British newspapers choose 'Hillsborough' as an achievement

When you're trying to convince people to like you, it's a bad idea to remind them of your worst failures.

We all know the British journalism is under threat, from government regulation and the digital revolution. However, as is aptly demonstrated by this campaign co-signed by all of the major papers, the British press is under threat from its own hubris:

Clearly this campaign - from newsworks.org.uk, "the marketing body for national newspapers, helping agencies and advertisers get the most out of newsbrands" - is meant to show off the fact that, quite regularly, British journalists have done some great work uncovering corruption and exposing truths that needed to be known. But as far as lists go, it's not particularly well-chosen.

Firstly, it's an imbalanced list. The Mail gets Stephen Lawrence, the Telegraph gets MPs' expenses, the Sun gets Help For Heroes (which is probably cancelled out by Hillsborough, even though the Mirror probably put that in), the Times has its cycle safety program, but the Guardian gets to claim phone hacking, the NSA revelations and Wikileaks. 

Secondly - and this can't be stressed enough - the word 'Hillsborough' in this context means only one thing. There is a reason that, to this day, many newsagents in Liverpool will not stock the Sun.

It is also myopic to think that the media came out looking like the good guys in the (still ongoing) phone hacking scandal. Similarly, too, it's bizarre to see the NSA and Wikileaks stories included when so many papers have criticised the Guardian for leaking classified information.

Although, since they're having so much trouble trying to convince us that the NSA leaks are important, maybe they'll take any publicity they can get.

I'm a mole, innit.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader. Getty
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Will Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister after the 2017 general election?

Can Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election? 

Jeremy Corbyn could be the next prime minister. Admittedly, it’s highly unlikely. After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. Labour behind in the latest general election polls and underperformed badly in the recent local elections. But since the election was called, Labour’s position in the polls has been improving. Can we trust the general election polls?

This isn’t the first vote of national significance since his election, however, since he was in office during the 2016 EU referendum. It’s also not Corbyn’s first serious challenge: after the Brexit vote, his MPs voted “no confidence” in him and Owen Smith challenged him for the leadership. Corbyn saw off that threat to his position convincingly, so can he pull out another electoral triumph and become prime minister? 

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister after the general election 2017?

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Since May 2015, the Conservative Party has consistently led in the polls. The latest polls give Labour ratings in the mid 30s, while the Conservatives are on the mid-40s. Recent improvements in Labour’s standing still leave Jeremy Corbyn a long way from becoming prime minister.

But should we believe the general election polls? Glen O’Hara, professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University, points out that the polls have been wrong before, and could be overstating Labour’s collapse. However, a 20-point gap is far outside the margin of error. A Corbyn win would be an unprecedented upset.

What is Labour's record on elections?

At the 2016 local elections, Labour did not gain any councils and lost 18 seats and 4 per cent of the vote. James Schneider, the co-founder of Momentum who is now Corbyn’s head of strategic communications, said this showed Labour was on the right trajectory, but it’s a disappointment for an opposition to make no gains. And at the Copeland by-election this February, Labour lost the seat to the Tories – the first government gain in a by-election since 1982.

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