Tag Archives: Rupert Murdoch

Bad Times-ing: new radio channel announces Windrush Home Secretary will host show – in the middle of George Floyd racism riots

Amber Rudd: what a symbol of white privilege.

How tactless. How Murdoch.

Times Radio is a Rupert Murdoch venture – it’s run by his firm News UK – and will start broadcasting on June 29. So the organisation put out a press release today (June 2) announcing its initial line-up.

Fair enough? Not really.

You see, among the presenters is Amber Rudd, the former Tory Home Secretary who had to quit her job over her appallingly bad handling of the racist Windrush scandal.

She was the one who misled Parliament over a memo showing that the Home Office had a target number of people to deport from the UK, if you remember.

Now, after a week of violence in the United States over the killing by police of unarmed George Floyd, on the same day the Conservative governent here in the UK refused to release a report on the way black and minority ethnic people have been disproportionately harmed in the Covid-19 crisis… Times Radio announces this danger to black people will be hosting a happy-go-lucky radio talk show.

The message is clear: This privileged white woman persecuted vulnerable black people so we’re rewarding her.

The channel’s press release refers to “former Conservative Home Secretary Amber Rudd with her journalist daughter Flora Gill, talking about their different takes on the world, picking up on their popular social media interactions”.

And it quotes Rudd as saying: “It will be a great platform for me to put Flora in her place.” Will she be deporting her daughter, then?

If this Murdoch channel wanted to throw away listeners, it could not have done a better job than by starting with this. The reaction on social media has been poisonous:

https://twitter.com/JosieLong/status/1267774510339629058

Source: News UK announces Times Radio launch date: new national DAB station begins broadcasting on Monday 29th June | News UK

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Duff Sunday Times investigation has everyone thinking we need a new leader. Who should it be? [POLL]

Gove: apparently he’s Rupert Murdoch’s choice of replacement for a disgraced Boris Johnson. This is hardly surprising as he’s a former Murdoch employee and would almost certainly be in the newspaper magnate’s pocket.

It’s a stupid premise for a leadership challenge but people seem to be getting behind it (because they’re easily-led) so let’s do the same.

The claim is that Boris Johnson should not be the prime minister of the UK because he missed a few meetings that happened to take place in Cabinet Office Briefing Room ‘A’.

He wasn’t required to attend them. It would have been advisable for him to accept the advice that came from them, but it seems that he may have been given bad advice by those who did attend. And it is likely that he ignored any advice that didn’t fit his narrow-minded plans.

In fairness, also, he seems to have spent less time actually being the prime minister than he did campaigning to be Tory leader. First he was on summer recess, then he called an unlawful prorogation that was reversed by the courts, then Parliament was dissolved for an election, then it was Christmas, then he ran away from dealing with the floods, and then he had the coronavirus (we’re told). It’s an appalling record and he should be booted out of Downing Street for that alone.

The problem here is that a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch appears to be angling for a Murdoch man to be prime minister instead of Johnson: Michael Gove.

But why can’t we widen up the debate a bit?

The Tories have done a downright cruddy job of governing since the general election. They left thousands upon thousands to fend for themselves in the floods and they condemned millions to catch the coronavirus. They have failed in their duty of care for the UK’s people.

So perhaps we should have another election? Bring in a Labour leader, perhaps? Keir Starmer, anybody?

Alternatively, considering the way Starmer is turning out, perhaps we should turn the clock back and ask Jeremy Corbyn to come in (although he’d have to be supported by people who aren’t trying to backstab him at every opportunity).

Which would you prefer?

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Typical: After the Extinction Rebellion protests, Jeremy Corbyn is the only leader who listened

“Tell the truth”: The ‘pink boat’ at Oxford Circus became a symbol of the Extinction Rebellion protest.

It turns out Michael Gove didn’t “get the message” after all.

The nation’s Environment Secretary has done nothing to respond to the environmental catastrophe highlighted by the Extinction Rebellion protests in London over the last two weeks.

Instead it has fallen to Jeremy Corbyn – much-maligned by dimwits – to bring the matter to Parliament for a vote.

I was talking about this issue with a friend last week, and he said that people here in the United Kingdom think they are insulated from climate crisis – that we live in a society that is well-enough ordered that it can survive an emergency. That they didn’t “get the message” either.

Because if the climate emergency goes much further, supplies of food will break down. Crops will fail; even more animals will die (half of the world’s species have already gone, within This Writer’s lifetime).

Even here in the UK, my friend said, people will be fighting each other on the streets for the last precious morsels of food.

That’s if this goes too far.

The message to humanity is simple: Change or die.

But people like Mr Gove, and the big business interests he prefers to represent instead of the people who elected him, still need to “get the message”.

Perhaps it is time to put the “rebellion” into the name of Extinction Rebellion.

Perhaps it is time to make a list of the people who are perpetuating the climate catastrophe; the people responsible for the planet’s sixth extinction event (which is what we’re going through right now). They are the worst mass-murderers in history so we really do need to record their names in our history books.

And perhaps it is time to put them up against a wall and put the message to them in the bluntest, most immediate terms: “Change or die.”

I know. It’s an unusual comment for This Writer. Usually I am the strongest advocate of peaceful methods. But “Change or die” – right?

Perhaps we could start with Mr Gove.

Labour will force a vote on Wednesday to try to make the UK the world’s first country to declare a climate emergency.

Senior party figures confirmed they will use their opposition day in the Commons to move the environment to the top of the agenda.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Extinction Rebellion protests in London and other cities, in which 1,100 were arrested, had been a “wake up call” and he would urge the Government to act.

He said: “Only concerted government intervention through a Green Industrial Revolution can deliver this scale of change. We can and will harness the power of new technologies for social and environmental justice.”

Extra: Here are a few more names to add to the list – the leaders of the company that has been given oil-drilling rights in the Golan Heights by Israel, which has been illegally occupying this part of Syria for decades.

Here they are:

That’s Genie Energy: Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, James Woolsey, Bill Richardson, Larry Summers, Michael Steinhardt and Jacob Rothschild.

Hmm. A Rothschild – the name that has become synonymous with the anti-Semitic stereotype about Jews being in control of the world’s money, or some such nonsense.

Do you think he’s on that board so its critics can be accused of anti-Semitism?

Source: Labour wants UK to be first country in the world to declare climate emergency – Mirror Online


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Never mind Sky – has Rupert Murdoch bought Theresa May?

Has Rupert Murdoch bought the UK prime minister’s complicity in his business dealings?

We’ll know soon enough, with his bid to take over the 61 per cent of Sky that he does not yet own.

Mrs May met Mr Murdoch during a flying visit to New York in September – a meeting that many political commentators considered curious, as she is not normally close with the mass media.

Since then, the right-wing media have been hugely supportive of the Conservatives while highly critical of Labour – which is nothing unusual. But would it have been different depending on the outcome of that meeting?

Commentators on Twitter want to know what happened:

Questions about the meeting were asked in Parliament yesterday (December 12).

Concerns have been raised that nothing has changed in Mr Murdoch’s organisation since his last attempt was rejected, several years ago.

And Ofcom has been urged to apply the test of whether Mr Murdoch is a “fit and proper person” to enjoy the huge influence over the UK’s media that full ownership of Sky would confer.

I think we all know the answer to that one!

Theresa May has been asked to reveal whether she has discussed with Rupert Murdoch his new bid to takeover BSKYB.

On Friday the billionaire’s 21st Century Fox company made a fresh £11.2bn offer to take control of the 61% of Sky it does not already own.

His 2011 bid was derailed after it emerged journalists from the News of the World had engaged in phone hacking.

Speaking in the Commons today, Labour’s shadow culture minister Kevin Brennan said voters needed to know “whose side the government is on” and said the bid should be referred to broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Source: Theresa May Pressed To Reveal Details Of Rupert Murdoch Meeting Ahead Of BSKYB Bid

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New chair of parliamentary committee overseeing UK press in the pay of Rupert Murdoch? | Pride’s Purge

161107-media-commitee-membership
Clearly IPSA hasn’t noticed. Or maybe it has…

It must be great working in the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, making up excuses to allow MPs to do all the things they’re not supposed to.

All with absolutely no accountability at all.

The new chair of the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee is Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins.

Damian’s job will be to make sure the committee continues its crucial work of calling to account and overseeing the UK press and media in a rigorous and completely unbiased way.

I’m sure Damian will be completely unhindered in this task by the fact his publisher is Harper Collins – and this year he has received thousands of pounds in advance fees from the publisher for a mysterious new book he hasn’t yet written.

That would be the Harper Collins owned by Rupert Murdoch.

So no conflict of interest there then …

Source: New chair of parliamentary committee overseeing UK press in the pay of Rupert Murdoch? | Pride’s Purge

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Humiliation for BBC reporter as Bolsover Beast belittles her for ‘spinning’ the Murdoch line

Emily Maitlis takes her medicine from Dennis Skinner.

Emily Maitlis takes her medicine from Dennis Skinner.

It seems BBC reporter Emily Maitlis has caught foot-in-mouth disease – possibly from David Cameron (we’ll know after PMQs, but in the meantime we have his recent tweet as evidence), possibly – and more frighteningly – from Rupert Murdoch.

She was upbraided on Monday for distorting the facts after an interview with the legendary ‘Beast of Bolsover’, Dennis Skinner, when he told her he had not taken a job on Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet because he had made it clear, prior to Mr Corbyn’s victory in the Labour Party leadership election, that he did not want a place there.

“I don’t believe in patronism,” he told the BBC interviewer – but when she inferred that this meant Mr Skinner would not work for the new leader, he responded: “Work for him? I’m going to walk through the lobby with him today, against this anti-trade union bill.”

Ms Maitlis went on to suggest that Mr Skinner believes the era of ‘spin’ is dead – but then said he had turned down the opportunity of a job under Jeremy Corbyn.

The instant response was: “You’re spinning already. That was spinning; that was an example of spinning, because you were trying to imply that I’d turned it down.”

“No, that was a joke,” said Ms Maitlis – but Mr Skinner’s response made it very clear that she was now the joke.

“I think it’s time that you got real – and that you understood that you’re not working for Murdoch at the BBC, because you seem to be following the same pattern,” he warned, before walking off with a BBC technician trailing, trying to retrieve the microphone attached to his chest.

One very interesting aspect of this is the desperate way right-wingers seem to be trying to ‘own’ this interview. Look it up on YouTube and you’ll see clips marked “Dennis Skinner whining”, “Dennis Skinner mansplains to Emily Maitlis”, “Dennis Skinner launches incredible rant”.

He did none of those things. Interestingly, the clip labelled “mansplains” was posted by a man – who clearly didn’t know what the word means. If you ‘mansplain’, it means you “explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing”. Skinner’s comments were neither.

He was not putting her down because she was a woman; he was attacking her attempt to falsely attribute actions to him that he did not take – which is also exactly what Yr Obdt Srvt is now doing to “Henry Reeve”, whoever this person may be – and I’m not the only one, to judge by the comments on the YouTube page.

Perhaps it’s time these Tory boys and girls got real too – but it will be great fun watching them flounder until they do.

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A fact-check for silly Cameron apologists

Media manipulation: The Sun, and the Scottish Sun, supported both the Conservatives and the SNP on the same day. Did it affect the results in Scotland and the rest of the UK?

Media manipulation: The Sun, and the Scottish Sun, supported both the Conservatives and the SNP on the same day. Did it affect the results in Scotland and the rest of the UK?

Here’s a piece in the New Statesman that is worth debunking straight away. Entitled 10 delusions about the Labour defeat to watch out for, it makes assertions that suggest to This Writer that it is author Ian Leslie who’s been having dodgy visions.

Let’s focus on three:

“1. THE MEDIA DID IT

“No left-wing account of this defeat will be complete without a reference to the Tory press (bonus drink for “Murdoch-controlled”) and its supposed inexorable hold over the political psyche of the nation. Funny: the day before the election everyone decided The Sun was a joke and nobody reads newspapers anyway.

“3. CLEVER TORIES

“It will be said that the Tories, in their ruthlessly efficient way, pinned the blame for austerity on Labour and Labour allowed it to stick. Clever Tories. Few will mention that the Tories were, for the most part, a hubristic and directionless shambles, divided amongst themselves, the authors of several howlingly stupid own goals that would certainly have sunk them had they not got so lucky with their opponent.

“5. THE SNP STOLE OUR VICTORY

“It is true that nobody, but nobody, foresaw the SNP tidal wave. But it’s not true that Labour would have won or even done OK without it. Labour saw a net gain of one seat from the Tories in England. One. Seat. One seat, in an election where everything favoured them. One seat, after five years of a shabby and meretricious government making unpopular decisions and a third party that virtually donated its voters to them. An epic failure.”

Firstly, nobody is blaming the media entirely for voters’ insistence on self-destructively supporting the Tories. The media helped hammer the Tory messages home, by amplifying Cameron’s statements and ignoring or vilifying Miliband’s. After a while – and in accordance with Goebbels’ (Cameron is a big fan of Goebbels) claims about The Big Lie – people start believing the claims they see most often.

This is why Conservative claims must be challenged at every opportunity from now on. Whenever a Tory puts forward a policy in the papers, on the Internet and social media or wherever, let’s try to put the questions in front of them that deflate their claims. It has been said that a lie can go around the world before the truth gets out of bed; let’s kill The Big Lie before it can get its shoes on.

Secondly, nobody This Writer knows is saying anything at all about “ruthlessly efficient” Tories. This lot are about as stupid as they come. It’s just a shame – and this was a constant problem for bloggers like Yr Obdt Srvt – that nobody in the Labour leadership saw fit to counter the silly Tory claims with a few ounces of fact. Therefore we must conclude that, not only are the Tories monumental imbeciles; most of Labour were, as well.

This is why the Conservative Party as a whole should be undermined at every opportunity. Whenever they make bold claims about their record – especially against that of the last Labour government – let’s put up a few embarrassing facts to pull the wool out from under them.

Finally, nobody but the SNP and its supporters is making any claim that the SNP’s “tidal wave” – alone – stopped Labour. As This Writer has already mentioned (and the election result was only known yesterday), the Conservative Party used the threat of an SNP surge to put fear into Middle England that “loonie-left” Labour would ally with these crazed Caledonians, to the detriment of the nation. Amazingly, people were gullible enough to believe it.

But you don’t have to take This Writer’s word for it. Here’s Professor Simon Wren-Lewis, from his latest Mainly Macro article [italics mine]:

“Why do I say Cameron is lucky? First, largely by chance (but also because other countries had been undertaking fiscal austerity), UK growth in 2014 was the highest among major economies. This statistic was played for all it was worth. Second, although (in reality) modest growth was not enough to raise real incomes, just in the nick of time oil prices fell, so real wages have now begun to rise. Third, playing the game of shutting down part of the economy so that you can boast when it starts up again is a dangerous game, and you need a bit of fortune to get it right. (Of course if there really was no plan, and the recovery was delayed through incompetence, then he is luckier still.)

“The Scottish independence referendum in September last year was close. 45% of Scots voted in September to leave the UK. One of the major push factors was the Conservative-led government. If Scotland had voted for independence in 2014, it would have been a disaster for Cameron: after all, the full title of his party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. That was his first piece of Scottish fortune. The second was that the referendum dealt a huge blow to Labour in Scotland. Labour are far from blameless here, and their support had been gradually declining, but there can be no doubt that the aftermath of the referendum lost them many Scottish seats, and therefore reduced their seat total in the UK.

“Yet that led to a third piece of luck. The SNP tidal wave in Scotland gave him one additional card he could play to his advantage: English nationalism. The wall of sound coming from the right wing press about how the SNP would hold Miliband to ransom was enough to get potential UKIP supporters to vote Conservative in sufficient numbers for him to win the election.”

While I’m not convinced about the UKIP claim (UKIP’s vote share enjoyed the largest increase of any of the parties in Thursday’s election) the rest rings true.

You have already heard an awful lot of hogwash about the reasons for the Conservative Party’s slim win. Don’t believe everything you hear.

It’s long past time that facts and evidence were reintroduced to politics.

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Manipulation (clumsy, obvious and failed)

150430manipulation1

It’s blatant, even for The Sun.

Perhaps Murdoch’s monkeys thought they could get away with it because nobody in Scotland reads the English papers, and nobody in England reads the Scottish version of their rag, right?

Wrong.

Twitter has been having lots of fun with it. One of the earlier tweets was from Calum S, as follows: “The Sun in England: ‘Stop the SNP running the country’. The Sun in Scotland: ‘Vote SNP!’ I wonder who that could help.”

The Conservative Party, according to the Murdoch minds. They reckon that, with this pluralism, they can encourage enough Sun readers to vote Tory in England and Wales, while the Scots have been primed to vote SNP already – locking Labour out of office and putting Cameron back into Downing Street.

Rupert is banking on Labour sticking to its refusal to work with the SNP, leaving the way open for another Conservative-led Coalition government. That way, we can all look forward to another “It’s the Sun what won it!” headline in the south, and a “Never mind!” sop to the Scots, who’ll be locked into the union but with no say in anything that happens – because they voted for nationalism.

Voters in Scotland may find it hard to square the right-wing rag’s support for the SNP with that party’s own claim to be left-of-centre – but then, the SNP has found it impossible to square its claim that voters should avoid voting Labour in Scotland so the SNP can do a deal with Labour after the election, or to justify its refusal to ask voters south of the border to vote Labour (John Swinney refused to do so – what – seven times on a TV news report). The reason is that the SNP needs a strong Tory performance in England and Wales, otherwise Labour won’t need to make a deal with anyone. It’s a completely contradictory position that Nicola Sturgeon and her gang have glossed over with repeated – and often false – attacks on Labour.

The Sun – or rather its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch – is acting on the assumption that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, supporting the SNP in Scotland because it will undermine Labour there. This puts the SNP in the uncomfortable position of seeming to be allied with the Conservative Party to lock Labour out of Downing Street – precisely the opposite of what Nicola Sturgeon has been claiming – in a close parallel to the Labour/Tory marriage-of-convenience that was Better Together.

The Sun‘s declaration – both north and south of the border – is an arrogant gesture, and a clumsy attempt to manipulate the public.

Will it work?

Only if you let it.

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Cameron Has Killed at 2,200 People’ : Frankie Boyle at the 2014 Television Festival – Beastrabban\’s Weblog

boyle_1510448c

This follows on from the question Mike raised in the previous post Class divide in the arts – are they just for the toffs? writes the Beast, so it seems logical to post a pointer to his article here. He writes:

The controversial Scots comedian Frankie Boyle was interviewed last year at the Guardian’s International Television Festival last year by Pointless’s Richard Osman. The interview was a review of the state of television. And Boyle made it very clear that he though British television was being held back by the desire of TV commissioning editors to remain safe. Boyle made it very clear that class attitudes were very definitely a part of this.

The article is quite lengthy, and all of it is worth reading – but you should visit Beastrabban\’s Weblog to do so. The part to which the headline refers runs as follows:

Boyle gave the murderous campaign of Cameron against the disabled. He said outright that Cameron had killed at least 2,200 people ‘bottom line’ through Atos and the fit for work test. But he was never challenged. [Richard] Osman raised the topic of the Channel 4 conspiracy drama, Utopia, as an example of television tackling difficult topics. Boyle stated in his usual forthright terms that the show was rubbish. It was based very much on the type of comics produced by Alan Moore and his ilk. However, Channel 4 had taken all the good material out of it. If they were really determined to produce quality television, they’d hire Alan Moore and co. Instead Channel 4 produced endless programmes genuinely exploiting deformity and sneering at the working class, explicitly mentioning Benefits Street.

Here’s the YouTube recording of the interview. Warning: Boyle’s language is at times very coarse, and the jokes about Katie Price and Rebecca Adlington may be offensive.

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Fox News announces Birmingham is a ‘no-go zone’ for non-Muslims

The man on the right stated, on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, that Birmingham is a 'no-go' zone for non-Muslims.

The man on the right stated, on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, that Birmingham is a ‘no-go’ zone for non-Muslims.

If anybody on Twitter hasn’t been alerted to #foxnewsfacts, type it in and improve your life.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News TV channel kicked off the trend with the following sensational revelation:

For clarity, the man said: “And in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in. And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire.”

Inevitably, the presentation of this information as fact led to the proliferation of more #foxnewsfacts, some of which follow:

Fans of Birmingham City Football Club worship at the Blues Mosque. (Clive Peedell)

English real ale is bottled upside down so crowncork top can be banged on workhouse floor to check seal and create some bubbles. (Julian Bray UK)

The English City of Ba’ath is dedicated to the overthrow of the state of Israel. (Bernie Banter)

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Fox News reports people taking to the streets of Birmingham, holding signs reading JE SUIS BENNY. (Neil Mossey)

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The south west is the only place white people live now. (Goddessdeeva)

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Mullah Jasper El Carrot. He has ruled Birmingham for decades. (Craig Chez)

Jules R pointed out: “Just you lot wait until Fox News find out there’s a place called The Black Country.”

A particular favourite of this writer was the claim that Bristol is entirely submerged, which led Yr Obdt Srvt to tweet that his own parents are turning into dolphins.

There is already a petition asking the Mayor of Birmingham to let non-Muslims back into the city. It reads:

“Today international ‘terrorism’ expert Steven Emerson astoundingly revealed to Fox News the literally incredible information that, ‘in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones – there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally muslim, where non-muslims just simply don’t go in’.

“Most people in Britain had no idea that non-muslims no longer ‘just simply go in’ to Birmingham and other cities in the UK (Emerson did not yet state which other cities he is referring to). Birmingham had loads of non-muslims in the last time I was there, so this is a real shock.

“We call upon the city of Birmingham and other non-specified British cities to once again allow non-muslims to roam their streets.

“[edit: it’s a shame to have to add this bit, because it spoils the joke a bit – but for the avoidance of doubt, this is a satirical petition. I know that Birmingham is a diverse city and that everyone is welcome there as in all other cities in the UK. Fox News’ so-called ‘expert’ apparently does not.]”

There is a more sinister aspect to this. It could be suggested that, by making these claims on a major news channel, the Murdoch media is trying to stir up internecine unrest in the United Kingdom. This is, of course, illegal.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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