The Daily Mail & The Sun continue to undermine their own case for press freedom

The Daily Mail and The Sun claim to be keen supporters of freedom of the press but everyday their dishonesty, hypocrisy and total lack of any ethical standards fatally undermines their own position.

On October 21 The Sun had screaming headlines:  “Brussels: UK’s 600,000 benefit tourists is no problem”.

The aim of the article was a double whammy – to have a go at the demon EU and also fan the flames of xenophobia with a scare story about benefit tourists.  Only none of this story was true.  But of course this did not matter.  As Winston Churchill, and others, have said “a lie will be halfway around the world before the truth has got its shoes on”   Worse,  evidence suggests that once people have accepted a ‘fact’ it is very difficult to then persuade them that it was a lie.  The lie retains an existence where as the correction is ignored, particularly when it is tucked away on an inside page in small print – see below:

sunapology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less than a week later The Daily Mail had another screaming headline claiming that Gordon Brown claimed £316,000 in salary expenses in the last three and a half years.  Here is the correction – no headline and tucked away where no one will see it.  The lie will be accepted as truth by Daily Mail readers.

DailyMailGBrown expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

daily mail human rightsThis Daily Mail front page appeared on the 7th Oct 2013 and, like most tabloid articles about human rights, it tells outright lies in order to deceive and deliberately misinform.

Below is the correction, which was a small paragraph with no headline, tucked away on an inner page, over a month after the original article.  Please see the Adam Wagner article below for the full details of this outrageously dishonest article – part of an on going and deliberate campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of human rights.

dailymailhumanrightscorrection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should mention that the “criminals” making a killing from the European Court of Human Rights included:   Mr McElduff and his fellow applicants (in Tinnelly and Sons and Others and McElduff and Others v. the UK) were self-employed joiners who were blacklisted from public works contracts because they were catholics, A. (in A v. the UK) was a 12 year old boy who was assaulted by his step father, the Osman family (in Osman v. the UK) the widow and son of man murdered by a stalker and David and Carol Glass (in Glass v. the UK) a disabled child and his mother.

 

UPDATE 18th Jan 2014:   Not a day goes by without more examples of the blatant  and deliberate dishonesty of certain newspapers but I just thought I would add this one from the Daily Mail on the non existent invasion of Romanians and Bulgarians :

Mail-headline-buses-full

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check this link for a good response:  http://eu-rope.ideasoneurope.eu/2014/01/16/daily-mail-trick-or-truth-you-decide/

and here is a response from a Romanian student via an article in the Financial Times:

romanian student

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More:

Too little too late as Daily Mail “corrects” bogus human rights splash  Adam Wagner

Daily Mail: Cameron won’t make me a Minister… I’m a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP John Glen

Leveson, Global Warming and the Lies of James Delingpole and the Daily Mail

Daily Telegraph & Daily Mail get Wind Farm Study 100% wrong

Daily Mail Guilty Of Running ‘Entirely Untrue’ Stories About Immigration, Says Government Peer (Feb 2014)

The hate filled Daily Mail reaches a new low

Vile Daily Mail

A message to the Daily Mail:

We like our country. If you hate it so much why don’t you push off to wherever you came from and take all your hate with you.

 

They started by smearing all welfare recipients as feckless scroungers, now its feckless scrounging child murderers.  As we speak I expect the hunt is on for a feckless scrounging, Polish, black, lesbian, child murderer, living in a mansion on welfare for Thursday’s front page.

Just in case any Daily Mail readers pop in here (unlikely) and don’t ‘get it’. I had better explain.  The story depicted on the front page is tragic, terrible, disgusting beyond description but it is contemptible and utterly cynical to use this to promote the continuing rightwing campaign of hate filled lies and disinformation aimed at smearing and dehumanising welfare recipients, the disabled,  immigrants, and our welfare system.   This story is a one off and obviously has no more relevance to questions of welfare than the murders of Dr Shipman had to the health sevice or the ‘murderer’ Lord Lucan had to the British aristocracy.

In his twenties Philpott nearly killed two women in a frenzied knife attack.  He was not on benefits – he was in the army. Was the army to blame??   The real issue here is how we as a society allowed this man to abuse women for so long, even fueling him with prurient media attention. Had the abuse been dealt with, the children would probably still be alive. If there is any message from this horrible affair it is the fact that two women are killed each week by their partner or ex partner and we just let it carry on happening.

The other message is that there is something seriously wrong with the psychology of wealthy men, like Osborne and Cameron, who were lucky enough to be born millionaires and who have never had a proper job but find it necessary to use the Philpott story to supplement their campaign of vilification and smear against those less fortunate than themselves. A campaign that clearly aims to demonise and stir up hatred for political gain rather than approach the real issues and problems through a rational, reasoned, evidence based debate.

The reality is that the British are ‘mostly’ a tolerant and compassionate bunch who want a welfare service that is available to those who need it (an insurance policy for us all). But they are aware that previous governments of both parties have taken their eye off the ball. It was during Thatcher’s government that large swathes of traditional industry were decimated leaving communities throughout the country with literally no jobs and consequently self respect and morale were destroyed for generations. It was under her government that large numbers of unemployed were cynically transferred to invalidity benefit to ‘hide’ the atrocious unemployment figures. It was Labour who had thirteen years and a ‘booming’ economy to put things right and although some progress was made it was disappointing compared to the size of the problem. So both parties left us with a mess – poor, demoralised communities forced against their will into dependence on the welfare state. This was a government generated problem.  Cherry picking isolated, extreme examples that fit a distorted world view just demonstrates a cynical disregard for honest debate.

We need to protect benefits against cheats and thieves. But freak cases tell us nothing about what is happening to the majority of benefit claiments – those working long hours to make ends meet because they are paid less than a living wage.

 

 

This excellent article puts things into a more reasoned perspective:
Mrs Justice Thirlwall: The one woman Philpott couldn’t defeat   Grace Dent, Independent, 5th April 2013

Martine White is a product of British welfare, not Mick Philpott Polly Toynbee Guardian 4th April 2013

Don’t get mad about the Mail’s use of the Philpotts to tarnish the poor – get even  Zoe Williams, The Guardian, Wednesday 3 April 2013

Stephen Seddon murdered his parents for their money, does this mean we need to Reform Inheritance tax?   New Statesman, 3 April 2013

Believe that we cannot afford the welfare state?? Try reading this: The lie of ‘unaffordability’: the foundations of the welfare state and the REAL ‘structural’ problems

False association / illusory correlation: a technique used frequently by Daily Mail: e.g. Always start any article on welfare with a rare and extreme example of abuse of the system with aim of subliminally (and falsely) smearing and vilifying all welfare recipients.

Osborne & Johnson have private meeting with Murdoch? Isn’t this two fingers to Leveson and the British public?

Email sent to Mr John Glen our local (Salisbury) MP:

Dear Mr. Glen,

Given all we know about the relationship between Rupert Murdoch and successive British governments and the power that this non tax paying, non UK citizen, has over our press and political process do you not think that it was inappropriate that Boris Johnson and George Osborne recently attended a private meeting with Murdoch. 
 
Given the number of serious criminal charges involving employees of News International that are pending and the role of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London and hence responsible for the Metropolitan Police, isn’t this a cause for concern? 
 
Given that the government is still supposedly in negotiations with the major newspapers concerning the Leveson proposals, is it not inappropriate for a cabinet minister to be meeting with the one person above all others that created the climate in which the abuses highlighted in the Leveson enquiry took place?
 
In short, doesn’t this show that the power of Rupert Murdoch over our press and politicians is undiminished.

In short, doesn’t this show that Leveson is already “on the shelf gathering dust”.

In short, isn’t this simply two fingers to Leveson and the British public?

 I am sorry if I have been a little blunt, but I hope that you are able to see that this is how it will be perceived by at least some of your constituents.

Best regards,
  
Colin Lawson

Ref: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/28/george-osborne-rupert-murdoch-dinner (Accessed 29th Jan 2013)

 
UPDATE (7th March 2013): since writing the above it turns out that Murdoch has now had a meeting with UKIP’s Nigel Farage. See here for the details: Farage suggests Conservative pact at secret dinner with Murdoch (D. Telegraph 7th March 2013)    And Leveson still lies on the shelf in the long grass.

 

Leveson, Global Warming and the Lies of James Delingpole and the Daily Mail

One aspect of the Leveson inquiry that has been played down but is as important as the corrupt relationship between media and politicians is the lack of ethical or professional accountability of the press. There is no doubt that some of our national news papers have a scant regard for truth and honesty in their presentation of news and opinion.  In fact they are often little more than propaganda outlets for their owners, resulting in such levels of misinformation that it is almost impossible to have a sensible public debate on many issues.

Once such issue is Global Warming where papers like the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph (and phony think tanks like Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Forum) have waged a particularly poisonous and vicious campaign to undermine not just climate science but science and rational debate in general.  In both papers there are a number of writers who have no qualms about misrepresenting facts and often simply lying.

Today  the latest example of this phenomenon is an article by James Delingpole in the Daily Mail about a report from the UK Met Office.  In his usual style Delingpole misrepresents or lies about nearly every aspect of the report.  In a civilised, democratic,  rational society, Delingpole and the Mail would be held to account and forced to issue a retraction and apology.

Unfortunately this is unlikely to happen, the Leveson report has been kicked into the long grass by David Cameron and the lies and deceit of the Mail and Delingpole will continue to poison any attempt at rational debate about climate science.

In the words of Winston Churchill (who stole them from Baptist preacher C. H. Spurgeon (19th C)  “A lie will be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on”

Here is the Delingpole article in the Daily Mail

Here is the Met Office’s response:

Resolving Confusion Over the Met Office Statement and Continued Global Warming  (Skeptical Science)

Was there ANYTHING in James Delingpole’s Daily Mail piece which was true?

 Met Office hits back at ‘inaccuracies’ in James Delingpole article (David Batty guardian.co.uk, Friday 11 January 2013)

BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme admits that it got the science wrong – yet again.  The editor and John Humphrys need to do a GCSE science Course – little hope of that.

 

 

Looks like Cameron is going to kick Leveson into the long grass

Recently, I wrote to my (Salisbury) MP, John Glen,  regarding concerns about the likely government response to the Leveson enquiry. Five weeks after Leveson’s final recommendations were published nothing has happened to indicate that my fears were not  justified. Here is a copy of my email followed by my summary of a letter by Brian Cathcart (Founder of ‘Hacked Off’) published in the Guardian.

Copy of email sent to Mr Glen MP 17/12/2012:

Dear Mr Glen,

Thank you for your prompt and detailed reply.  I agree with nearly all of your comments and share your concerns that we should have a free press, one that is free from government (and establishment control). I also agree that the responses to the Leveson report were far too quick from all sides – more knee jerk than well thought out.

However there seems to be a major omission form the balance of your comments, i.e. a free press must also be one that is free from the control of powerful media owners.  Owners whose aim is to exploit their power for either  their own political propaganda or more simply to facilitate their own financial interests at the expense of the ordinary citizen.

I do not need to remind you that currently, the UK press is owned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers, the pornographer Richard Desmond, Viscount Rothermere (Editor Paul Dacre) and even an ex KGB agent and Russian oligarch (Alexander Lebedev).  Ironically, as far as I am aware, the ex KGB agent has been the most responsible of these owners.

These people clearly believe that a free press is simply one where they have the freedom to do what they like. The evidence is incontrovertible and it is a shame that we had to spend £4-6 million on an inquiry when, as has been pointed out, some of these people have been breaking the law with impunity.  They could have been bought to justice, if it were not for their power over our political elites (of both main parties).  It is this power that the likes of Murdoch and Dacre have over our elected politicians that is the main concern and, given David Cameron’s (and other cabinet ministers) track record, I think you must appreciate my doubts that voluntary self regulation will work.

We know that the power of these people persists – any politician or person in authority who says a good word for Murdoch or makes the ‘right’ decision (including senior police officers and both Labour and Tory cabinet ministers as well as ordinary MPs) knows that they will be financially rewarded, usually a so called job “writing” articles for Murdoch newspapers. This is not corruption in the eyes of the law, that can be proved or brought to justice but it is corruption that we can see with our own eyes.

The behaviour of the press, since the Leveson report, indicates they have no intention of changing their behaviour.

Corruption aside, these owners and editors clearly have no scruples, no ethics and are not interested in honest reporting they just want the freedom to lie, bug, smear, steal, to get their own way.  Their main interest is in using their newspapers to promote their rather unpleasant style of hate filled, right wing propaganda with the aim of undermining rather than facilitating democratic debate.

In short they are five unelected, unaccountable rich men who want to set the nations political agenda and cultural tone according to their own prejudices.   In a free society the views of these owners and editors must be tolerated but not their methods or their positions of power.

A free press must be a diverse press where no one owner or corporation can be allowed to have a monopoly or controlling position – a principle accepted by most democratic nations except our current government. We need to remember that, had it not been for the Milly Dowler furore, Cameron and Hunt would have allowed Murdoch (a non UK citizen who does not pay UK tax) a controlling influence over the British media. In fact all the evidence suggests that Cameron & Hunt were all part of a joint endeavour under the ‘Rubicon’ title to ensure this happened. (The plan may yet be revived of course).

I fully and enthusiastically accept your argument for the need for a press free from political manipulation. But you cannot expect anyone to respect your position if you do not equally enthusiastically see the need for a press that is not dominated by corporate interests or the interests of a few megalomaniacs.

So I simply ask you once more to ensure that you do not let your party’s desire for a friendly and supportive press at the next election overcome your commitment to a genuinely free and diverse press.

It would also be good to hear you express just a little understanding for the many concerned citizens who do not believe that anything is going to change. Past experience has led them to expect some kind of cynical attempt at manufacturing a phony self regulator and in practice nothing will change. In fact it seems to me that Murdoch has simply entrenched his power base.  If Murdoch can give a gift of £11 million to an ex editor, dish out jobs as rewards, sack editors at will and influence elections then I guess he can get away with anything – truth, freedom, democracy do not stand a chance, especially when politicians are not prepared to make a stand. Please prove me wrong.

Best regards,

Colin Lawson

Here is my latest response based largely on Brian Cathcart’s letter in the Guardian:

Leveson said that politicians responding to the report must act in an above-board manner, otherwise they will inevitably encourage suspicions they are courting favour with editors and proprietors, and any outcome will be compromised.

In the five weeks since the report came out:

  • The prime minister rejected the central proposal of the report: ‘statutory underpinning’
  • He and other Tory ministers met editors, but published no minutes.
  • Begun a series of cross-party meetings from which no minutes have emerged.
  • Before Christmas the prime minister met Rebekah Brooks (former News International boss) who is awaiting trial on criminal charges and who received an £11 million handout/sweetener/ payoff from Rupert Murdoch.
  • The Prime Minister has failed to meet Hacked Off, the campaign for press reform, or the victims of press abuses, or any other relevant civil society.
  • Despite promises that government contacts with the press would be made public as a matter of routine, “to bring complete transparency to the relationship”, no such disclosures have been made for the last six months.

Cameron twice promised he would implement Leveson’s proposals, however actions speak louder than words and it looks likely that he has no intention of implementing any of the proposals that don’t have the approval of the likes of Rupert Murdock (a non tax paying, non UK citizen; Paul Dacre the obscenely unpleasant editor of the Daily Mail and Richard Desmond the pornographer and owner of the Daily Express.

It is looking increasingly likely that  Cameron’s need for a friendly press at the next election out weighs any consideration for fulfilling the promises made to Leveson and the UK public or the need for a free and independent press.

So Leveson has been kicked into the long grass along with banking reform. Hacked Off Condemns Leveson Discussions A ‘Cosy Stitch-Up’ (The Huffington Post UK/PA | Posted: 17/12/2012)

 

UPDATE 26th Jan 2013): Non UK citizen, Non tax payer Rupert Murdoch still interfering with British politics (supporting Boris Johnson for next PM) – so much for Leveson:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/26/boris-johnson-rupert-murdoch-meeting?CMP=twt_gu


‘Battle of Ideas’ and ‘Spiked On Line’

I just happened to take look at the Battle of Ideas debates for 20th/21st Oct  (2012) and noticed that the on line magazine Spiked seemed to be surprisingly well represented.  At least 12 of the speakers are either current or past writers for Spiked.  As a comparison the Guardian had 9 speakers.  As Spiked is a little known organisation with a right wing contrarian / libertarian agenda, this seems strange but not inconsistent with the concerns raised by commentators like George Monbiot.  Writers for ‘Spiked’ have complained that they are unfairly treated by the likes of Monbiot but as an independent observer it does seem strange that so many names from such a small publication appear in a set of debates arranged by an organisation that is promoting free and open debate.

Update:
The more I examine the Battle of Ideas web site the more suspicious I become. Speakers from the ‘Institute of Ideas’ and ‘Spiked on line’ dominate the debates.  The writing of these same people dominate the suggested reading for the debates. In this example: Not in front of the children: are our kids oversexualised? , of eight articles in the suggested reading list, three were from Spiked on Line / Institute of Ideas writers all taking the same ideological stance.

The Institute of Ideas and Spiked on Line clearly have an ideological agenda which is fair enough.  But is their influence on the Battle of Ideas clear to all the attendees and speakers at the debates? I suspect not.

Updated Update:
When I look in detail at the content of items in ‘Battle of Ideas – Hot off the press‘ I cannot avoid the impression that there is an agenda to promote a particular set of ideas without this being made explicit.   Is this appropriate for a conference encouraging open debate?

Oh, and finally, it seems as if the ‘Battle of Ideas’ has an obsessive concern for the freedom of some e.g. smokers, but conversely little concern for the freedom of others e.g. the freedom of parents to bring up children in the absence of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.

Am I being paranoid? Anyone prepared to agree or disagree with my observations??

Final Conclusion I didn’t attend the 20/21 Oct Battle of Ideas but did follow the Twitter Feed.  From this admittedly weak evidence, it appeared that there were some interesting debates and many participants enjoyed the event. However, the Tweets from the plenary indicated that this was first and foremost an opportunity for Furedi, Hume, Fox, et al to promote their idiosyncratic neoelibertarian views on freedom.  Their influence pervaded the two days.    I will follow future debates with renewed interest.

Here is the list of the speakers I identified as being linked to Spiked (there may be more):

Duleep Allirajah, sports columnist, spiked; ‘long-suffering’ Crystal Palace fan

Tim Black, editor, spiked Review of Books; journalist, spiked

David Bowden, coordinator, UK Battle Satellites; poetry editor, Culture Wars; TV columnist, spiked

Neil Davenport, writer; head of sociology, JFS Sixth Form Centre; contributor, spiked

Claire Fox, director, Institute of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology, University of Kent, Canterbury; author,Wasted, Politics of Fear and On Tolerance: in defence of moral independence

Ann Furedi, chief executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Helene Guldberg, director, spiked; author, Reclaiming Childhood and Just Another Ape?

Patrick Hayes, journalist and political commentator, spiked; columnist, Huffington Postand Free Society

Mick Hume, editor-at-large, spiked; author, There Is No Such Thing As A Free Press …and we need one more than ever

Rob Lyons, deputy editor, spiked; writer on science and risk; author, Panic on a Plate: how society developed an eating disorder

Brendan O’Neill, editor, spiked; author, Can I Recycle My Granny and 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas

References:

Who Are They?
Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n13/jenny-turner/who-are-they

Invasion of the entryists:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2003/dec/09/highereducation.uk2

Revolutionary Communist Party (UK):
https://rcpwatch.wordpress.com/

What’s a nice Trot doing in a place like this?
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=193769&sectioncode=26

Cameron won’t make me a Minister… I’m a white, Christian, married, bloke from the Home Counties says Tory MP, John Glen.

On the night before a likely cabinet reshuffle it might be worth remembering this very strange and rather unpleasant article from the Daily Mail of Nov 2010: Cameron won’t make me a Minister… I’m a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP

Cameron won't make me a Minister... I'm a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP John Glen

The article claims that John Glen “has made a scathing attack on David Cameron for pro­moting women and people from the ethnic minorities over ‘white, Christian, married’ men” and that he  said “his background effectively ruled him out for a ministerial job under Mr Cameron.”

He said: ‘I don’t anticipate any early calls to Government. I’m a white, Christian, married bloke from the Home Counties so I probably don’t fit the description of what the leadership wants at the moment.’

The Daily Mail in its usual unpleasant  style made the most of this – any excuse to imply that ethnic minorities and women might be getting the upper hand irrespective of the evidence.  But then evidence and facts are generally ignored by the Daily Mail.

The facts of course are that out of 100 government ministers less than 20 are women and only a couple are from ethnic minorities.

In fact of course most ministers are white, male, home counties etc etc.  A disturbingly large number went to Eton & Oxbridge, were born wealthy, have never had a proper job and seem singularly unqualified for their roles, why didn’t John Glen mention that?

I don’t normally recommend a Daily Mail article but I assume that the quotes are correct and it is worth reading just for these.

Cameron won’t make me a Minister… I’m a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP

UPDATE (Tuesday 4th Sept 2012):  as far as I am aware John Glen has not made it into the cabinet or become a junior minister in the reshuffle. However, Cameron’s new cabinet consists of 85% men, 100% white,70% Oxbridge, 100% wealthy and not one lives in the real world.  So Mr Glen, where are all those women and ethnic minorities???

WHY is this important? The headline is designed to reinforce the Daily Mail’s continuing agenda of racism and misogyny. It implies that a male, white, home counties, Christian is somehow at a disadvantage compared to ethnic minorities or women. The article does not offer one shred of evidence to support this. In fact the allegation is clearly ridiculous, particularly given the make up of our current government.  But the majority of Mail readers will not read the article in full, they will just see the headline and confirmation bias will allow them to reinforce their prejudices.  This particular example is too comical to be taken particularly seriously but the insidious effect of unsubstantiated and usually totally false headlines day in day out should not be underestimated.

UPDATE: Just heard (Wed 12th Sept 2012) that John Glen has been made PPS to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  Congratulations to John.

This should be interesting to watch as John Glen grapples with the conflict between the interests of his constituents and the doctrinaire policies of Eric Pickles.

UPDATE: (3rd Oct 2012) Seems John failed to have any influence on Eric (Localism) Pickles concerning the Hampton Park II estate which has got the go ahead over the wishes of residents and councillors.
Pickles  1  Localism 0
Hampton Park II to go ahead after review plea fails (Salisbury Journal, 3rd Oct 2012)

UPDATE: 22nd Dec 2012 Here is the latest photo of the Cabinet, taken to commemorate the visit of the Queen.    Yes, David Cameron has certainly been “promoting women and people from the ethnic minorities over ‘white, Christian, married’ men” here’s the evidence:

Photo of Cabinet

UPDATE (PMQs 5th Feb 2014):  David Cameron’s all white, all male, front bench:allmalefrontbench2

The tory party freeing upwomento do other things

UPDATE 28th Sept 2014: Have just noticed that John Glen has been promoted to the Number 10 Policy Board (Home Affairs and Constitution) to work on the constitution and devolution.   So perhaps being a white, home counties, Oxford educated, Christian wasn’t such a dreadful disadvantage after all. Well done John!

UPDATE Feb 2017. Just thought I would add a photo of the current cabinet. I guess Mr Glen can feel disgruntled about the small increase in the number of women in the cabinet at his expense but other wise it looks like the same old mix of white, home counties, privately, educated men:

current cabinet

UPDATE: June 2017 John Glen MP has finally made it – he has been made a Junior Minister (Minister for the Arts, Heritage & Tourism) at the Department of Culture Media and Sport – well done John.

UPDATE: Sept 2018  Having been promoted in Jan 2018 to  Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, John Glen has now blotted his copybook somewhat by accidentally revealing a Treasury no-deal Brexit document ‘Operation Yellowhammer’.

john glen yellowhammer

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/treasury-no-deal-brexit-document-13202141

You couldn’t make it up – Murdoch comments on ignorant vicious abuse and social decay.

Here is an amusingly ironic Tweet from the person who has had such a devastating effect on public life and debate. He has been responsible (with the complicity of most of our leading politicians) for the corruption of our political system from Margaret Thatcher to the present day. His newspapers and TV Channel, Fox News, have  had a significant, probably pivotal, role in undermining public debate and have encouraged, by example, a level of ignorant, vicious,  abuse that has had a serious and negative effect on the quality of government.

This Tweet must go in the “you couldn’t make it up” category. It is quite clear that Murdoch actually believes what he has written which must make him clinically delusional.  (Does Murdoch watch Fox News or read the Sun??)

Jon Snow managed to say all the above and more, with real impact and in just ten words, using a biblical quotation – brilliant.

Murdoch / Jon Snow Tweet

The illegal trade in confidential personal information

In her testimony to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee (20th July 2011), Rebekah Brooks mentioned that the Guardian was near the top of the list of newspapers using  private investigators to illegally gain personal information as published in “What price privacy now?”, a report by the Information Commissioner.  Tabloid editors have a habit of making up their own facts and this was no exception.  The Guardian is not on the list at all. See below (from the report): Continue reading “The illegal trade in confidential personal information”