A lot has been made of the way in which New Labour controls the media so as to present itself in a favourable manner.
There are two reasons why I think this is entirely justified.
Firstly, in an age of electronic communication where images can be flashed around the globe in seconds, appearance is vitally important. This far from just a new Labour phenomenon, as negative as it may be I believe it’s a general movement towards the aesthetic on a global level. Any organisation stupid enough to ignore this, the Tories for example, will look hopelessly outdated and essentially end in failure.
Secondly, and by far the most important point, is the historical relationship between the media and the labour party. During the 70s and 80s the Labour party suffered a continuous and humiliating campaign of bullying courtesy of the British media.
As Labour leader, Michael Foot rallied around causes like nuclear disarmament and social justice, essentially a decent and morally courageous man. But like any politician who speaks the truth and stands up for the weak and disadvantaged, he suffered the inevitable ridicule at the hands of the right wing press. The Daily Mail infamously picturing him on its front page with the headline, “Do you really want this silly old fool running the country?”.
Along with Neil Kinnock he was also at the sharp end of many outrageous smear campaigns involving Spying and contacts within the Kremlin. It may sound laughable now, but we have to take into account both the political climate of the time, as well as the gullibility of those that read The Times and The Daily Mail.
In the manner of a child that was bullied at school the Labour Party remerged as a powerful force that is now treating it’s former oppressors with the contempt they deserve.
The media has been bitten on the arse and has nobody but itself to blame.
It made its bed, now all it has to do is lie in it.