This chapter uses a wide-angled lens to examine the part played by the media in the evolution of the Labour Party under the leaderships of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock. But it takes as its starting point the sharp increase in the vituperative nature of the press attacks on Labour that coincided with the so-called winter of discontent in 1978-9. The chapter also analyses two other aspects of press reporting of the Labour left. First, the ongoing narrative that characterised left-wing politicians as ‘mad’ with Tony Benn, in particular, being singled out for such treatment. And second, how the reporting of the winter of discontent, and the leadership of Michael Foot, can be seen as early exemplars of a particular UK variant of fake news. It will describe how Labour’s election defeat in 1987 was interpreted, both by the media and the Labour leadership, as a defeat for the notion of Labour as a left-wing party.
|Title of host publication||Culture Wars|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Media and the British Left|
|Editors||James Curran, Ivor Gaber, Julian Petley|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2018|