Posts Tagged 'Journalism'

Media hyperbole: Where is this ‘anti-EU’ vote they speak of?

This time it seems it is the turn of Janet Daley, writing in the Barclay Beano, to offer her penetrating analysis into the European Election result and what it means.

But where is this anti-EU vote she is speaking of?  It’s all well and good for Daley to criticise (rather succinctly) the ‘codswallop’ responses of the main parties to their showings in the elections, and ridicule their claims that they have heard the people, or that messages have been received and understood, but the very foundation of her piece – that there was an anti-EU vote last week – is frankly rubbish.  Consider this extract:

I am not one of those delusional commentators who believe (or claim to believe) that nothing much of any significance has happened and that all this excitement is just overblown media froth. On the contrary, my reason for insisting that none of the things that are assumed to be self-evidently true about the post-elections world will actually prove correct, is that the results were too important – so devastating, so cataclysmically mind-altering that they cannot be assimilated. There is no way that the European Union – which is to say, those who run it, think entirely within its conceptual parameters, have their political and personal futures invested in it and can conceive of no reality outside of it – can come to terms with the consequences of these elections.

So the election results were too important? They were devastating? They were so cataclysmically mind-altering they cannot be assimilated?

Across the whole of the UK last week (using the vote tally on this BBC page – all these figures are provisional and subject to final confirmation by the Electoral Commission in the Autumn) there were 16,454,950 votes cast in the European Election, a reported turnout of 34.19% which means the current UK electorate stands at around 48,127,962 (** see end of post).  Therefore some 31,673,000 people who were entitled to vote stayed at home  The total number of votes for parties whose manifesto includes withdrawal from the EU was 4,999,885 – and 12.46% of that vote wasn’t even for UKIP:

But then, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that many UKIP supporters backed the party not because of its anti-EU position, but purely because of its saturation message opposing immigration. That is no surprise when UKIP issued a follow up A5 sized leaflet in many areas that contained no other message than an anti-immigration one.

This actually points to the anti-EU vote itself being ‘soft’ and much of grounded in other issues.  So back the data that has evidently been completely ignored by La Daley. Of those who voted in the European Election, 30.38% voted for anti-EU parties, just 9 in every 30 who turned out.  Of all eligible voters therefore, those who cast a ballot for anti-EU parties was just 10.38%.  While I have not found this kind of breakdown in the media, you can be certain the parties and the EU mandarins will have crunched these numbers in far greater depth than me.  They will be asking the same question as me, where is this anti-EU earthquake, this mass rejection of the political union?

So when Daley, in her hyperbolic fit, declares…

The facts do not compute. They are incomprehensible. Therefore they must be dismissed as some irrational, contemptible spasm to which the masses are occasionally susceptible and which the enlightened institutions of the EU were specifically designed to over-rule.

she may wish to reconsider exactly which facts do not compute or are incomprehensible. The only irrational, contemptible spasm on show is her witless article.  It is laugh-out-loud rubbish written without any attempt to look at what really happened on that Thursday just over a week ago.

Putting things into further context, consider the most recent in the series of polls by YouGov that shows how voters currently divide if asked in a referendum whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave.

With all this in mind, how does Janet Daley’s conclusion bear any relation to reality?

It has become received wisdom that the reason for that massive electoral rebellion against the EU was that the people were throwing a harmless tantrum: they were just letting off steam because they knew that their votes in this election did not matter. And what do people do next when they realise that their votes don’t matter?

I don’t know what world Daley and her ilk inhabit, but it’s certainly not the one the rest of us live in.

There are messages in the data.  The anti-EU side is not getting its message across.  The anti-EU side has not countered the blatant lie regarding 3 million jobs being dependent on EU membership, the crass distortion that 50% of our trade is with the EU (wilfully ignoring that a significant percentage of this goes to final destinations outside the EU), or that our place in the world is enhanced by EU membership – when it actually excludes us from influencing global negotiations and decision making regarding the laws and regulations we must observe in the globalised world.  People have heard these messages time and again and the likes of UKIP have done nothing to challenge and correct them with the truth.

In 12 months time we will know if there is to be an in-out EU Referendum.  But we should not wait until then.  All anti-EU groups, regardless of the career aspirations of their directors and staff, need to agree common lines to take and push them at every opportunity, in the same way the pro-EU groups already do. Otherwise a possible 2017 referendum will just be a re-run of 1975 and we will be stuck in this damaging union for generations to come.

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** The 48,127,962 electorate figure is not official – it has been calculated by taking the total number of votes cast in the BBC table and accepting they make up 34.19% of the eligible electorate (for European elections) which we are told voted.  If this figure is accurate it is astonishing. Please note therefore the use of this figure comes with a significant health warning.

In the 2009 European Election the electorate was 45,315,669.  That means the electorate could well have grown by 2.81 million in just five years, or to put it another way, an extra 562,458 voters would have joined the electoral roll each year on average since 2009.

To put that in context, between the 2004 election and 2009 election the official electorate as reported in the BBC elections coverage grew by 1,197,216, or 239,443 per year on average. So if the assumed 2014 electorate figure is correct, the average annual increase of new voters to the roll from 2009-2014 is more than 134% greater than the average annual increase between 2004-2009.

Added to this we keep being told that the number of people absenting themselves from the electoral roll for a variety of reasons, which hints at population growth well in excess of official estimates.  This is very interesting indeed.

Ukraine: Media not just ignoring reality but deceiving with naked propaganda

Following on from the previous post about the media ignoring what the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement actually does (clue, no, it’s not a mere trade agreement), we are increasingly seeing the media pushing a narrative that can only be described as outright propaganda that seeks to conceal the EU’s actions, behaviour and responsibility for the crisis.

Yesterday, without any journalistic integrity or commitment to sharing news rather than views, the Telegraph and its ‘experts’ grandly waded further into the Ukraine story with a podcast that can only be described as a rank perversion of the facts and a corruption of the historical record of events surrounding the Ukraine crisis.

The podcast was introduced on the page in the following way:

Power corrupts and it has corrupted Vladimir Putin absolutely. As the drama in Ukraine continues, we examine the mind and motivations of the man responsible.

Ian H Robertson, Professor in Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and author of The Winner Effect: How Power Affects Your Brain, explains how over time the need for power messes with the synapses and induces megalomania. The Professor tells us that the only way the West can get under Vladimir Putin’s skin is through practical sanctions.

Benedict Brogan and Con Coughlin discuss what those sanctions might look like, and if Britain even has the interest or clout to help resolve this dangerous crisis.

This is just staggering.  Describing Putin as the man responsible for the Ukraine crisis is ludicrous. We can but guess why the real culprit in this caper is being treated as if it doesn’t exist and has no bearing on events over recent months.

It was not Putin who was pursuing a policy designed to promote a gradual convergence on legal, social, foreign and security matters with the aim of ever-deeper involvement with Ukraine, it was the European Union.  The EU has a sole foreign policy (which means it is UK foreign policy) of enlarging itself so it can take control of more and more countries across the continent.

You're ignoring me again!

You’re ignoring me again!

The EU has already taken control of the Baltic countries, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and they have also become part of NATO.  The EU had already started trying to do the same thing with Georgia and has been doing the same thing with Ukraine.  This has happened despite the west (NATO) promising Mikhail Gorbachev that they would not expand up to the Russian border.  But that is exactly what is happening.

It is laughable of Brogan and Coughlin to talk about power corrupting, and completely ignore that this defines what we are seeing with the EU.  It is equally laughable that they engage a professor of psychology to talk about how the need for power messes with the synapses and induces megalomania while ignoring the EU’s aggressive efforts to enlarge itself and take control of new countries.

As for practical sanctions supposedly being the only way to get under Putin’s skin, the evidence shows that bad faith, lies and broken promises are the way to achieve that – which is why the Russians have acted to secure territory that had long been sovereign Russian territory and is home to a Russian naval fleet.  Finally, asking if Britain has the interest or clout to help resolve this crisis, when we have been party to its creation thanks to this country’s support of the Association Agreement with Ukraine and readiness to ratify this power grab by our supreme government, is pure sophistry.

This is yet another compelling reason for the UK to leave the EU. We have no business furthering such an agenda.

How far the Telegraph has travelled from the days where it reported news and facts.  Now it is a tool of deception that treats its remaining (declining) readership with utter contempt.

It’s breathtaking incompetence right enough

Nor it seems, have the media.

Here we have Sandbrook, writing in the EU supporting Daily Mail, pontificating about ‘the people who run Britain’, yet not mentioning the EU or how its laws have exacerbated this flooding mess.  Not one word.

The EU is the embarrassing ginger-haired stepchild, never referenced, kept in the background, denied eye contact and shut away from everyone so as to pretend it doesn’t really exist.  Would the media approach be any different if Farage had used two huge platforms to share the reality with people, raising public awareness?  That would be speculation, but at least hundreds of thousands if not millions more people would be aware of the EU’s role as the biggest actor in this tragic play.

If Sandbrook wants to witter on about breathtaking incompetence he should pick up his pen and start by describing what he sees in the mirror.  At least for once he would be accurate.

The most potent weapon in the media’s arsenal deployed against the public

On Radio 4’s Today programme this morning was an interview with former Sun editor, David Yelland.  He was talking about his views on press regulation and the Royal Charter, attacking the press for their reaction to the output from the Leveson inquiry.

While it was an interesting take on matters, focused on the Leveson Anniversary Lecture he is delivering today at the Free Word Centre and covered in the Guardian today, one small snippet of his speech that he shared on air stood out as being an invaluable insight from a heavyweight media insider:

One of the most potent weapons a newspaper has is to totally ignore an issue or a story. People attack papers for what they print. But what they don’t print is often the bigger story.

This is essential for people to understand.

For campaigns such as those concerned with leaving the EU, challenging climate change orthodoxy, demanding democratic reform, exposing abuses and failings of the establishment and so on, this  bias by omission is all too familiar and occurs all too frequently.  Another example of it has surfaced today.  It is invariably a weapon deployed in the interest of the media itself – but most frequently in support of agendas in the interest of the political class (which the media relies on for stories) and the rest of the establishment.  This cosy little stitch up, by and for people who consider themselves important, is designed to keep people in ignorance and conceal truths that are inconvenient to the establishment.

While this and many other blogs have often pointed at instances of bias by omission in favour of the establishment, very rarely does a member of it break ranks like this and admit the truth in such a transparent and matter of fact way.  Yelland reinforces the reality with another observation, thus:

[...] Whether they are mad or just lack self-awareness, the fact is editors and proprietors in this country see themselves as the small guy, the powerless man struggling against the establishment. What they fail to grasp is that they have become the establishment themselves. They are the powerful, and others are the weak.

He also confirms the pack mentality and derivative nature of the media – which while focused in this instance on the reaction to Leveson, equally applies to just about every major issue covered (or ignored) by this country’s press:

The press has done itself no favours in the biased way this entire matter has been reported, when it has been reported at all. Few papers have dared differ from the fundamental response to the great mess that caused the Leveson inquiry in the first place. There is a party line. And nearly everybody follows it.

The media cannot be relied upon.  Every story that is published needs to be viewed through a filter where one should ask themself; why has this story been covered, whose interest is being served, what is the other point of view, how and why were those providing comment selected, and what information has been excluded from the story?

It may seem cynical to do this, but it is the only way to shield oneself from the cynical manipulation to which the public is subjected by the press, be it broadcast, print or electronic.

Daily Express… stupid is as stupid does

When one reads headlines like the one shown here in the Daily Express, it feels like we have been transported into some parallel universe where reality has been inverted, and where stupidity and ignorance are what pass for intelligence.

Such is the level of utter detachment and delusion at the paper that some would be forgiven for thinking of as UKIP’s house journal.  Well, with friends like the Express, UKIP certainly doesn’t need enemies.

As Richard points out on EU Referendum, in the Express and in the Daily Mail (which also claims for itself the credit for this imagined victory) for all the rhetoric, for all the analysis and for all the posturing, it boils down to the message millions of voters will receive: the government is doing something about migrants.  The reality is that the government is doing nothing of substance, because it can’t.

What started as an article in the Financial Times has blossomed into the front pages of the two “middle England” tabloids and dominated the media agenda for over twenty-four hours. Rarely can such a modest investment have yielded such huge dividends.

The odd thing is that David Cameron’s piece did not even enjoy the status of an official announcement. Go to the Government website or No 10 Dowing Street and you will see nothing on migrant policy. And neither, apart from an exchange in PMQs, will you see anything announced in the Commons. Parliament, it seems, is too unimportant to be kept in the loop.

Thus, we have “government by Financial Times“, thereby ensuring that most people will not have read the statement or have had access to the semi-firewalled article. They will be relying for their “take” on what the popular papers (and the BBC) tell them. And the message conveyed is as much as David Cameron could have hoped for.

How on earth do newspapers get away with being considered authoritative and worthy of respect – the prestige factor – and even have High Court Judges fawning over their supposed ‘powerful reputation for accuracy‘ when they present stories like this that are so completely and hopelessly wrong?

To echo Richard, nothing that Cameron has done in respect of immigration control has had the slightest impact on these figures, and nothing he is going to do will impact on levels in the short- or medium-term. But that doesn’t matter. His meaningless waffle and empty rhetoric is sufficient for now, and it will be enough to put UKIP back in its box for a week or so.  And this from the paper the Kippers consider to be their ally.

It’s politics, so perception trumps fact and facts aren’t even checked by the media corps.  They just take at face value what the spin doctors chuck at them and don’t even think to look at the laws or even the previous unkept promises that never materialised.  Then they file their copy, go to the pub and congratulate themselves on being such  important and well connected people with so much prestige.

These idiot journalists, with their fat salaries and with prestige weighed by the tonne, have been well and truly conned – and in turn, through their ignorance and laziness, are spinning a tissue of lies to their readers.  Useless wankers.

Perhaps those people demanding an early in-out referendum on EU membership would do well to stop and think how the media would negatively impact the out campaign when it can swallow government rubbish and get simple issues like this so catastrophically wrong.

When will these hacks open their eyes to the reality of party politics?

The Tories’ obsession with their ‘brand’ patronises voters by treating them as shoppers, so writes Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph today.

It’s another of those commentary pieces that again goes around the houses to articulate and bemoan the hollowed out shell that now passes for party politics in this country, but consistently fails to seek and explain why this is the case.

In his own way, O’Neill tells us what we already know and have heard from numerous other talking heads in a variety of slants on the same core theme, when he says:

That everyone now seems to think it’s normal to talk about the Tories as a “brand” shows how shallow, how surface-driven, modern politics has become. A brand, of course, is an outer mark, a stamp either burnt on to one’s skin or, in modern parlance, stamped on to a product or service for sale. That the Tories, especially their modernisers, have become myopically obsessed with this outer mark, with the lick of paint on the outside of their party and the question of whether a new, more youth-friendly lick of paint is required, shows how bereft of serious thinking they are. Embarrassed by the historical and political substance of the existing Tory Party, and lacking any newer substantial political ideas for taking the Tory Party forward, they obsess instead over garb, over prettification strategies, over imagery, like those annoying hip graphic designers who think style is everything and substance is so 20th-century.

As always the cause and the answer are clear; we do not have democracy.  All that is left of the political parties is shallow, branded, tribal trivialities that are devoid of substance or ideas.  This is for the simple reason that all the major issues concerning goverance of this country are decided by the EU.  The UK is not a sovereign nation.  Our politicians have some relatively meaningless shreds of control left in areas the EU has not yet taken or cannot bother itself with owning.

The days of weighty and ideological battles, of matters of substance being argued over in Parliament, through the media and on the doorsteps, are gone.  This is what the EU – in all its guises – set out to do, to remove power from where ‘populist’ sentiment, i.e. voters, could influence it, because people vote for things in their ‘narrow national interest’ rather than the interest of the political class and their corporate sponsors.  I left the following comment in response to the piece:

The only philosophy is the desire to hold office, no matter how powerless or meaningless it is.  Of course there is the added incentive of pay and perks and the personal profile and future spin offs that come with such a position.  But anyone who makes the argument that they want to enter party politics to ‘change things from the inside’ is clearly too ignorant of reality to be worthy of election in the first place.

One wonders how long it will take for this to dawn on people, particularly the talking heads, who remain incapable of joining together a few dots or reading about what our surpreme government was created to do and recognising what it has so far done.  Bar a few notable exceptions, it seems the massed ranks of the lamestream media are either in denial or must have been subjected to a collective lobotomy.

All hail defiant David of the Mail on Sunday

In 1992 Murdoch’s editor boasted after the Conservative election victory ‘It’s the Sun wot won it‘.  Now we have another part of the media claque trying to suggest it alone is defiantly leading the way in exposing the menace of eco-propaganda.  No, really.

They can’t just write about a story, they have to be seen to ‘own’ it and give the impression only they know about it and have researched it and brought it to public attention.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

David Rose has undoubtedly helped spread the word to a wider audience when it comes to climate change deception and how green subsidies added to our bills and taxes are causing the prices to rise.  It is important work.  But to claim that the Mail on Sunday ‘defiantly leads the way‘ as its derivative content focuses on issues that have long since been brought front and centre on EU Referendum and the Christopher Booker over the course of many months, is just hilarious.  Still, if it makes David Rose feel important…

BBC covering up for their friends?

Which of the following headlines do you consider to be the more newsworthy and being of greater public interest?

1. 25% of the population have been victims of a violent attack this year, or

2. 38% of the population are concerned about being violently attacked in the coming year

If a news organisation ran a story with headline one, then changed it to headline two later the same day, people could be forgiven for thinking that the organisation was perhaps trying to tone down the story by diverting attention away from the serious impacts that have been experienced by people and on to a statistic dealing in hypothesis rather than actuality.

The BBC has done just this today, not on the subject of violent crime but on the consequences of rising energy prices, particularly on low income and vulnerable households.

We will never know why they have changed the focus of the story, because any request for an explanation of an editorial decision or the process that led to the change is summarily rejected thanks to the BBC’s broad and routinely abused exemption under the Freedom of Information Act.  But there are some things we do know.

We do know, as covered in the previous post, the BBC is firmly on the side of environmental organisations, indeed any departure from the BBC’s ranks of environment reporters is invariably to positions in such eco groups or to become formal campaigners for such groups.  We also know as this earlier post reminds readers, that environmental organisations are the driving force at governmental level behind the insipid approach to energy policy that is pushing up energy prices to force people to use less energy.  And from the BBC’s survey findings we now have a clear picture of the consequences of this energy policy on real people, who are going without heat in their homes.

The effects of the energy policy going to get much worse.  More elderly and vulnerable people are going to perish this winter and in future winters because the cost of heating their homes has been dramatically increased, with much of that increase driven by direct and indirect levies and taxes demanded by the environmental NGOs, who sit alongside government and make the rules, unscrutinised, unaccountable and unmoveable.

If 25% of people surveyed have already suffered cold homes because heating is unaffordable, heaven knows how bad things will get for them in future years, let alone how many more households will be dragged into fuel poverty by this madness.  Who knows, even the BBC might struggle to conceal the impacts of the actions of their fellow travellers.

More contradictory clap trap bemoaning Britain not attacking Syria

Some commentary that passes for prestigious, expert analysis is enough to make one exhale, roll the eyes and despair at the author’s sheer ignorance.

Stacked head and shoulders above the claque today is a steaming pile of dung produced Andrew Roberts titled, ‘Hideously amoral Little England has stepped through the looking glass’, which the Mail on Sunday publishes and promotes as ‘A top historian’s deeply personal – and inflammatory – critique of where Britain now stands on the world stage’.  Let’s have a flavour of it before we evidence Roberts’ sheer stupidity:

Britain has stepped through the looking glass into a weird and distorting new world, and one from which I fear she will never step back. By refusing to punish a foreign dictator for his despicable use of poison gas on unarmed civilians, we have deliberately relinquished our once-cherished role as one of the world’s foremost moral policemen, and joined the ranks of global spectators, merely tut-tutting from the sidelines rather than taking an active part in defending decency.

A huge cultural shift has taken place in our country and historians of the future will focus on Thursday night, in the House of Commons, as the time that the new Britain emerged in all its hideous, amoral selfishness.

There is more nonsense where that came from.  What is weird and distorting is Roberts’ failure to reference anywhere in his rant what the proposed military attack on Syria is supposed to achieve and evidence of consideration of the effects of the attack on the people we would be supposedly looking to protect.  Surely such a heavyweight historian would have learned and would now understand that when looking to use military force there has to be a clear objective.  Doling out punishment is not a clear objective where success can be measured and it is certainly not a responsible use of force.

But it is when one looks back at Roberts’ previously published opinions that we see just how much of a shallow fool Roberts really is.  Consider this extract from his 2007 essay ‘At stake in the Iraq war: survival of a way of life':

In Iraq and Afghanistan, meanwhile, English-speaking forces ignore such pusillanimity and get on with the vital job of fighting those who would turn the Middle East into a maelstrom of jihadist anarchy and terror.

We know that Al Qaeda cannot be appeased, because if they could, the French would have appeased them by now. Al Qaeda is utterly remorseless, even setting bombs (detected by authorities in time) on the Madrid-to-Seville railway line in April 2004, after Spain decided to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Fortunately, however, the English have been here before. Thrice. Their history provides a number of apposite lessons about how to defeat this latest fascist threat.

Since 1900, the English-speaking peoples have been subjected to four great assaults: first from Prussian militarism, then by Axis aggression, then from Soviet communism. The present assault from totalitarian Islamic terrorism is simply our generation’s equivalent of our forefathers’ successful struggles against the three earlier fascist threats. But in this fourth and latest contest, victory is not yet in sight.

In researching my book, “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900″ – a coda to Winston Churchill’s classic – I visited the papers of 200 individuals in 30 archives on three continents. While there, I could not help concluding that this struggle against Islamofascism is the fourth world war. And I was repeatedly struck by how often common themes from the four struggles emerged.

So here we have a man who views us as being in a righteous ‘fourth world war’ struggle against Islamofascism, a battle being waged against an enemy that cannot be appeased – namely Al Qaeda.  Yet he has been hammering on his keyboard in foam flecked fury for the Mail on Sunday, because the handbrake was put on a military attack, the aim of which would be to punish a brutal dictator who is fighting against… Al Qaeda.  You could not make this up.

Roberts not only has no concept of the effects of military action per se, he is incapable of recognising that the Al Qaeda Islamic fascist threat he says we have to fight could only be aided by the British attacking the very forces that are actually fighting them.  And yet this buffoon is given copious column inches in the Mail on Sunday as a supposed expert.

This is yet another example of the shallow, superficial and uninformed substitute for reason and critical thinking that underpins the government’s emotionally driven rush to violence.  They are long on indignation, short on wisdom.  And as Roberts shows, their partisan and politically motivated cheerleaders are no better.

If the media really wanted to add value…

… then instead of doing the Tories’ dirty work by focussing on trade union entryism into the Labour Party, in an effort to paint Ed Miliband as even weaker than Neil Kinnock, as regaled on Political Betting, they should focus on entryism into the British civil service and the various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) around the world.

While the media plays its party political games of petty intrigue and personality politics, notionally democratic government is being subverted from within by the left wing entryists who are driving their own agenda and achieving in the shadows what has been rejected by voters at the ballot box.

Consider DEFRA and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  Both of these departments are stuffed full of closet environmentalists and sustainability activists who control the flow of information to the Ministers of State, thereby influencing their thinking and the approach to implementing government policy.  These are the socialist idealists who went to college, secured a degree, and understanding how government works in this country, joined the civil service and have worked their way into positions of influence from where they can aid or hinder the government of the day.

Local Government has a similar problem to central government departments.  Think back through the raft of child abuse cases and other failures of social services departments and in many of them you will find the leadership of those departments is infested with members of the Marxist organisation, Common Purpose.  The media has barely scratched the surface when it comes to exposing Common Purpose and its nefarious agenda, so it is hardly surprising anyone casting a casual glance at the matter would not understand the serious consequences of this unaccountable body training ‘leaders’ from across the full gamut of public services bodies to work and act in a particular way – beyond authority.

There are even more serious issues with entryists across Europe who have worked their way into a raft of NGOs, that due to the way the EU works, actually inform and direct policy making.  So at a time when people in the UK are waking up to the potential for stabilisation of energy prices through the use of shale gas, we are finding entryists at work formulating the EU’s policy and regulations on shale extraction.

With the entryists striving to hold the line on the adoption and use of unreliable and hugely costly renewables and their ‘dirty’ and hugely costly STOR back up, while pressing for the eradication of hydrocarbons from the energy mix, the risk is that the cost of adhering to the regulations being developed for shale extraction may very well reduce the number of parties willing to invest in this energy source.  The result of this would be more of the ‘reduce demand by driving up cost’ approach that is pushing hundreds of thousands of people into fuel poverty, and scaring the poor away from heating their homes in even the coldest weather.

Each of these issues could easily spawn a number of blog posts in their own right and it may be this blog covers them in more detail in the coming days and weeks.  But with this kind of coverage and exposure being limited to the blogosphere, rather than the larger platform the mainstream media enjoys, the opportunity for raising awareness among the public is greatly reduced.

Thus we remain ill served by our media and its selective and agenda strewn editorial lines, packed full of tittle tattle and yah-boo nonsense at a time when the public is largely ignorant of what is being done in their name and with their money, by people who are subverting democratic control and accountability.

Beware! Children at play

No, we are not not talking about the millions of youngsters who are now enjoying their summer holiday.   We are talking about the juvenile delinquents who inhabit Westminster and play their idiotic, copycat, yah-boo games in a crass attempt to appear superior to their opponents; and the childlike fools in the media who publish stupid stories laced with faux shock and concern for the nation’s well-being.

The answer to the question hasn’t changed in years – and certainly not since the last time this pathetic question was asked by the Mail’s space filling dimwits in a roundabout way.  The answer is still our supreme government in Brussels, the EU, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone would think the reason this fact is ignored has something to do with the supposedly anti-EU Daily Mail trying to play down its pro-EU position because its readers are mainly Eurosceptic.  By way of a reminder…

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is why, addressing Richard’s commentary over on EU Referendum, the Daily Mail – despite its evident distate for Roland Rudd of pro-EU propaganda merchant ‘Business for New Europe’ – the Mail as a newspaper seems quite happy to take stories sourced by him and to spread them uncritically.

As we reminded readers recently, we cannot trust the media because it is ‘in the tank’ for the EU and we should therefore view all stories through a prism of scepticism, where we question whose agenda is being serviced.

Media bias and UKIP’s failure highlighted yet again


Another day and yet another example of how the the media distorts coverage of matters EU, while UKIP continues to act as if the cat has got its tongue by offering no Eurosceptic view on the subject in question.

Robert Watts, writing in the Telegraph, gives that pro-EU paper’s take on the burden British businesses experience as a result of EU regulations.  According to Watts, the details will be laid bare in a series of reports which will be published on Monday by the Foreign Secretary, Concrete Willy, beginning with a focus on how the EU affects UK taxation, health, overseas aid, foreign policy, animal welfare and food safety.

Watts goes on to tell readers that a further 26 reports will be published in coming months, ‘in a boost to the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservatives’.  Having made his reference to Eurosceptics, Watts runs off to get a Eurosceptic quote from… yes you guessed it, the Tory stooge EUphile ‘think tank’ Open Europe which, as the Telegraph intended, prattles on about the non-existent fantasy renegotiation where the UK can supposedly secure more flexible membership terms from the EU.

Where the main Eurosceptic force, UKIP, is supposed to be leading by rebutting the bullshit coming out of the Tory delusion department, instead we get the Europlastics of pro-EU Open Europe taking a break from acting as official minder to Andrea Leadsom (wherever she speaks about EU matters, Open Europe are at her side keeping her on message) in order to blaze a trail for the Tory line, being the only supposed Eurosceptic voice that readers hear – and in the absence of any challenge, those readers assume what they hear to be accurate and well informed.

The problem is not only that UKIP isn’t establishing itself ‘go to’ organisation for Eurosceptic commentary in the mainstream media, it is that UKIP isn’t even talking about this issue on its own website.  How can potential supporters take UKIP seriously when it is voluntarily absents itself from engaging on core issues concerning the negative aspects of EU membership, just as the subject gets serious media profile?

When it comes to boosting Nigel Farage’s personal profile, no column inches or photo opportunities are spared.  But when discussion turns to subjects that are supposed to be at the heart of the very reason for UKIP’s being, the party goes AWOL.  This isn’t a one off, this is part of a consistent pattern.  The only logical explanation is that Farage deliberately refuses to engage on these topics because he doesn’t understand them himself.  He determination to not do detail means he doesn’t have anything of value to add and he is scared of being bested in an argument as a result.

This is just the latest in a long line of examples of both the public and the UKIP membership being ill served, by the press and the UKIP leader respectively.  In such circumstances how can we Eurosceptics possibly hope to win any prospective EU in-out referendum?  The media is ‘in the tank’ for the EUphiles and the sole Eurosceptic political party is asleep at the wheel as its leader plays ‘look at me’.  The media is serving its own interests and Farage relies upon his cult to lash out at any criticism of his ineptitude.  With this seemingly unresolvable issue, we can be excused for asking ourselves why we bother.

News management in return for political patronage

Is it the journalists?  Is it their editors?  Or is it the media moguls who own the news media?  Wherever the responsibility resides, the fact is the British press ignores stories that undermine the agenda of the political class.

There is no contradiction between the press turning a blind eye to inconvenient realities on essential matters such being able to leave the EU but still enjoy access to the single market, or the global organisation origins of the myriad of regulations that flow to us via Brussels, and journalists scuttling through the sewers to get stories that undermine or wreck the careers of individual politicians, or the election prospects of particular parties.  It is understood in such circles that while some of the actors are expendible and faces might occasionaly change, the collective objectives are shared throughout the establishment and are therefore untouchable.

If the British press were genuinely committed to transparency and ensuring the people can know and understand what the political class is doing and how it is doing it – i.e. reporting the facts regardless of views and objectives of the respective hack, editor or owner, the press would readily publish stories that debunk the lies and misrepresentations that are continually reported without question, challenge or scrutiny.

This is why, despite definitive and absolute knowledge that journalists at a number of heavyweight publications and news organisations have read blog posts and detailed evidence that catagorically refutes David Cameron’s ludicrous  ‘Norway fax law’ and ‘top table’ claims; and John Cridland of the CBI’s argument that leaving the EU would damage UK commerical and employment interests – even though leaving the EU is political and what matters commercially is the economic issue of maintaining access to the single market – those journalists, their editors or the moguls who own the publications, ensure the story is never published in the news and editorial sections.

Revealing such information – while of vital importance to ensuring the people of this country understand the options open to them and beneficial alternatives that are available concerning the way this country operates and is governed – is detrimental to the interests of the politicians and the parasitic media that feeds off them in return for patronage in the form of career moves, access to the ‘big beasts’ and the occasional scoop that drives readership and therefore advertising revenue.  So it is simply omitted from the record. The chums continue to rub along together, pissing out of the tent on the rest of us while just about tolerating each other within it.

Instead, such news and information is consigned to the comparatively small readerships of columns by fearless journalists such as Christopher Booker and Mary-Ellen Synon, polemecists such as James Dellingpole, or blogs such as EU Referendum, The Boiling Frog, Witterings from Witney etc.

Concealment of the truth in this way is nothing less than a carefully coordinated and orchestrated deception.  The British public is being lied to because the truth is being withheld from ‘the record’.   This demonstrates the news  in this country is not honest.  The media has no integrity.  It cannot be trusted.  It is riddled with agenda and vested interest.  It does not reflect reality.

Disturbingly this will be news to some readers here.  But hopefully, as this deception becomes increasingly recognised and understood, more people will consider what the read and hear through the prism of scepticism, asking themselves how the story worked its way into the arena, who benefits from what has been published or broadcast, and what else is likely to be known but is going unreported.  Those same people may even then be minded to dig for more information and read reports that are cited from themselves to see if the media coverage reflects reality.  Getting to the truth requires effort.  Never moreso than today.

Spread the word and encourage others to look beyond the headlines and seek out what the establishment would rather we did not know.  They can begin here.

Oborne’s unrequited love for Cameron sends him over the edge

One can almost feel the vibrations of Peter Oborne sobbing into his keyboard as tries lovingly in the Telegraph to defend his beloved political idol from criticism.

Oborne postulates that most people believed social media, in various forms, would be a very good thing for political debate and that it would make public life more open and democratic.  He declares that while there is some evidence that this is the case, there is also a great deal of evidence that the reverse is also true, going on to say:

Take the example of Twitter. Certainly it is a way of getting information into the public domain very quickly. But there is no room at all, within the constraints of just 140 characters, to make complex or thoughtful arguments.

Reading Oborne’s piece it’s evident that some people still struggle to make complex or thoughtful arguments even when afforded 1,213 words in a national broadsheet.  But anyway, I digress.

The sum of Oborne’s delicate rant about Lord Ashcroft is this commandment:

Thou shalt hide, ignore or at the very least play down any information or story that in any way demonstrates David Cameron is not as wise/popular/capable/hunky* as Oborne imagines him to be and wants everyone to believe him to be; any reference to any story that embarrasses the Conservatives when they behave badly; any focus on the strategist whose only concern is electoral victory irrespective of what it means for the British people.

There is a certain desperation as political ‘pundit’ Oborne is calling for any dissent or criticism of Cameron to be eradicated.  It is unhealthy and dangerous to demand that a person should be held as beyond scrutiny and criticism, and that people should self censor facts about that individual and his performance in case it undermines the exalted position Oborne feels he should be afforded.

What we are seeing is Oborne tilting to the cult of personality, irrespective of Cameron’s ability or performance.  Oborne has finally gone over the edge and if any proof were needed that he cannot be relied upon to provide objective comment, this is it.  It is certainly impossible to miss the welling-up of cult-like adoration that Oborne feels for Cameron as he rounds off his piece thus:

So here is a word of well-meant advice for Lord Ashcroft: it’s time to quit the Tory party. You are no longer happy in it, and it has never felt entirely comfortable with you. The time when rich men, especially those with a record of (legally) avoiding British tax, could buy a political party has gone. If you want to make persistent, childish and personal criticisms of a Conservative prime minister, it is much better that they should be made from the perspective of a private citizen.

And here is a word of advice for the Prime Minister. If Lord Ashcroft carries on using this treacherous and disloyal language, stop pretending not to notice. Strip him of the Conservative whip, kick him out of the party, and set an example.

This is what passes for political reporting these days.  This is how Oborne thinks he is serving his readership.  My God, how far the fourth estate has fallen.

Is the British media useless, or simply complicit?

For those people who explore the media wider afield than these shores for stories with an international dimension, the expression ‘everywhere except the British press’ is an all-too-common descriptor of the reach of certain important developments.  It has merited another outing today over on EU Referendum.

‘Bias by omission’ is the phrase that generally explains these instances where the British public is kept in ignorance about developments they would be very interested in if the media deigned to report on them.

It is bias by omission that we are witnessing today as the British media – working in concert to keep their readers in the dark – turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the important story about the decision of the Swiss people, via a democratic referendum, to tighten up Switzerland’s asylum rules. You can read the story and coverage of the implications of the Swiss vote over on Richard’s blog.

This omission is noteworthy as the subject is one which provokes substantial debate in this country and focuses attention on the inability of the UK, as part of the EU, to control its own borders or asylum and immigration policies.  Perhaps it is this, more than anything else, that the establishment and its media poodles want to deflect attention from.  Any debate that shines a light on the negative and often harmful consequences of EU membership must not be aired, in case it prompts people to hanker for the UK to once again manage its own affairs.  Further, any example of real (if imperfect) democracy in action, compared to the system of elected dictatorship that operates in this country, might have British serfs making demands to determine matters for themselves in a similar fashion.  That of course would never do.

Following the howls of protests from the media about proposals for regulation of their ‘industry’ underpinned by statute threatening the so called freedom of the press, this example of propaganda through silence is as deafening as it is contemptible.  Perhaps the only freedom that matters to the press is the ability to remain part of the establishment and act as its outrider, set apart from the people and operating against their interests, and occasionally throwing a bit of inconsequential red meat to the masses to give the impression of challenging the prevailing orthodoxy.

Politicians often butter up the media by repeating the mantra that we have the best and most effective press in the world, which challenges, probes and investigates before reporting fearlessly.  The evidence, such as this today, shows what utter bollocks that idiotic claim is.  Perhaps what they really mean is that the British press is the most craven and compliant.

Either way, this latest example of bias reinforces that the British people cannot trust the British media to be fair and impartial.  It is not anything of the sort, not even remotely.  Our press is not of the people for the people, it is the political class’ bulwark against the people.  The British media is not being useless when its collectively fails to report important stories in this way, it is simply being complicit in furthering the agenda of the political class by working to keep people in ignorance and maintaining the establishment’s grip on us.  It is on their side, not ours.

The bubble dwellers have nothing to offer

Today I picked up a copy of The Times for the first time in a while.  The reason was to see if there was anything there to justify paying to see behind its online paywall.  I only had to read as far as page two and its lead editorial before I had my answer…

The Slow Death of Politics

All the mainstream parties are suffering a long-term decline in membership. To become representative of voters, they need to adopt a looser model of participation

Clearly, within the bubble, the concept of political parties being representative of voters by, you know, representing their wishes and talking to their interests rather than those of party managers and the whip’s office, is completely alien.

It’s not just the political parties that are in decline and increasingly irrelevant.  The media is in similar decline and the Times’ editorial today is a very good example why.  Neither have anything to offer to those of us outside the bubble in the real world.

 

Mastiff – Our glorious media and their powerful reputation for accuracy

Perhaps it’s time Lord Justice Leveson was prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act for his infamous claim about the media having a powerful reputation for accuracy.  Consider this example above from The Week.  In the highlighted paragraph there are no less than four factual errors.  In one bloody paragraph!

For the record, which the media seems incapable of keeping straight, the Mastiff was deployed in Iraq in late 2006 after it had been ordered that summer.  However its subsequent ‘trickle’ introduction in Afghanistan (as fast it became available off the line) came after the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, came under pressure to improve the safety quality of equipment used by our forces there – which was before Gordon Brown even became Prime Minister.  The Mastiff was actually in the Afghan theatre by early 2007.  The Snatch Land Rover does not have a soft top, it is a lightly armoured vehicle.  And how could the Mastiff be called upon to replace the Viking when it had been ordered before the Viking was even deployed.  In fact the Viking was actually replaced by the Warthog.

Surely this article must be a contender for the most errors in a single paragraph in a professional media outlet.

But the media inaccuracy continues apace as Richard demonstrates on EU Referendum today.  The news that a 27 tonne Mastiff has been destroyed by a huge IED, killing three Fusiliers and injuring several more, has had various outlets reporting its weight variously as 15 tonnes in the Daily Mail, 17 tonnes in the Daily Express, 24 tonnes on Radio 4’s PM and 25 tonnes on BBC One news.

The public is being fed a diet of inaccurate, badly researched tosh that will form part of the historical record.  Generations in the future will look back at the articles and listen to the clips believing they are an accurate record of our history, and get misinformation and downright erroneous material.  This is not a trivial matter.  It is a gross distortion and it is a de facto airbrushing of our time.

What a load of old pony

Some may not know that ‘pony and trap’ is Cockney rhyming slang for excrement. But if they have the misfortune to read the increasingly detached Peter Oborne writing in the Barclay Brother Beano, they will no doubt reflect on the piece as just that.

Here we are just days after the funeral of the last radical political leader this country had, with the eulogies and the reflections on the transformation she brought about to the competitiveness and standing of the UK, still fresh in our minds.  Yet Oborne, in the style so beloved by the vacuous cabal of media sycophants, presents a ‘nothing new under the sun’ review of Nigel Farage which leads him to a typically brown-nosing conclusion in support of David Cameron and counsel not to ‘lurch to the right’ that stretches the bounds of credibility well beyond breaking point, which includes this:

I think Mr Cameron’s best bet is to stay where he is, and to fight on his record as a brave, competent and radical prime minister. Adopting such an attitude will take nerves of steel, and could lead to his premature exit if the parliamentary Tory party – that increasingly tremulous body – panics, as it probably will.

Brave, competent and radical? Cameron?

Only a shameless sycophant could describe Cameron in such a way.  What Oborne labels bravery is what most people recognise as insufferable ignorance, a refusal of Cameron to be swayed from the destructive path laid out by his masters in the EU and a plethora of international governance bodies.

Competence? A man who declared his war on deficit and debt has barely scratched the surface of the first, while presiding over a terrifying explosion of the second.

And radical?  There is nothing radical in being a lapdog for a self selecting global bureaucracy that has snuffed out anything resembling democracy and perpetuated the slow burn decline this country has experienced since the neo-social democrats wets removed Margaret Thatcher, and who along with their ideological soulmates but rivals for the illusion of power in the Labour party, commenced the reversal of this country’s recovery and the state’s coup over individual liberty, personal freedom and privacy.

But that’s the dumbed down poodle media for you.

More Guardian hypocrisy and another David Leigh link to the KGB

Hot on the heels of the implosion of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) for falsely asserting Conservative peer Lord McAlpine was a paedophile, the Guardian is leading with a story about ‘the existence of an extraordinary global network of sham company directors, most of them British’ citing yet another organisation of ‘investigative journalists’.  The Graun goes on to explain:

The UK government claims such abuses were stamped out long ago, but a worldwide joint investigation by the Guardian, the BBC’s Panorama and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has uncovered a booming offshore industry that leaves the way open for both tax avoidance and the concealment of assets.

Concealing assets if they are subject to taxation is tax evasion, therefore illegal.  Fair enough.  However once again we see an agenda at work to demonise the perfectly legal and responsible activity of tax avoidance.  This is the latest example of outrageous hypocrisy on the part of the Guardian, given that its parent company makes use of offshore arrangements in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying tax in the UK.  It even resulted in a protest by Guido co-conspirators outside the Graun’s plush offices in London.  Strangely, the piece doesn’t make any mention of Guardian Media Group’s behaviour, let alone criticise it.

So why is the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) focussing on this issue?  Could it be because it has a political agenda that ignores the sins of the left and focuses on eeevil capitalists?  Of course it could.  Here is a little bit of history of the ICIJ courtesy of Gerard Jackson

The ICIJ is the offspring of the Centre for Investigative Reporting (CIR) which in turn was founded by the notorious Institute for Policy Studies, a Marxist organisation which acted as a front for the KGB during the Cold War.

It’s unsurprising therefore that we see the Guardian’s David Leigh right in the thick of the ICIJ, listed as one of the consortium’s five UK based journalists.  He of course denied being part of the BIJ, despite having never corrected his Guardian colleague Roy Greenslade’s long standing claim that he was part of that group.  Perhaps Leigh, whose name is headlined as co-author of the Guardian piece, will be content to accept his membership of this particular group of self important hacks.  But if he does, it risks opening an old can of worms for Leigh.

Why so?  Here’s a name from the past.  Richard Gott.

Richard Gott was the Guardian’s literary editor but in December 1994 he resigned after Soviet defector Oleg Gordievsky contradicted Gott’s denial that he was a paid agent of the KGB.  In the finest traditions of Guardian weasel words, Gott went on to say:

“I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke.”

This seemingly left Leigh looking like an idiot as he had come bounding to Gott’s defence and ranting against the security service after the BBC’s attempt to hire Gott in 1981 was prevented because Gott failed to obtain security clearance.  Gordievsky’s subsequent story put that failure into context.  But when you consider Leigh is part of an organisation that was itself a front for the KGB, perhaps Leigh knew exactly what he was doing all along and just supporting a comrade in need.

There is something very wrong with the Guardian and the people it hires.  Rank hypocrisy, double standards, treachery, deceit, smear campaigns, acting as a mouthpiece for those who despise our country… all are synonymous with the bile-filled ‘progressive’ activists who infest the office in Kings Place.  No wonder the KGB loved the Guardian and considered it highly susceptible to penetration.  The only surprise is that Guardianista weren’t signing up in their droves to join the Soviet intelligence community.

Richard Corbett and his trivial 5% figure

During the media’s scratch at the surface of the EU’s budget discussions former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, who was rejected by voters in 2009 yet nonetheless continues to suck at the teats of the taxpayers in Brussels, has been keen to push the narrative that the EU’s bureaucracy and administration ‘is only 5% of the total budget’.

This is a deliberate line being taken by a fanatical EUphile career bureaucrat to avoid stating the embarrassingly huge monetary cash amount the EU spends on itself.  It’s so much less painful to hear ‘it’s only 5%’ rather than hear the actual figure.  So for the sake of transparency let’s assume Corbett’s 5% figure is accurate and put the monetary value on it that he avoids stating at any cost.

The EU’s Financial Framework 2007-2013 set the global level of commitment appropriations, namely the budget, at €864.3 billion.  That equates roughly to £700 billion over the period. The 5% Richard Corbett is so fond of referring to was therefore a bill of around £35 billion over the last period that was picked up by taxpayers across the EU.

If we consider Herman Van Rompuy’s proposed budget for the next period of €973 billion (around £787.3 billion) Corbett’s beloved 5% becomes £39.4 billion.  Not such a trivial figure when put into proper context, is it Rich? It makes all those £120 bottles of wine possible.

As for our useless establishment fawning media, when will a single journalist listening dumbly to Corbett trotting out this 5% figure do their job, put him on the spot, and ask him to tell viewers and listeners the actual monetary amount?


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