Tag Archives: blockade

Blockade of printworks highlights the fact: the UK does NOT have a ‘free press’

Blockade: Extinction Rebellion members at a Murdoch print works.

Could you feel the Establishment rage at being told its propaganda mouthpieces aren’t providing us with the news?

It seems 72 members of Extinction Rebellion did, after they were arrested in protests targeting three printing installations owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Why does he need three? Because he owns too many newspapers and they all print what he wants – not what the people need to know.

So the disruption at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, Knowsley in Merseyside, and near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire hit the distribution of his publications including The Sun, The Times, The Scottish Sun, along with those belonging to some of the few other billionaires who own the UK’s national press, including the Daily Telegraph (Barclay brothers), Daily Mail (Jonathan Harmsworth – Viscount Rothermere), and the Evening Standard (Evgeny Lebedev).

Do you really think any of these moguls will let their papers publish anything they don’t want you to think?

This Writer is reminded of the words of the late, great Tony Benn – that nobody should be allowed to own more than one newspaper. Then we would at least have a more free press than we have now.

Further to this, consider the onslaught under which those of us in the social media have to work every day. We don’t have the massive advertising resources of the Murdochs of this world, so we have to rely on organisations like Twitter and Facebook to spread our message virally.

And organisations like Facebook and Twitter respond by suppressing us. Facebook has an algorithm designed to push posts from left-wing news sites down people’s newsfeeds so they don’t see them.

This Site is currently having to cope with an 84 per cent drop in income due to its articles being suppressed in this way. One commenter on the Vox Political Facebook page said it had been so long since they had seen a link to one of my articles, they thought I had given up!

But if you check the “Archives” list to the left of these words, you’ll see that Vox Political has been publishing articles continuously – every day, barring a few rare exceptions – for years.

The only reason people don’t see links to my posts is because somebody else doesn’t want them to.

Yet Boris Johnson and all the other hypocrites only complain about attacks on the “free press” when their propaganda sheets take the hit.

Just look at the nonsense spoken about this by the Establishment stooges quoted in the BBC’s story – and where possible, let’s contrast it with what Extinction Rebellion has to say about these people:

Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

“It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.”

Have you seen that from the Murdoch press, the Torygraph, the Heil and the Standard in response to the decisions of his government – the worst Tory government ever to blight the United Kingdom? No.

 

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stephens, said: “People have the right to read the newspapers they want.

“Stopping them from being distributed and printers from doing their jobs is wrong.”

People also deserve to be told what their money is supporting, though. It isn’t fair to let them go on paying these propagandists without knowing exactly what they’re buying.

ER has been scathing about Starmer Labour’s “business as usual” approach:

This is worth reading too:

Actually, let’s go into this a bit because Labour’s position, under Keir Starmer, frankly, stinks.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Brent MP who has suffered racism from the police, from her own constituents, and from members of her own party (if a certain leaked report is to be believed – and I do), tweeted in support of XR – and was then ordered to take it down by Starmer’s minions:

Could anything demonstrate Starmer’s Establishment credentials better? He must not be allowed to get anywhere near 10 Downing Street because he’ll only stamp on all our faces harder than Johnson (to paraphrase Orwell).

Here’s what Starmer’s – and Labour’s – response to her tweet should have been:

Let’s just put the seal on this:

Right. Back to the Tories:

And Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted the overnight action by XR was an “attack on democracy”.

Obviously there are too many sharp responses to Patel for me to publish here, so I’ll restrict myself to pointing out that she has nothing to say about attacks on the left-wing social media – which would be an “attack on democracy” by the same token.

Here’s ER:

The bosses and editors of the newspapers involved have all condemned the action; they would, though, wouldn’t they? I see no reason to comment on their words.

Extinction Rebellion itself has made it clear that the blockade was a response to the so-called ‘free press’ suppressing reports on climate change and the ecological emergency it represents.

A report on its own website states: “The groups are using disruption to expose the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate & ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulatIon of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.

“The right wing media is a barrier to the truth, failing to reflect the scale and urgency of the crisis and hold governments to account. Coverage in many of the newspapers printed here is polluting national debate on climate change, immigration policy, the rights and treatment of minority groups, and on dozens of other issues. They distract us with hate and maintain their own power and wealth, profiting from our division. We can’t move forward until this barrier falls.

“Five billionaires are the majority voting shareholders for most of the UK national newspapers, with a combined weekly readership of 49million. Three companies alone (News UK, DMG and Reach) dominate 83% of the national newspaper market (up from 71% in 2015). This small group of extremely powerful people manipulate the media narrative to serve their own ends.”

Is it really a free press if it is only used to put us in chains?

The response on the social media has been very clear on that:

And some have made the important point that Tories like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have actually avoided passing laws to ensure press freedom:

That’s right.

If the press really is free and fair, why have the Tories spent years blocking a full public examination of its wrongdoing?

Source: Extinction Rebellion protesters block newspaper printing presses – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Tories thought they could persecute the disabled; now Tories hide from them

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Protection: Members of the Conservative Government need large numbers of police to protect them from disabled people in wheelchairs [Image: Paula Peters].

Conservative MPs cowered behind the House of Commons doors and prayed they would be strong enough to keep out the horde of disabled and wheelchair-using protesters who were trying to push their way in.

They had to call in the police to hold back the mob as they blockaded Prime Minister’s Questions, just after midday today (Wednesday).

The activists from Disabled People Against Cuts, other organisations, and individuals were campaigning against the closure of the Independent Living Fund – the Conservative Government’s latest (although long-planned) blow against those who minister had believed were not strong enough to stand up for themselves.

This video link to the BBC News report provides a more accurate picture of British disabled people and their strength:

https://youtu.be/EgXVECJU0Xs

The Daily Telegraph (of all papers) was first to report the events:

“Onlookers said that dozens of police officers attempted to restrain the demonstrators… One woman was led away by police as she tried to get into the chamber.

“Mary Johnson, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: ‘We tried to get down there because the Government needs to listen. We tried to get into the chamber but we were stopped by police.’

“She said she witnessed one protester being ‘dragged away by police’ claiming officers’ behaviour was ‘disgusting’ and that they had been ‘pushing wheelchairs around’.”

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Another wasted opportunity: Back to business as usual between Israel and Gaza

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Three days after it started, the ceasefire between the Israeli military and Hamas terrorists (one might describe both sides as terrorists in this instance) ended with the resumption of rocket attacks by what the BBC describes as “Palestinian militants”.

Hamas said it had resumed the rocket attacks because Israel had failed to meet its demands.

This raises several issues.

Firstly, is Hamas saying that it wanted Israel to capitulate completely to every demand made by the Palestinians? That was never going to happen because Hamas is not in a position of power. If Israel wanted, it could pound the entire Gaza Strip into rubble and defy the rest of the world to do anything about it. Both sides seem determined to be unreasonable about what negotiation can achieve, and cavalier about the fate of their own civilians while hostilities continue.

Secondly, Hamas is stupid to risk losing international sympathy by sending rockets towards Israeli civilians. With 1,890 Palestinians dead, against only 50 Israelis, many onlookers have seen this as a ‘David and Goliath’ contest, with plucky Muslims utterly outmatched by their Jewish neighbours – but these attacks suggest that it is a false interpretation; we are watching two equally vicious politically-motivated opponents acting in their own interests, without a moment’s thought for the collateral damage.

Thirdly, a saying has been doing the rounds, here on the Net, for some time now. It contends that a definition of madness might be the belief that doing the same thing repeatedly will yield different results. By this definition, the leaders of Hamas must be mad. With Israel reacting in typical manner, their leaders must be equally unhinged.

Israel has refused to negotiate while Hamas is firing upon its citizens, and that very violence is a good reason to refuse other Palestinian demands, such as the release of prisoners (to add to the violence?) and lifting the blockade of Gaza (to allow terrorists access to more deadly weapons?) – but of course this makes Israel appear the overbearing bully in this situation.

Let’s be honest – it was futile to expect a three-day ceasefire to resolve the situation. The more one examines it, the more reminiscent it becomes of the Irish Question. Peace in Northern Ireland was gained over a period of around 10 years – and remains fragile to this day. Even now it must be defended, to prevent either side from returning to the old ways.

For peace efforts to have any chance of success, talks must be overseen by an impartial mediator, with no interest – either moral or financial – in either side.

And that means the UK is ruled out of the process straight away.

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Cameron on Gaza is like a little boy arguing over a toy gun

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Today we are all very disappointed in young David – or at least we should be.

As a ceasefire in Gaza collapsed with both sides blaming the other, Mr Cameron seemed to think the main issue was an entirely justified attack on him by Ed Miliband.

Mr Miliband, commenting on the UK’s abstention from a United Nations resolution that establishes a Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and demands that Israel ceases its military assaults and lifts the blockade of Gaza, said Cameron was “wrong” not to oppose Israel’s attacks.

The Labour leader made his position perfectly clear in a statement condemning all military and terrorist violence in the disputed area. He said Cameron had been “right to say that Hamas is an appalling terrorist organisation.

“Its wholly unjustified rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, as well as building of tunnels for terrorist purposes, show the organisation’s murderous intent and practice towards Israel and its citizens,” he said.

“But the prime minister is wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza and his silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally.”

A Downing Street spokesman responded: “The PM has been clear that both sides in the Gaza conflict need to observe a ceasefire. We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.”

This is – of course – a misrepresentation of the government’s position. It is an attempt to whitewash the UK’s refusal to vote in the UN resolution out of the public consciousness. And it is an attempt to trivialise a serious conflict causing appalling loss of life – 1,700 in Gaza during the last three weeks.

The situation in Gaza is terribly complicated. Palestinian political organisation Hamas has governed the Gaza strip since 2007 after it won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, but is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the UK and the USA, amongst others.

States including Russia and China do not consider it to be terrorist but actions such as the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and the organisation’s creation of a tunnel network in order to carry out attacks on Israel mitigate against that belief.

That being said, Israel is a nation of vastly superior military might whose response appears wholly disproportionate – especially in the light of the Jewish people’s own history.

Persecuted for centuries until a decision was made for them to create a nation of their own in the land formerly known as Palestine, it seems clear that the new nation of Israel then set about the persecution of the Palestinian people who had formerly owned the land they had taken over.

It seems that Israeli politicians have learned nothing from their own history.

The matter is complicated by the fact that Palestine was a Muslim state, and Israel is surrounded by other Muslim states that vowed to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea rather than tolerate a Hebrew state on their doorstep, so it would be accurate to say that there has never been any attempt at tolerance between these unwilling neighbours.

And the above is an extremely oversimplified attempt to explain the situation!

For David Cameron, though, it seems none of this is important. What’s important to him is that Ed Miliband showed him up for speaking against both Hamas and Israel, and failing to support this with action.

One final point: In the light of Mr Miliband’s condemnation of Israel, are there any silly people out there who still want to claim he is a Zionist?

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UN Gaza resolution highlights Coalition’s human rights ineptitude

The damning facts: The UK couldn't care less about human rights in Gaza and the USA actively voted against them. Russia - currently being painted as the big bad bogeyman of Europe - supported the resolution.

The damning facts: The UK couldn’t care less about human rights in Gaza and the USA actively voted against them. Russia – currently being painted as the big bad bogeyman of Europe – supported the resolution.

Say what you like about the situation in Israel/Palestine, the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territory can only be good – right?

So we have to ask ourselves why the United Kingdom, represented by our unelected comedy Prime Minister, chose to be among the 17 countries that abstained from the vote.

That’s right – the UK chose not to support the protection of people’s human rights.

Even Russia voted for this! Perhaps that’s something we should remember, next time we examine that country’s foreign policies.

The UN Human Rights Council resolution establishes a Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and demands that Israel ceases its military assaults and lifts the blockade of Gaza. It was passed with 29 votes in favour, 1 against, and 17 abstentions, including that from the UK.

It is notable that the solitary vote against the resolution came from the United States of America. Your comments on that decision are awaited with interest but keep them free of racism or religious intolerance!

As for Cameron and his government’s abstention: The Conservative disdain for your human rights is well-documented but if you have forgotten, then take a look at this Vox Political article from last year.

Among the human rights Cameron wants to scrap here in the UK are a state’s duty to “investigate suspicious deaths” and “prevent foreseeable loss of life”. Perhaps he can see that it would be hypocritical to refuse such actions at home and then demand them abroad.

The rights to a fair trial, respect for one’s private and family life, freedom of expression, assembly and association are also likely to be relevant to Gaza and the Occupied Territory. Again, Cameron wants to banish these from the UK.

He says he would replace them with a ‘Bill of Rights’ unique to this country, and dictated by Tory millionaires.

If you want to know how that would turn out, well…

Just hope it won’t be worse for you than it is for people in Gaza today.

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