and Jeremy Corbyn? Meghan Markle and Nicola Sturgeon face the same treatment, as does Mick Lynch. There is a reason for this, and I’m pretty sure you know what it is.

Thanks for reading, and if I don’t publish another blog before Christmas, then here’s wishing you as happy a time as you can manage in the current circumstances.