• The “Pulpit of Strewth”

    Barry Soper is one half of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise.

    In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the kind of techniques that he and his co-propagandists are wont to use.

    He finds a way, it seems, to reference the Prime Minister’s constant and welcome readiness to offer herself up for public scrutiny, and then to turn it against her. He describes her public pronouncements (and answers to questions) as issuing forth from the “Pulpit of Truth” – a term that is (and is intended to be) redolent with irony and resentment at her constant ability and willingness to communicate with, and answer the questions of, those attending her regular press conferences.

    But, no doubt pleased at his cleverness in inventing the label, he sees the possibility of using it as the basis of a further jab. The Prime Minister’s pulpit, he suggests, is not so much a pulpit of “truth” as one of “strewth”. Happily for his readers, he then seems to have exhausted his powers of invention and we are spared any further examples of journalistic guerrilla warfare.

    We (his readers) might hope for a higher standard of political commentary, but Barry Soper can no doubt congratulate himself on fulfilling his employers’ expectations of him.

    Bryan Gould
    14 October 2021

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