Early summer mornings follow a dull, repetitive pattern. Another Labour leadership or deputy leadership candidate takes to the Radio 4 airwaves and trots out familiar banalities committing to nothing and saying very little that is either original or powerful.

Monday's turn belonged to Ben Bradshaw, who has, we were told, the best-organised local Labour Party in the country. We listen to self-serving political newspeak at its very worst: politicians seeking power based on personal career trajectories rather than intellectual gravitas or policy conviction. Britain understandably grows weary of it all and looks elsewhere.

Jeremy Corbyn campaign
There's a new C-word for members of New Labour: CorbynIan Forsyth/Getty Images

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, his demeanour one of a man anxious in his own shadow, lectured the faithful for nearly an hour on Sunday – warning of an imminent calamity for a progressive Labour Party but not bringing himself to use the C-word even once. Corbyn.

Who convinced him to simply ignore the biggest elephant in the room? The once-legendary spin doctors who helped create New Labour have apparently not realised that PR doesn't work any more and that people see through bullshit, bluster and denial. There is no point trying to manage messages. Spin is dead. A new honesty is required.

Jeremy C-word is not like the others, of course. His calm demeanour and accidental, quiet authenticity set him apart. Never mind the fact that he is wrong on almost every policy point and will most likely accelerate rather than arrest the Labour Party's inevitable demise. Corbyn's message resonates precisely because it is his, genuinely so.

Right or wrong, he has been saying it for years. His narrative is told with firm belief. That said, his beard looks a little more shapely and his hair a little more trim than it did a few weeks ago and he has seemingly reduced dependency on his much-vaunted vests, so maybe the spinners have got to him a bit – at least on image, if not in words.

The media has always set agendas to its convenient choosing, allowing hysteria to build. This is why at heart journalism and PR are effectively two sides of the same coin, however much practitioners of both protest loudly otherwise. "Corbynmania" is one example of this: first encouraged, then inevitably pricked, ridiculed and probably ultimately defeated – if not by 12 September (the day the Labour leadership results are announced), then certainly by the 2020 general election.

Elsewhere, editors sycophantically swoon over the arrival of a "royal" baby only to feign shock horror when paparazzi lose control and behave like mad men in the rush to monetise the Windsor child. Like Corbynmania, is all part of the same story arc. Media spin.

Calais migrant crisis
Even the BBC have taken to describing Calais migrants in dehumanising termsPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

On the vexed issue du jour of immigration, the BBC, subconsciously recognising the threat to its licence to operate, happily adopts clear political language, as if in thrall to the conservative right. It dehumanises the desperate on Mediterranean boats and the Calais "jungle".

These are not refugees or asylum seekers, simply migrants – treated with the same punishing language as Huxley's epsilons or Dick's replicants. The desperate become inferior, gruesome people in rolling news: easy picture fodder for dramatic comment. Language is abused as readily as the victims.

This is neither compassionate nor responsible. "The language we use must reflect the value of the human being and not treat immigration as a deep menace that is somehow going to overwhelm a country that has coped with many waves of immigration and has usually done so with enormous success," said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Conversations around immigration need to be adult, thoughtful and informed, not political, inhumane, deliberately provocative and divisive. Conversations around politics and politicians likewise need to be respectful, intelligent and adult – about the issues, not the personalities. Needing to manage the message is irrelevant if people are judged by the substantive; on actions, not words.

Corbyn may well be a deep menace to the future condition of the Labour Party and the welfare of Britain. I am personally appalled by his belief in centralisation, renationalisation and disarmament, let alone his over-zealous flirtation with terrorist "friends" in Hezbollah and Hamas.

Nonetheless, I fleetingly thought of re-joining the Labour Party just to vote for Jeremy. Not because I believe in what he says, but because it is time to call bulls**t on the bluster, banalities and quasi-spin of the others and return to adult honesty and conversation. Even with those with whom we profoundly disagree.


Robert Phillips is the co-founder of Jericho Chambers and the author of Trust Me, PR Is Dead (Unbound, 2015). Follow him @citizenrobert.