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Friday 29 November 2019

If Channel 4 was an obscure digital channel, let’s say it was called Liberal TV, then last night’s climate debate would be nothing to object to, an independent media outlet – not too unlike Leave.EU – focusing viewers’ attention on a priority issue for them, if not the majority. However, Channel 4 is a terrestrial broadcaster established by an Act of Parliament, which is why this morning’s row over it’s future is long overdue.

Unsurprisingly, Boris had no interest in participating in a rigged debate, neither did Nigel Farage. Michael Gove arrived in the Tory Party leader’s stead and was turned away, Channel 4 had a little stunt to play and they didn’t want the former environment secretary (better qualified to discuss the issue than Boris surely?) disrupting it.

In the prime minister’s absence, the show’s producers installed an ice sculpture in the shape of the world with the Tory logo carved into, it would have cost a few bob (see below). We would wager the whole purpose of the climate debate was on the premise the PM wouldn’t turn up giving Channel 4 the weak pretext to insert the offending ice and deliver a biased message to the public, don’t vote Conservative. 

The Tories have called out Channel 4 for their “political stunt” and complained to Ofcom. The channel’s news service was already in the party’s sights after its head Dorothy Byrne publicly compared Boris to Vladimir Putin and called him a “known liar”.

But it’s not just Channel 4 acting disgracefully. Front page of today’s Express is exposure of Ed Miliband’s pathetic attempt at trying to convince voters in 72% Leave-voting Doncaster North that he’s Mr Brexit. According to the former Labour leader’s campaign literature, he voted for a Brexit deal nine times. He didn’t.  

No Doubt’s Ed’s dreadful campaign team will be promoted to try resurrect Labour HQ’s even more dire national campaign, described as “ludicrous” by one insider, report the FT.

It most certainly is ludicrous, Jeremy Corbyn’s team, who evidently totally misunderstand that most voters abhor socialism, have been targeting Tory-held seats by a ratio of 80:20. Following yesterday’s YouGov poll (read our newsletter here) predicting a majority of 68 for the Tories, campaign strategists are in panic mode and looking to switch down to a massive damage limitation exercise by focusing on seats they’re in danger of losing.

“Jeremy and John think that if we had put more effort into taking seats two years ago we would now be running the government. The problem is that this time around the data and feedback are pointing to a major setback,” said a Labour candidate.

“We need to pivot towards defence.” 

A pivot may sound like a good idea, but moving electioneering resources to the Labour heartlands will mean directing voters attention away from candidates and onto Corbyn and his main ally, John McDonnell, negative assets meaning more lost votes. Go ahead we say.