Playing Politics on ‘Easy Mode’ Has Set the Conservative Party up for Defeat
The easy ride afforded to Rishi Sunak's party by the British press is also helping to set them up for an almighty fall
During the difficult days of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, his then spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin would sometimes complain that the Conservative party appeared to be playing politics on “easy mode”.
For years, stories about internal party divisions dominated media coverage of the Labour Party, with reports of MPs being threatened with deselection becoming a regular staple in Fleet Street.
In the end no Labour moderates were ever deselected by Corbyn, yet when a whole series of Conservative moderate MPs were actually thrown out of the parliamentary party by Boris Johnson, it barely registered as a blip in the coverage.
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Similar double standards were evident in the treatment of racism within the two parties. Stories about antisemitism within the Labour party were widely covered, yet extensive evidence of Boris Johnson’s own racism, institutional Islamophobia within the Conservative party and the racist campaign against Sadiq Khan were largely ignored.
In recent months these double standards have slowly started to shift. Stories about systemic Government failures that would previously have been brushed over, are starting to receive more extensive coverage than they would have done previously, while Keir Starmer’s party are also starting to get a somewhat fairer hearing too.
However, events this week have shown how the ‘easy mode’ enjoyed by the Rishi Sunak’s party over the past 13 years still persists and why ultimately it could prove to be their downfall.