It has become difficult to hang on to respect for any institution, and that is unsettling.
Yet these people of proven terrible judgement, they and others of their media class, are the arbiters who are allowed to dictate the terms of what is and what is not an acceptable public utterance on the situation in Syria.
When Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the opposition, one of two things had to happen. Either the Overton window had to shift to allow for the reflection of views held by the leader of the official opposition and his myriad supporters, or the leader of the opposition had to be castigated and humiliated as an unreasonable lunatic. Corbyn’s rational scepticism on British involvement in the conflict in Syria is a key moment in this process. Despite the fact that Corbyn’s scepticism is supported by a wide swathe of diplomatic and military opinion within the UK, it has to be portrayed as fringe, extreme and irrational.
We thus have the extraordinary spectacle of a coordinated government and media onslaught on anybody who doubts their entirely fact free narratives. Those who were demonstrably completely wrong over Iraq are held up as infallible, and given full control of all state and corporate media platforms, where they deride those who were right over Iraq as crackpots and Russian bots.
Meanwhile public trust in the state and corporate media hits new lows, which is the happy part of this story.
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