Labour tries to tell the press how to do their job

When a government, or sometimes even an opposition which has a big lead in the polls during the run up to an election, tries to tell the press how to do their job, this can amount to bullying. From shortly before they came to power until they finally lost it last year, New Labour were past masters at bullying the media.

But when a party which has just been kicked out of power tries the same thing, the display of hubris just makes them look ridiculous.

Witness Labour's attempt to tell the TV news how they should describe the government.

According to The Evening Standard, Ed Miliband's new spin doctor Tom Baldwin has written an "extraordinary" letter to the heads of the BBC, ITV and Sky telling them not to refer to the government as "the coalition" and asking them to use the phrase "Tory-led government" instead.

His two-page missive warned: "You are making a choice whenever you call it 'the Coalition,'" and said it would be "fairer to refer to it by reference to party labels".

One senior broadcaster said the Baldwin letter had "a bullying tone" which brought back memories of "the bad old days", when Tony Blair's spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who is a friend of Mr Baldwin, tried to micro-manage media coverage.

Another journalist described it as "an attempt to impose Labour language on neutral news coverage in the Orwellian tradition".

You can read the Standard article, including extracts from Baldwin's letter, here.

You can also read a Guido Fawkes spoof of the Baldwin letter, in the form of a note Guido has supposedly sent to the media telling them how to refer to Tom Baldwin himself, here.


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