Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website

With the party conference season likely to kick off a challenging autumn and winter for Boris Johnson, the Labour Party is in desperate need of some sustainable media strategies to try to keep the government on the back foot.

A five-paragraph news story in one of the few Labour-supporting national newspapers might seem an insignificant start but it was an illustration of what could become part of a wide-ranging campaign to exploit a myriad of failings and missed opportunities in the Brexit small print.

Amid what for so long has been a dearth of regular in-depth news coverage in the mainstream media about employment and trade union issues, there is one positive development.

Drivers and couriers in the gig economy, who are challenging the working practices of online innovators such as Uber and Deliveroo, are winning a sympathetic hearing on radio and television, and especially in the national press.

As collateral damage from deficiencies in the EU withdrawal agreement cause ever-increasing disruption, Brexit supporting newspapers are grudgingly having to face the reality that they can no longer go on fooling their readers about the sunny uplands awaiting Global Britain.

Readers of the UK’s mass-circulation, Brexit-supporting newspapers have been spared the grim details of the reality facing hundreds of thousands of musicians, actors and artists who have lost the prospect of employment across the European Union.

When Conservative governments set about curtailing employment and trade union rights the route map for massaging public reaction follows tried and tested procedures.

Headline-grabbing objectives are floated in briefings to well-informed journalists, and then, amid a flurry of media interest, ministers row back from worst-case scenarios insisting that high standards in the UK will not be eroded.