Miliband says no SNP deal and the Sun says ‘La-la-la can’t hear you’

Facts go into the Sun's filter and come out very different. Here's an example.


I’d like to draw your attention to a small but impressive story in today’s Sun, because it’s a good example of what happens to information when put through the paper’s anti-Labour filter.

First, here’s the clip of the transcript of Ed Miliband’s interview with Andrew Marr yesterday on the BBC. Marr began by pressing the Labour leader on a possible deal with the Scottish National Party after the general election:

ANDREW MARR: [the SNP] will be coming to you saying Ed Miliband that is our price for supporting you, we want that referendum.

ED MILIBAND: No, look I want to be clear about this Andrew, no coalitions, no tie-ins, you know –

ANDREW MARR: What about supply and support, a deal, one of those deals that will keep you going?

ED MILIBAND: Look I’ve said no deals, honestly I’ve been clear about that.

ANDREW MARR: Of any kind.

ED MILIBAND: Yeah I am not doing deals with the Scottish National Party, but you know I want a majority Labour government and, you know the way the House of Commons works, as you know, is that we’ll –

ANDREW MARR: (over) So absolutely clearly no support and supply deal of any kind?

ED MILIBAND: I am not interested in deals, no.

Miliband has previously ruled out a coalition with the SNP, but hasn’t before said that he would not have a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement with them. Knowing he had a scoop, Marr asked the question again later in the interview to make sure he got the same answer:

ANDREW MARR: OK, just finally bang the nail into the piece of wood finally, a confidence and supply deal with the SNP is ruled out.

ED MILIBAND: (over) I’ve made it clear we’re not, no deals, no.

ANDREW MARR: Not going to happen, OK, well let’s move on to some other issues […]

This was reported by the BBC, the GuardianPolitics Home, the Independentand the Financial Times as ‘Miliband says no to confidence-and-supply with SNP’, or words to that effect – and Labour has made no attempt to protest or backtrack.

So how has this information been reported in the Sun today?



Ed MIliband has been blasted after refusing to completely rule out an informal deal with the SNP ten times. 

The Labour leader appeared to go further in distancing himself from the Scottish Nationalists, but would not say a pact definitely would not happen.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Ed Miliband can only be prime minister with the support of SNP votes.”

That’s the whole story. (Or rather, that’s all the Sun reported.)

You’ll notice from the transcript that Miliband was not asked this question ‘ten times’, nor did he refuse to rule out an informal deal. He was asked to rule out an ‘informal’ – as in, confidence and supply – deal with the SNP, and he said ‘no deals’.

One could argue that Miliband could have been more explicit, but one cannot argue that this Sun story is a fair or accurate report of what happened.

So even within the absurdly narrow confines of acceptable political discussion – why should Labour have to rule out a deal anyway? – there seems to be nothing Miliband can do to please the Sun. 

The world reflected in its pages is increasingly detached from the one we actually live in, and facts are shaped and moulded to suit the paper’s fancy.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


Read more: Tory cynicism as press takes Salmond’s budget joke seriously

Rupert Murdoch ‘berated’ Sun staff for not bashing Miliband enough, reports Independent

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