Prefer Miliband to Cameron on economics? The Sun says you need a psychiatrist

The real 'insult to voters' intelligence' is committed every day by the Sun


The party bias of the Sun newspaper in this election has today moved from attacking Ed Miliband to attacking voters who might like his policies.

Its leader column today starts like this:

Labour’s sham manifesto is an insult to voters’ intelligence.

“We shouldn’t be surprised. For years they have treated the public as fools.

“Yesterday Ed Miliband took this contempt to a new level.”

It goes on like that, running with the Tory line that Labour’s pledge to cut the deficit on the current budget every year should not be believed. But the remarkable twist comes in the conclusion, as the Sun likens Labour to “an incurable drunk claiming to be teetotal while slurring his words through a job interview to manage the off-licence”:

“We can’t currently think of any reason to vote Labour on May 7.

“But if your motivation is that Miliband will run the economy more sensibly than David Cameron, you should Google psychiatrists in your area as soon as possible.

This studied insult to a big chunk of the electorate, (as well as to anyone with psychiatric problems), is of a piece with the Sun’s political coverage today.

In a two-page spread, themed around the cartoon The Simpsons, (on loan from Sun-owner Rupert Murdoch’s Fox TV), the paper equates opposition to George Osborne’s mad push to clear the entire deficit – for both day-to-day and capital spending – and run a surplus by 2020, with being the class dunce.

The spread also ‘rates’ some of Labour’s policies – while leaving out others, like the rail-price freeze and expansion of childcare services – presenting them in a polemical form that effectively tells readers what to think.

I’m always amused when I see the leader columns in the Sun’s stable-mate paper the Times headed as ‘leading articles’, since it calls to mind ‘leading questions’ in court, and well suits columns like this one that seek to drag their readers to a certain opinion like cattle.

The real ‘insult to voters’ intelligence’ is committed every day by the Sun newspaper.

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

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