The Impunity Party should be the Conservatives’ new pet name based on the clement treatment they keep receiving by the media
It has been just over four months since 2016 began and each month seems to have brought one media frenzy after another, mainly concerning whatever the Conservative Party is or is not apparently doing.
The wacky left-wingers are always the first to be criticised and scrutinised, with the Daily Mail being first in line to do so. The last couple of months, however, have shown just how much the right-wingers get away with without being confronted by any major media station or publication, not that it surprises anyone.
The Conservatives are never shy to attack Labour’s spending and economic policies and call themselves the party of the economists. David Cameron called Jeremy Corbyn’s tax returns similar to Labour’s budgets: ‘It was late, it was chaotic, it was inaccurate, it was uncosted’, he said. What he didn’t mention is that Jeremy Corbyn actually pays tax, more than ‘some companies owned by people (Cameron) might know quite well’. I often hear Conservative MPs and members say the country was left in economic ruin by the last government, forgetting that they were the last government.
In case they have also forgotten, their own budget wasn’t too successful either. Not only did they have to scrap many of their budget plans within a week of publishing them, but they were also extremely insensitive, keeping in mind the Panama papers have now been leaked. George Osborne has decreased cooperation tax to 20 per cent from 28 per cent, and it will decrease further in 2020 to 17 per cent.
This policy is useless, considering corporations don’t pay tax anyway. Decreasing how much they have to pay does nothing at all.
The Conservatives’ controversial policy to make all schools academies by 2020 was very quietly swept under the rug and taken out of the budget during the local council and London mayoral election campaigns. But of course, being the Conservative Party, there is little opposition from the press, sending the message to the public that 1) nothing is happening, and 2) the Conservatives can get away with it.
This has happened many a time recently. As the anti-Semitism kerfuffle in Labour is exploited in the news (and anti-Semitism is definitely not just a Labour problem), there is an investigation into Conservative electoral fraud during the general election campaign last year — which may have helped them to win in certain areas of the country to make up a ‘majority’ vote. Hardly any major news organisation is featuring this news and, for the Conservatives, it’s not even damaging. It leaves one thinking that if this had been an investigation into Labour, you’d never hear the end of it, especially as this particular crime can and may result in prison sentences.
Other than lying about money, it seems the Conservatives can escape scrutiny over racist and classist comments as well. When Sir Alan Duncan called people who weren’t millionaires ‘low achievers’ who also apparently ‘hate people who look after their own families and know absolutely nothing about the real world’, it leaves you wondering why anyone in their right mind would vote for individuals who hold such views.
But then again, it’s most likely down to the press. When Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, said that Obama was only against Britain leaving the EU because he was Kenyan, the BBC let him off the hook and instead focused on Sadiq Khan’s extremist ‘friends’. Zac Goldsmith’s Islamophobic and racist campaign, which many newspapers even endorsed, is another key example. This may be down to the fact that the BBC has a new Chairman, Rona Fairhead, who was appointed by the Business Secretary Sajid Javid. And it may not surprise you that she is an old school friend of George Osborne. Fairhead was rushed into the position after the application date had already closed, and some claims suggest she was only appointed for the job to cover-up a £1 billion fraudulent HSBC scam which Cameron was involved in. She also sat on the board of directors for HSBC before being appointed Chairman of the BBC.
Fairhead’s ties with the BBC and the Conservative Party, and many of those like her in charge of British services, make it clear why, in the media, the Conservatives always end up getting away with things other parties would struggle to recover from. Whether it be racism, tax scandals or the complete alienation of everyone who hasn’t inherited millions, the Conservative Party will continue like nothing happened, bathing in their double standards.