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

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,…

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Ignorance could lumber us with another Tory government

Why do people still believe the Conservatives are more likely to raise their living standards than Labour, even though they understand that they have become worse off over the last five years? Why do political commentators brand Ed Miliband a “useless” leader, when even former Torygraph stalwart Peter Oborne has admitted he has been responsible for extraordinary successes and has challenged the underlying structures which govern Westminster conduct? Let’s look at the first claim, courtesy of the latest Mainly Macro article by Professor Simon Wren-Lewis. He makes it clear from the…

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Coulson convicted – now Cameron has serious questions to answer

The conviction of former Downing Street press supremo Andy Coulson on charges of conspiracy to hack telephones should have serious consequences for David Cameron, the Prime Minister who brought him into the heart of the UK government after he committed these crimes. Cameron has said he takes “full responsibility” for employing Coulson. He may regret those words in the future. Interviewed by the BBC, he said: “I did so on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turn out not to be the case.”…

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Jobseeking goes digital – a lesson in how propaganda gets into the press

We seem to be going through another period of closely scrutinising the practices of the press, in the wake of Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s reprehensible treatment of Ralph Miliband (and others) in the pages of the Rothermere Rag. Let us take a moment to remember that most articles that are published in newspapers are not actually generated by their editors (even in right-wing, attempted-mind-control efforts like the Mail and the Murdoch pulps); many originate as press releases from outside sources, including the government. This brings us to that great…

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Syria: The right decision for the wrong reason?

It looked as though we were all heading for another pointless adventure in the Middle East, but a day in politics really is a long time, isn’t it? On Tuesday evening, there seemed to be consensus. The leaders of the main UK political parties had met to discuss the situation in Syria – in particular the evidence that an attack involving chemical weapons had taken place – and had parted in broad agreement that military action was warranted in order to discourage the use of such devices. But then Labour’s…

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The great Leveson whitewash

Oh, all right – greywash. Please note: This is an initial reaction to the Leveson report, based on Lord Justice Leveson’s speech today (November 29). The report itself is 2,000 pages long and may contain much more that is of interest to us. But that will have to wait for another day. Lord Justice Leveson has come out with his report which, in effect, advocates as little change to current press regulation as he thought he could get away with. Jeremy Hunt, the Murdochs, George Osborne and David Cameron can…

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