GB News

I spent part of last week in Birmingham for work reasons. This was not in breach of government advice to work from home if possible, that advice was not issued until after I had arrived in Birmingham and does not come into effect until tomorrow.

Looking for a news channel in my hotel during the visit, I was unable to find the BBC news 24 channel which I usually watch, but did find GB News which we cannot get in West Cumbria. So I thought I would watch it to see what the fuss is all about.

Any Conservatives who want GB news to do well in the hope that the channel will give the government an easy ride would appear to be doomed to disappoinment - if anything most of the commentators on the channel seem to be even more hostile than those on the other channels.

What was different was the direction of the criticism - much if not most of it came from exactly the opposite direction that you get from much of the rest of the media. Instead of the lazy and stereotypical depiction of Boris Johnson as some sort of far-right Trump figure he was routinely slammed as a nig spending empire-builder who isn't conservative or libertarian enough. Admittedly some of that criticism was a bit lazy and stereotypical too.

I think it is a good thing that this channel is in the news mix. I don't agree with either the depiction of Boris as some kind of far-right Trumpian extremist or the idea that he is a big-state authoritarian and neo-socialist.

But both are points of view that some people hold, and anyone who thinks about politics with the awareness that both of those criticisms are being made is likely to come to a more balanced and accurate appraisal of the achievements and failures of this government - and all administrations get some things right and some things wrong - than someone who imagine that the only viewpoint to judge the government is that of the groupthink which too often pervades most of the rest of the media.

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