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Media on Trial event banned

Media on Trial has released the following statement:

Today, on World Press Freedom Day, Leeds City Museum, a city council owned and operated venue, cancelled the Media on Trial’s booking for the event we had planned for 27 May.

The fact that the event was cancelled is perhaps bad enough. What became clear as the day has progressed, though, is that Leeds City Museum appear to have informed the press and media of the cancellation before they informed Media on Trial organisers. Indeed they waited for the Media on Trial representative to arrive at the venue for a planned meeting following a four hour train journey before giving us the news.

They seem to have taken this decision on the basis of misinformed assumptions about the content of the event, and offered no right of reply to Media on Trial.

Leeds City Museum has cancelled an event that threatened mainstream media and UK Government narratives that have enabled another regime change war to be waged against Syria, financed by British taxpayers contributions.

The cancellation of the event denies public consensus a platform to express its profound dissatisfaction with the systematic disinformation campaign run by a British media that protects power from truth, rather than holding truth to power.

Media on Trial fully intends to hold this event despite these attempts to silence us. We will be in contact with ticket holders shortly to explain our plans.

Further information will be published at https://www.mediaontrial.uk in due course. If anyone in the Leeds area can suggest alternative venues, please let us know and we will pass the information along. In the meantime, please share this as widely as possible.


137 Comments

  1. I emailed the museum yesterday and have this morning received a reply:

    “Since receiving [the] request….we have been made aware of further details regarding some of the content, discussion topics and additional security requirements which would be part of the event.
    Whilst the council and museums service are always in favour of promoting free speech and debate, we always have to balance the suitability of any events with the needs of the general public who may also wish to attend the museum.
    Our booking policy also clearly states that events are subject to cancellation. In line with that policy we have decided that the child friendly museum is not an appropriate venue for this event.”

    Anyone any wiser??

    • Not very friendly to the children of Syria condemned to die by media lies.

    • Anna Z says

      Hi Judy, I got exactly the same reply, here is my response to them…we shouldn’t let them get off lightly with this bullsh:

      Dear Sir/Madam

      As you have not had the honesty to provide me with the name of my interlocutor I am forced to resort to the generic address.

      I am aware that this is a copper plate reply which you have sent out to at least one other person apart from myself. In itself this indicates the kind of tokenism so typical of PR departments today, where the appearance of engagement with the public is a paltry substitute for the genuine article. Be assured that nobody is fooled by this, and it only invites contempt.

      More significantly, your email is woefully lacking in specific arguments, which leads me to conclude that you have, in fact, no argument to make, other than vague slurs and distorted logic. The notion that a bunch of fully clothed, respectable people in an enclosed space discussing contemporary political events, including the growing problem of child abuse, could possibly be construed as not ‘child friendly’ is quite ridiculous.

      Your ‘argument’, if it could be dignified with the term, is akin to accusing whistleblowers of being hostile to the public interest.

      I would appreciate at least an attempt to provide a proper, reasoned argument, displaying some logical capacity, but realise that this is an unlikely proposition, given the pathetic response below.

      • Anna Z says

        Just sent this as an addendum:

        Dear Sir/Madam

        Further to my email earlier today, I note that Leeds City Council, who control the City Museum, were recently embarrassed by the arrest and conviction of the former Labour Lord Mayor, Neil Taggart, for possession of a vast collection of child pornographic images, including images of children being raped.

        Given this humiliating connection, one would have thought it was in the interests of the City of Leeds to publically align themselves with organisations who are campaigning to have the dreadful problem of child abuse taken more seriously?

        Yours etc

        here is the link. Labour 25 is a great resource.
        https://labour25.com/2017/07/23/labour-lord-mayor-jailed-for-child-sex-offences/

      • Hi Anna,

        Sorry not to respond to your posts earlier but I’ve been out all day and didn’t have access to the internet. Thank you for following up the standard reply received from Leeds City Museum. I shall endeavour to forward to them tomorrow notification of my dissatisfaction as well.

  2. Anna Z says

    Just sent this to Leeds City Museum (city.museum@leeds.gov.uk). Feel free to adapt/share/plagiarise!!!

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing to you to express my amazement at the cancellation of the Media on Trial event, which was due to take place on 27 May 2018.

    It is apparent that no good reason was provided for the cancellation, and it is hard to imagine that there could be one, other than a structural problem with the building that would endanger the lives of the participants, which is clearly not the case.

    As a public institution, you have an implicit obligation to those who fund you through tax revenues to facilitate the expression of their democratic rights, which supposedly includes the right to orderly assembly and freedom of expression. Freedom of expression entails the freedom to criticise and offer different perspectives, which the ‘Media on Trial’ event would have provided.

    In cancelling the event, Leeds City Museum has demonstrated that it has no meaningful commitment to democratic values, and indeed is actively obstructing them. There can be no arguments that justify such censorship, other than the kind that are characteristic of totalitarian propaganda.

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Leeds City Museum are frightened of allowing public expression of the very real dissatisfaction that many people feel with the state of the media in Britain today.

    This is a cowardly action worthy only of contempt. By extension, it casts considerable doubt on the institution’s ability to provide any impartial curating of exhibits, which presupposes a degree of intellectual honesty.

    However, to allow you the opportunity to salvage some of the institution’s reputation, perhaps you could explain to your public why your latest exhibit is a museum with egg all over its facade?

    Yours faithfully etc

    ‘No matter how cynical you get it is impossible to keep up.’ Lily Tomlin

  3. JackLance says

    Leeds has every right to stop an event that is attacking journalists without them being there to defend themselves. There is plenty of fake news and propaganda to go around on all sides of the equation, thousands of blogs now calling themselves “news sites” each one saying they tell the “truth” and the other does not. Making the enemy of journalists with these Ad hominen attacks. Instead of name calling of journalists as “terrorists” or “presstitutes” maybe they could have 1 large debate with BBC and Main stream media with the independent bloggers calling themselves “independent journalists” Fake news is fake news and i have seen plenty from both sides.

    • Anna Z says

      If critics were required to wait for offenders to obligingly make themselves present before they were permitted to voice concerns all democratic debate would grind to a halt.
      Such infantile trolling only exposes the intellectual limitations of the perpetrators. Please keep it up.

      • JackLance says

        Anna none of those so called journalists will every face BBC or Sky News in a live debate. None of the independent bloggers are trained as journalists they are using the internet and online publishing sites or 3rd party sites to host their blog entries.
        Rather than a cloak and dagger mentality of attacking online and name calling why doesn’t these bloggers calling themselves “independent journalists” actually face them head on in a debate. It’s easy to criticize with an online mob, but the fact is this is getting them no where except contempt from many people in UK. I guess it’s easier to write about main stream media, attack journalists on a personal level or gripe about them at staged events that seem to always be planned by the same people. It’s never smart making an enemy of main stream media.

        • Anna Z says

          I am going to be charitable and assume that you write in ignorance, but in complete contradiction of your argument I have on numerous occasions seen independent journalists and academics completely humiliate mainstream journalists, who are only capable of mouthing the platitudes they have inherited from their handlers. I have never witnessed a mainstream journalist emerge as the winner of such a debate. For the most recent (and famous) example, I suggest you watch Jordan Peterson expose the intellectual and psychological limitations of the Channel 4 journalist Cathy Newman.

          Exhibit A is what passes as ‘analysis’ of the economy within the mainstream. As a lecturer on an economics degree programme, my first inkling that mainstream analysis was generically faulty came through my realisation that virtually everything that we told about the economy is false. Even the widely quoted metrics (inflation, unemployment rates, GDP) are almost completely worthless, as they have been increasingly manipulated by successive governments in order to disguise the impact of specific policies. For just one example (and there are legion), the introduction of hedonic quality adjustment has completely eroded the value of inflation figures as changes in ‘quality’ are assumed to justify ‘adjustments’ that lead to the systematic underreporting of price changes. This is a technical issue that few would understand, but it has had crucial repercussions for the value of GDP figures, apart from the inflation figures themselves.

          Since that first awakening, I have devoted years of my life to researching global political and economic issues. Although I would never call myself an expert as there is always so much more to learn, I know enought to know that mainstream analysis is usually economical with the facts at the very least, and frequently downright duplicitous. Once you have some knowledge of the main issues, it is not difficult to triangulate different sources and see the gaping holes in the conventional viewpoints. Mainstream journalists tend to contradict themselves at every turn. I am certainly not saying that non-mainstream sources are necessarily always superior, merely that by definition they tend to be less afraid of opposing the conventional narratives that are designed to demonise independent thinking and lull into us a false sense of security and self-aggrandisement. However, as with all sources, non-mainstream ones also need to be triangulated as we grope towards an ellusive ‘truth’.

          • Anna Z: a bit OT, but I have been trying to do so follow up research from Nick Shaxson’s “Treasure Islands” into the Eurodollar market (capitalism’s unregulated, untaxed, offshore flows of illicit blood money) but other than Shaxson and John Christensen (TJN) I can’t find much. Do you know of resources (other than TJN, UK Uncut and Transparency International) that have exposed the Eurodollar and “secrecy jurisdictions”? Other than the Paradise and Sunshine Papers Soros limited hangout: there doesn’t seem to much out there (even Shaxson said he was self-censoring as he was writing) …and anything Soros is behind will be levered toward a singular globalised tax initiative). [Call me cynical: but I already suspect that is where agenda is heading anyway]. I would be grateful if you have any suggested resources. Many thanks in advance.

            • Anna Z says

              Hello BigB, I’ve got a few suggestions, although most authors I am aware of approach the Eurodollar market tangentially as part of the wider phenomenon of corporate corruption. You could have a look at Michael Hudson’s books ‘Super Imperialism’ and ‘Global Fracture’ which are quite old now, but still absolutely on the money. Here is an interview which is basically a precis of his argument:
              http://michael-hudson.com/2004/02/an-insider-spills-the-beans-on-offshore-banking-centers/
              Even older, but a classic account nonetheless is Taylor’s ‘Hot Money and the Politics of Debt’ which looks at illicit money flows in the post-war era up until the end of the twentieth century.
              Nomi Prins ‘All the President’s Bankers’ is more recent, and although again she does not concentrate on the Eurodollar market exclusively she is very informative on the collusion between successive US regimes and the financial sector which helped facilitate the Eurodollar market.
              There is a significant quantity of academic work now on tax avoidance, have a look at SSRN (Social Science Research Network). I would particularly recommend Prem Sikka and Hugh Wilmott who concentrate on the facilitators of tax avoidance, particularly the accountancy firms.
              Hope that helps for starters….

              • Big B says

                Thanks very much. I believe there is an updated version of Super Imperialism, the older version of which I have read? I’ve got Nomi Prins’ ‘Collu$ion’ on pre-order, but publication has been put back to the end of the month. I was aware of Prem Sikka from the “Spider’s Web” documentary. I will check out the others. Thank you for your time.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Nick aka ‘Jack’ certainly doesn’t hide his intellectual insufficiency under a bushel, does he,

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Nick, if I may use your real name, your morally insane demand that the presstitutes of the fakestream media propaganda sewer, those cheer-leaders for the jihadists, for their butchery in Syria and Iraq, and for relentless hatred of Russia, not be criticised, and any who dare to attempt to do so must be silenced, takes the chutzpah cake. I’m all for a REAL debate between the fakestream media hatemongers and lie-meisters, and indepenent, and real, journalists and bloggers, but you know as well as I that the fakestream presstitutes would NEVER engage in any really free exchange of ideas, because their owners would not allow it, and because the presstitutes would quickly be exposed for the lying, propagandist, swine that they are.

      • Java Ape Timelord says

        Mulga, If there was a debate, there would be 3 MSM to 1 independent. As I have seen on BBC many times

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Solo, if I might be familiar, here in Austfailure, a ‘debate’ is always between four Rightwing, pro-capitalist, Imperial stooges, who differ only in the fever of their hatred of Russia, Putin, China, Venezuela or any other designated enemy. Very occasionally, a mildly dissenting voice appears, the vetting having failed, and the Right go ritualistically bananas in screeching about ‘Leftwing bias’. It is mildly amusing to watch a class of vicious psychopaths flinging metaphorical dung about like bad-tempered chimpanzees.

    • In the ideal world (wishful thinking) discussion and debate would involve parties from both sides. This is the core of the problem when it comes to western mainstream media in the current climate: there is no opportunity allowed in the public domain for anyone who doesn’t support unquestioningly the Establishment line. Believe you me, they do want to be given the freedom to put their views across nationally but there is an all but complete embargo on that. Usually when they do get an opportunity it is because the programme producers mistakenly thought the interviewee would take the Establishment line. One recent example was an interview on Sky with General Jonathan Shaw, former commander of the British Armed Forces, which was abruptly cut short as soon as he did a ‘curveball’ and started to question the UK Government’s position on Syria (if you haven’t seen it I suggest you have a look).
      When known Assad or Putin ‘apologists’ are invited to be interviewed live they are usually venomously attacked with a barrage of questions reflecting the Establishment line and if they try to respond they are constantly interrupted with no attempt to enter into discussion…I wonder why. Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria, who was due to be one of the speakers at this event (I personally wouldn’t classify him as either an independent journalist or blogger), recounts being invited for a pre-recorded interview for BBC Newsnight about six weeks ago. He spoke for ten or more minutes about the situation in Syria and explaining the basis for his view that Assad and the Syrian Government are being completely misrepresented by Western Governments and media. When it was transmitted his contribution had been cut to two sentences and was immediately followed by more of the Western anti-Assad propaganda which no doubt would have appeared nonsensical if Mr Ford’s interview had been broadcast in full.
      When was the last time you saw anyone on BBC Question Time or the BBC/Sky paper reviews who defended Assad or Putin? A few weeks ago Jeremy Vine promised a ‘discussion’ about Syria on his lunchtime BBC Radio show – this comprised two warmongering BBC/Guardian anti-Assad journalists and no one else …so much for the balanced discussion I had been hoping for. The list of examples goes on. Stephen Sackur recently had two BBC Hardtalk interviews with Sergey Lavrov and Fares Shehabi and he indulged in the tactics I mention above (constant attempts to interrupt and failure to respond to the valid points made by the interviewees) but, quite frankly, Lavrov and Shehabi wiped the floor with him…that is why the BBC etc are so afraid to give a platform to people with an alternative viewpoint The representation of views on the BBC and other mainstream media outlets is not accurately representative of the views of the general public and is not consistent with the values of freedom of speech. So is it any wonder that those who consider the mainstream media’s narrative to be worthy of challenge wish to have their own forum to put forward their opinions and their reasons for holding those views? We all know what the views of the mainstream media are, and they are – without exception – only supported by lies, rumour and witness accounts provided by terrorists and their supporters. It would be ideal to get some of these so-called journalists along to an event such as this cancelled one to see how they defend their position in the face of genuine substantive challenge but we all know what the outcome would be. Hence no journalist in that position would accept such an invitation. So, as Anna Z, remarks, on that basis, all debate would ‘grind to a halt’ if all debate had to have representation of all views.

      • Judy: I watched the first part of Lyse Doucet’s Syrian propaganda piece …I have to say, I was impressed. The way the talking heads were intercut was a masterclass in truth inversion. They gave adequate space for John Kerry, William Hague, an FSA General, al-Jubeir, the Saudi Finance Minister …then cut to a Russian diplomat, showing him laughing for instance: which undermined “balance” and was meant to enhance the official narrative. This was deliberate: and shows intention to distort …which is something other than journalism. You have to wonder whether they have a Tavistock Institute psychology department? Because what they produce is closer to ideological mass inculcation than information dissemination …and it is quite cynically and consciously produced?

        • Hi Big B,
          I too watched the ‘documentary’ and made a few notes as it went along, mainly regarding questionable statements and presentation:
          – ‘ there were anti-Govt demonstrations in 2011 which gave rise to the problems we see today.’ Has anyone asked these demonstrators/rebels what exactly they were rebelling against? I haven’t yet seen a specific satisfactory explanation other than the vague ‘dissatisfaction with the oppressive Assad regime’. To my knowledge the Assad Govt was/is the most liberal, non-discriminatory Govt in the ME and has always been very supportive of all Syria’s population. Two of the ‘protestors’ interviewed by Doucet were an employed IT worker and a teacher who claimed to want “peaceful change in Syria”…yes, but change in what respect? It doesn’t cut the mustard to just say that the Assad family has been in power too long.
          – ‘the rebels responded to the Syrian forces aggression by attacking them with Kalashnikovs’ . Where did these weapons suddenly materialise from?
          -there were photographs of emaciated and beaten bodies being wrapped in shrouds and catalogued by officers from the SAA. We were told by Doucet that these were victims of the regime: the same regime who, we were told earlier in the programme, denied knowledge of missing people alleged to have been taken prisoner by them. Isn’t there an inconsistency in the report of a regime ‘disappearing’ individuals and a regime – for some unexplained reason – carefully wrapping up bodies of people ( they have supposedly killed) in a dignified way and recording all their details?
          -with regard to the ‘Clock Tower’ massacre during the initial demonstrations, the army was accused of these murders. The Syrian Minister interviewed made a comment along the lines of ‘gunshots came out of nowhere but it wasn’t Govt forces’, to my mind implying a ‘false flag’ operation similar to Maidan in Kiev. This prompts Doucet to ask the interviewed demonstrators whether they saw any fellow demonstrators with weapons as suggested by the Minister which they of course (and possibly quite accurately) couldn’t endorse, thereby discrediting what the Minister had said but allowing Doucet to side-step the possibility of a ‘false flag’.
          -finally, and this is always one of my ‘favourite’ reactions, Doucet comes out with the classic comment that “It wouldn’t make sense for the ‘rebels’ to use chemical weapons in their own areas”. Has Doucet not bothered to ask herself why there were chemical weapons factories in rebel held E Aleppo and E Ghouta?

          • Big B says

            Bravo, you were paying more attention than me. I was trying to maintain a sense of sangfroid, or avoid damage to the telly! (I could only manage ten minutes of part two for the same reasons).

            This is where the whole thing was so clever: Doucet’s “peaceful protests and dissent” human angle – for change and reforms the Assad government granted (not mentioned) were armed from the start. And fomented by the Muslim Brotherhood (a longterm UK asset – not mentioned!) No one asked for Syria to be invaded and brutalised. There were also much more massive pro-Assad marches that were not reported: nor did they feature in the Doucet retelling – a sure sign of deliberate distortion.

            https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

            The wrapped dead bodies were very much like the debunked ‘Caesar Torture Photos’ that came out quite early in the Assad demonisation process.

            https://dissidentvoice.org/2016/03/the-caesar-photo-fraud-that-undermined-syrian-negotiations/

            The media need to go on trial, Doucet to …in the Hague or Nuremberg though, not Leeds!

            • BigB, you will maybe note that all my comments relate to Part 1 of the documentary. I too gave up with Part 2 early on simply because it was ‘more of the same’ but mainly because 1 hour and 10 minutes of that really annoying accent was as much as I could bear!

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            Mysterious sniper killings, of both sides, are a standard technique used in Colour Revolutions. I believe they first surfaced in Vilnius in 1991, and the Yankee coup-meisters just love them. Their presence gives away US presence.

    • Jen says

      I should think the issue really is that the BBC and other mainstream news media outlets are the ones too afraid to debate and discuss issues of importance with non-mainstream media bloggers and organisations. This is in spite of the fact that the BBC and its cohorts receive more funding from governments and/or private corporate interests than do the independent news bloggers.

      For Leeds Council to stop an event that purports to examine and discuss the state of the media in Britain at the last minute smacks of dishonesty, cowardice and a lack of commitment to openness and transparency, values important in a democratic society. Your support for Leeds Council’s action, and your strange rationale behind your support, based on ad hominem attacks on those bloggers and others who support an independent and inquiring media, and then projecting your actions onto these bloggers, suggest deliberate trolling.

      • mark says

        The state controlled Botty Bangers Club receives a mere £3,700 million of state funding (plus an unspecified few extra millions from Brussels to ensure “unbiased” coverage of EU issues.)

    • Are you alright Jack ? Best hit the road Jack ..

      SKY News & the BBC ? You cannot be serious !! Not round here ..
      unless to ridicule the pure hypocrisy.

      Murdochs paying you ! While Stealing Syrian resources from Golan ..
      You sold yer’ brain & soul ! ? ! Shame on you.. end of > Tchüss

  4. Julie says

    Try Southport Theatre & Convention Centre- they held the David Icke Tour when Liverpool pulled out at the last minute – it is a large theatre and by the sea!

    • JackLance says

      That would probably be a good idea not having it at a government supported building but rather a private rental facility, the subject is controversial, Hypocrites that complain that their work is being censored or they are being silenced are doing the same to news agencies.,

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        What bizarre cobblers. You get the Nick Cohen Memorial prize for reality inversion there, old boy. Which fakestream news agencies are being çensored’ or ‘silenced’ by ‘hypocrites’. There are PLENTY of alternative news services that are, Press TV was banned, and RT is routinely threatened with censorship, but no Establishment lie-factory suffers any such fate.

        • Google Talpiot Program says

          RT and Press TV are both establishment news sources – just of the Russian and Iranian establishments.

          • mark says

            So what? RT receives $190 million of state funding, BBC £3,700 million.

    • Philip Smith says

      This is another threat to the govenment who are not governing the country. All the truth has been laid out. I ask the the government to stop playing God and stop the constant deception. You and previous Governments are responsible for the murder of innocent people in Iraq, Libya, Syria.
      So let the truth spring forth like the dawn.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Lots of lies, as ever. The US-controlled and trained toad, Navalny, is about the fifth most popular putative leader in Russia, with 4% support, being generous. Yet, in the demented ‘Through the Looking Glass’ world of the Russophobe Western hate frenzy, he is ‘the Leader of the Opposition’. I really hope that the beneficent aliens, having picked up our electro-magnetic emissions, get here soon. If they are truly benevolent-well I’d hate to be a BBC scum-bag, I really would.

      • Navalny is a CIA patsy (see “the Browder Effect”). support for him by the MSM presstitutes is as obligatory as it is for them to applaud “The White Helmets” (a scam set up by MI6 operative Mesurier)

      • Gilbert Doctorow has fingered Navalny as MI6 Agent Freedom: and Browder as Agent Solomon …which I can well believe. Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter too. He thinks we should follow Navalny’s advice and sanction Putin’s billionaire friends …which is of course Browder’s Magnitsky agenda: which Labour pushed aggressively during the Skripalgate provocation. I put the full quotes here:
        https://off-guardian.org/2018/04/22/alexander-shulgin-to-the-opcw/#comments

      • Java Ape Timelord says

        I think he has less than 2% support and even that is questionable. Most Russians think he is a joke.

        • Google Talpiot Program says

          Potentially but does that justify the arrests etc.? That wouldn’t be judged in the same way if happening frequently in Britain or the States.

          • ‘Google’ – the main reason he is arrested is because he chooses not to get written advance authority from the Govt to hold the demonstrations. That requirement is clearly written into Russian law, applies to everyone, and is intended primarily as a civil order measure to ensure that the date, time and place of such demonstrations are not going to cause problems for other people which might result in confrontations or intimidation. Navalny deliberately and repeatedly flouts that requirement, knowing that it will result in more publicity for him and bad publicity in the West for Putin.

          • mark says

            Try protesting anywhere near Parliament or the White House and see what happens to you. If you’re lucky you’ll just get clubbed and tasered. Or tossed into Gitmo for a spot of waterboarding and the Orange Baboon’s “beautiful torture.” Or try holding a public meeting in Leeds and see what happens.

          • michael steiner says

            I think one must take a long historical look at these matters. Russia has never had experience of democracy. There was a chance to build up democratic structures in 1991, but it was scuppered by the rapacious capitalists that exploited the chaos. The US paid billions of dollars to Poland to help them in their transition to a democracy, but paid none to Russia, deliberately, I think, to keep them in a state of weakness. Under Yeltsin, things got worse and worse. At least Putin has given back some self respect to the country. OK, he may be an autocrat, but he has every right to defend his country from those hostile powers, i.e.Nato, poised on his borders, armed with so called defensive weapons, which can be converted very quickly to offensive ones. OK, Russia may not be so socially enlightened as the West, in regard to gay and LGBT rights, but look how long it has taken in the West to achieve them. We are so quick to condemn without any imaginative understanding of other nation’s histories

      • Jen says

        In some of the photos at this link:
        https://starshinazapasa.livejournal.com/1039603.html

        the protesters are very young. One wonders if some of them – especially the ones who don’t look as if they’ll be voting in the 2024 Presidential elections, they really do look that young! – might actually have been paid (or enticed in some way with free food or drink) to protest.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          The use of young idiots, easily manipulated by appealing to their inexperience and youthful arrogance, as shock troops in Colour Revolutions, goes back to the Belgrade Colour Revolution and group Otpor. Otpor has subsequently morphed into CANVASS, which works on most Colour Revolutions for the US, most recently in Armenia just this week.

        • Jen, Navalny is well known for his supporters all being no older than mid twenties and all seem to regard activities involving Navalny as a joke. When he was going through the phase of accusing the Govt of regularly throwing green dye in his face (the culprits always carefully managed to avoid his hair though) he was always photographed surrounded by ‘his support staff’ who were all of the same young age; and they were always pictured laughing. I recall on one picture there was a young fellow skulking in the back row of the picture and he was wearing a woollen hat and was significantly covered in green paint himself. Hmmm.

        • mark says

          Why not? The Maidan demonstrators got their $25 a day from Nuland.

  5. kweladave says

    Leeds Council is Labour controlled – now 61 members (up from 58).

    Given that the media is, lets say, not generally supportive of the Labour Party, one might believe that it would be in the Party’s interest to promote a genuinely free media.

    Strange!

    • Labour supported the White Helmets! Corbyn helped raise £2mn for the Jo Cox appeal in 2015: a third of which went to the WH. They have as much to cover up as anyone.

      • @BigB.
        I assume that prior to her death Jo Cox had been very vocal in support of the White helmets?

        • mohandeer, I know someone who regarded her as an active and willing participant in the evil doings of the Establishment precisely because of her support for terrorist entities but, of course, no one is allowed to voice that view since she was murdered.

        • Big B says

          Yes, and hubby Brendan. And what a fine fellow he turned out to be! She wanted a British intervention and NFZ, as well as supporting the WH. I do not wish to denigrate the dead, but there was something not quite right about that couple …the word ‘Sorostitute’ comes to mind …the whole professional power couple with ‘charity’ NGO links to the Avaaz and Hate not Hope nexus. Didn’t he just happen to be in London for the attack on Parliament? He was certainly becoming a vox pop spox on terror attacks before he disgraced himself. I say disgraced, no charges were pressed. Someone else will have to manage the Jo Cox Foundation of interventionists!

          • FS says

            There was a great deal ‘not quite right’ about her death, too.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      How many of those ‘Labour’ councillors are Blairites, ie Quislings?

    • mark says

      No, it is supportive of all the Red Tory Blairite Backstabbers, the scummy 80% that try to get rid of Corbyn every 5 minutes, that never saw a Neocon war they didn’t like, who want to bomb Syria and sort out Johnny Russian. Scumbags like Bradshaw, Benn, Gapes, Smee.

  6. More fascists at work? Isn’t a contract a contract anymore? The UK is following closely in the footsteps of the US in demonizing the alternate news media.

    • anti_republocrat says

      Color coming home when they can no longer market inferior but hugely expensive weapons to the rest of the world nor use their carriers to pummel the recalcitrant. Those weapons are now the only things the US manufactures and markets to the world. Other countries are now buying superior Russian technology. They know financial collapse is coming and are trying to tighten control of media in preparation for the coup that will be necessary to quell the mobs of protesters.

      • @anti_republicrat.
        Britain’s Mrs. May is according to MSM intending to buy the useless US F35 – the US pilots won’t fly it and it cannot therefore be used in war games or just warfare, so the barmy Brits are buying it. If May does go through with this deal her nose will be just a tad more than brown.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Buying the F35 ‘Flying Turkey’ is an act of obeisance to Thanatopolis DC. The billions handed over are Imperial Tribute, and moneys no longer available to be wasted on the serfs, in welfare, education, public housing etc. A pitilessly Evil system controlled by diabolical monsters.

        • FS says

          A brown nose for May and blue faces for any pilots unlucky enough to fly said plane.

    • Java Ape Timelord says

      I agree, however, in a breach of contract you have to take civil proceedings. In suing someone, you must have at least twice as much money as the person you are suing to have a chance to win. Councils are usually very rich. So it is a none starter which councils rely on.

  7. John Marks says

    Is there no university nor city council in the whole of the UK that would provide a venue for this event of clear public interest?

    • reinertorheit says

      aka “kiss goodbye to their public subsidy and funding for an event from which they’ll gain nothing”

      Such selfless philanthropy is confined to the works of Charles Dickens these days,

    • Fook ’em anyway. Other places will be found and sooner or later they’ll look like the hopelessly frightened wannabe “universities” they are. Forget bloody city councils, when have they ever not been strictly for the birds?

      • Tubularsock believes the term you are looking for is FUCK THEM. Often people get the two confused!

        Cheers!

  8. Media on Trial – banned by Trial by Media. Exactly what a media mogul or state run media would support.

    Apparently the D-notice applies to all free speech in the UK. But it does not reach as far as profiteering by ex-spooks utilising their expertise gained at the tax payers expense to enrich themselves through their own private enterprises.

  9. Kathy says

    SKYCLAD
    The Antibody Politic Lyrics

    ‘Free citizens of Planet Earth’;
    The leptons in some base equation.
    Bound by swaddling-chains from birth,
    unto travail and assentation.
    Given what they’re taught to crave;
    Denied the truths they sorely need.
    Shown a future new and brave;
    Frog-marched towards it at fool-speed.

    [Chorus:]
    If there’s anyone else out there,
    disillusioned just like me;
    It’s time we tried to turn the tide,
    with an overwhelming minority.
    The masses are numb, their ethics awry.
    Nothing’s as dumb as the Vox Populi.
    If there’s anyone else out there,
    aiming sawn-off philosophy;
    Let’s all unite and make things right,
    with an overwhelming minority.

    No seed of hope nor ray of light.
    Scant succour from the blighted epoch.
    Rise like Socrates and fight;
    Take hate’s chalice laced with hemlock.

    Mankind’s retrograde ascent;
    We’ve wagered all for unseen winnings.
    Evolution’s youth misspent,
    it’s time to forge bold new-beginnings.

  10. Mike Barson says

    Sent a letter to Leeds council today concerning this worrying development city.museum@leeds.gov.uk

    Dear Sir or Madam

    I am writing to you to express my concern at the cancellation of the Media on Trial event.

    The last time I checked we were supposedly living in a democracy of which open discussion and freedom of expression (including varying viewpoints and the ability to question different perspectives) was not just allowed but was actually considered important, if not vital, something surely to be encouraged?

    Are we the British people not proud of and do we not cherish and protect such freedoms considered essential in a properly functioning democractic country.

    We are not living in the Soviet Union or the Peoples Republic of China as far as I know,

    With these points in mind could you please explain why and for whose benefit you have cancelled this event of respected speakers?

      • mohandeer, I intend to send a letter to Leeds Council along the same lines. I think the more independent letters they receive, not all worded the same, the better. On the whole, petitions tend not to be taken seriously and just put to one side simply because the assumption is that people have either been coerced into signing or don’t feel strongly enough about a subject to write comments in their own name. I don’t suppose Leeds Council will change their minds but at least it would make them aware that there is plenty of opposition to their actions and with good reason.

    • JackLance says

      I doubt if Leeds Council gives 2 shakes about your opinion or that of the bloggers who are putting “Media on Trial” your comparison to Soviet Union or People’s Republic of China is laughable if not moot.
      A government financed building should not allow a controversial group to have a forum for slandering and bashing media outlets that are not there to openly transparent debate forum. Cloak and dagger is not helping the Syrian people but rather facing an issue head on, why is it we never see these bloggers accept an invitation for a debate or to be interviewed by papers they have labeled “terrorist supporters” and “Presstitutes”

      • Vanessa Beeley has offered to debate with George Monbiot and Olivia Solon and others numerous times. And it was the Guardian who denied Vanessa a platform to reply to Solon’s hit piece on her. So I think you have that the wrong way round.

        There is, of course, nothing to prevent any member of the MSM attending Media on Trial and putting their POV there.

        In our experience also it’s the MSM journos who tend to shrink from debating us. Certainly not the other way round. They tend to respond with ad hom and then silence.

        • Google Talpiot Program says

          Why did you remove my comment on another post if you are so interested in open debate?

      • But the point is that it isn’t actually necessary for ‘bloggers’ to be interviewed to give the alternative viewpoint. There is plenty of material already ‘out there’ if the msm chose to look for it and report on it …Robert Fisk’s recent findings? John Pilger’s well-documented views? But the views and findings of these respected ( truly investigative) journalists and other eminent people (e.g. Peter Ford, Craig Murray, Baroness Cox and numerous academics) never get a mention in the msm {except from certain newspapers who actively operate a smear campaign against some of these people, not because of WHAT they say but simply because it contradicts the ‘official’ narrative). I wonder why.
        With regard to your first sentence, I’m afraid that it just exemplifies the Establishment’s complete contempt for alternative views. Unfortunately it’s not just Leeds Council that doesn’t ‘give two shakes’…it’s the UK Government. But not only do they hold such views in contempt they are actually trying to silence those views to the point of operating a McCarthyist agenda whereby anyone holding such opinions is completely vilified and regarded as a traitor to the cause. So much for democracy. Comparison to the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China – is this really so laughable?

      • Java Ape Timelord says

        You are right Jack, “.. your comparison to Soviet Union or People’s Republic of China is laughable if not moot.”

        The UK ‘free speech’ is most definitely laughable and has become worse than the rights in the yesterday Soviet Union or todays People’s Republic of China.

        • Google Talpiot Program says

          Bwahaha what that is complete garbage and you know it

          • FYI – since you were enquiring why a previous comment of yours was taken down – This is the type of fact-free, troll-like and intentionally abusive/disruptive comment that we DO tend to remove if the author does it persistently.

        • Google Talpiot Program says

          You realise you would be blocked from viewing this website in China?

          That there is significantly more restriction of free speech and political protest?

          Hyperbole doesn’t help our cause. It’s important to be absolutely truthful.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        What a pluperfect Fraudian fascist you are. I rather suspect you might be Harding, or Freedland, not Cohen, on reflection.

  11. Simon says

    Try again.

    Can off-guardian incorporate the off-independent on the site, as its getting worse and worse there. The following was a comment from one BattyBecky I copied from an article on Salisbury, most wrongThink, the vast majority, are now all “awaiting moderation”

    OK here’s the plot or 6th form Panto as I prefer to call it, up to date. 2015 former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s private company ‘Orbis’ is employed by the US republican party to dig the dirt on Trump. Steele employs former MI6 agent Pablo Miller and former MI6 Russian Spy Sergie Skripal. They start digging the dirt and putting together the ‘Golden Shower Dossier’. Trump then wins the nomination so Hilary Clinton employs Steele Miller and Skripal in the same capacity. But Trump wins the election! 3 days after Trump’s inauguration the head of the UK governments GCCHQ spy centre Robert Hannigan resigns giving a full 6 hours notice, yes that is SIX HOURS, he’s gone! (we know that for a former MI5/MI6 agent to set up shop in a private capacity they will always check each job is acceptable to the British state so MI6 and GCHQ would have been notified about the Golden Shower Dossier and must have given their approval). 11 months later and a new head of the UK governments top chemical, biological and nuclear research centre at Porton Down takes over, former mobile phone salesman Gary Aitkenhead. 9 weeks after his arrival the UK holds its largest ever chemical warfare exercises which run from 12th February to 4th March. Skripals poisoned on 4th March. So we’re first told that Yulia had smuggled the novichok into the UK and there was a trail, then we were told it was a powder and was in the Skripal car ventilation system, then we were told it was liquid form and on the door handle. So lets go with the governments 3rd option the door handle. They both close the door together and are infected. They don’t have breathing problems by the time they reach the car (which is the symptoms of novichok), they instead drive into the centre of town, go for a wander, then for a few drinks in a pub, then to a restaurant for a meal, where they meet up with Pablo Miller, then they are seen walking through the shopping mall on the CCTV. Then 68 meters later they are found on the park bench. DS Bailey assists them yet is overcome himself and collapses and is taken into hospital with the Skripals. A passing doctor who stopped and administered first aid was not contaminated. By the evening of the 4th all three are in coma’s in the ITU. Yet DS Bailey manages in his comatosed state to be one of the first police to enter the Skripal house (this was put out in order to shore up the 3rd version of poisoning, the door handle. On 5th March the UK government slap a D-Notice on the UK press blocking them from outing the name of Skripal’s handler Pablo Miller, that is their first act after the poisoning, this has been leaked by Alex Thomson of Channel 4 news. DS Bailey makes an miraculous recovery and leaves hospital by a back entrance and a statement is read out on his behalf, he is never seen or heard of again. Yulia makes a miraculous recovery, phones her cousin in Russia and says she will be discharging herself soon and coming back, and Dad’s fine he’s just sleeping, but she too leaves the hospital by a back entrance and has a statement read out on her behalf, never to be seen or heard of again. Sergei is still in the hospital unless he too has left by a back entrance. The death toll is two guinea pigs and a cat. 150 Russian Embassy staff expelled throughout the world, Russia accused of using chemical weapons on European soil first time since WWI, Russia vilified prior to hosting the football World Cup. And not one sliver of evidence to suggest Russia was behind this. [please copy this and re-post as the government trolls will flag it].

    • Big B says

      Simon: feel free to pass on to BattyBecky, referring her to some of the last Tweets Julian Assange put out before he was silenced. (March 22nd: https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/976943590751555585). They relate to Joseph Mifsud. Read in conjunction with Elizabeth Vos’ Disobedient Media article – http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49138.htm – for background.

      The gist is that Steele created the Trump dossier, then backchanneled it into the DOJ, FBI, etc via Sir Andrew Wood. Clinton aides Sid Blumenthal and Cody Shearer amplified the allegations. Steele set up a ‘collaboration loop’ by briefing journalists, to make it look as though the dossier was independently verified. This was the main pillar of the Trump collusion scandal and Mueller farrago.

      The second pillar of the Trump collusion mirage was the Trump Tower Meeting. Vos details that this meeting was set up with people with connections to London, not Moscow. It also links in another likely candidate or Person of Interest …William Browder.

      William Browder is the billionaire activist behind the faux human rights Magnitsky Act Russian sanctions agenda. The 2012 Magnitsky Act was seen by many as the opening salvo of the new Cold War. It was also the real reason for the Trump Tower meeting.

      As soon as the Skripal poisoning was announced in the Commons, the first response was from Emily Thornberry asking for another Magnitsky ammendment. Shortly after, Yvette Cooper asked for the re-investigation of the 14 other suspicious deaths of Russians (as detailed in the BuzzFeed “From Russia with Blood” online dossier …a further confection of Browder’s allegations …with a chapter by Steele).

      At the same time, In another part of the Parliament building; William Browder was giving testimony to the cross party Fake News inquiry. He later emerged, in time for the Six O’clock news, to insinuate that the first line of inquiry should be assassination.

      What are the chances that the two main pillars of the Trump collusion fabrication, and the third pillar of Russophobia, the Magnitsky agenda, all have MI6 fingerprints all over them (Gilbert Doctorow has fingered Browder as “Agent Solomon”)? Then Skripal, who is undoubtedly one of Steele/Orbis unpaid network of “collectors” (Steele’s term), if not a co-author, is ‘poisoned’ in Salisbury?

      Add to that, one of France’s former top cops, Paul Barrril, has alleged that Litvinenko was working for Berezovsky and MI6. When he crossed his employers, he was killed by Mario Scaramella. Berezovsky was later suicided himself (or he let himself down after he committed suicide).

      When the whole thing blew up: Steele, Mifsud and Miller went to ground and DA notices were slapped on Miller and Steele. Nuffin’ to see ‘ere, guv? Move along, move along…

      A bit of background research can link in a cast of ex-MI6 operatives, including two former heads – Richard Dearlove and John Scarlett …who have made a career of handling dodgy dossiers (Iraq WMDs). Whilst ther will be no hard evidence in the public domain: my research and web of suspicion makes the MI6 ‘Old Boy’ network look like prime candidates. Robert Hannigan flew to Washington in the summer of 2016 to brief CIA Director Brennan on Trump’s Moscow connection. This almost certainly came from Steele who was investigating FIFA, but found dirt on Trump at the same time. Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m just makin’ shit up now. So Hannigan started the ball rolling so to speak, then dropped out to join his buddies a few months before Skripalgate. I’m going to stop now because I’m sounding a bit tinfoil. The links are real, the danger is to read too much into them.

    • Jim Scott says

      Wow what a wonderful summing up of the Skripal saga. Not only is it the funniest piece of writing I have read for a long time but it appears to be a totally accurate description. It is a much more Divine Comedy than Dante’s although there lurks within the sinister centre of all this theatre of the absurd a growing fear that it’s architects are barking mad and are running our countries.
      I suspect that British security, or more accurately, insecurity is being steered by Major Bloodnock using old Goon scripts as inspiration.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        I would have put my money on Mad Dan Eccles being in charge.

  12. I asked the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax whether it would be worth applying. They politely declined.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Support for the Palestinians will be criminalised, as ‘antisemitism’. NOTHING is more certain.

      • Java Ape Timelord says

        But the Palestinians are Semites! On the other hand the inhabitants in Israel are less likely to be Semites.

  13. Why does the event have to be at a physical venue? A platform like “Go to Meeting” could host the event online and people could be charged to participate.

  14. rtj1211 says

    You have not thought about asking BBC Yorkshire to host the event then?

    http://www.bigvenuebook.com lists lots of venues, mostly hotels. Depends on size ofaudience required what would suit.

  15. FS says

    UK number 40 on press freedom scale.
    Why as high as number 40?

    Who’s worse? Who could possibly be worse?

    • reinertorheit says

      Ask yourself who compiles the press freedom scale?

      • Java Ape Timelord says

        All of these lists are produced by people with an agenda.
        Best school, best university etc.

        E.g. Some time ago my friend was looking for a school for his daughters. He used the best guide and enrolled his daughters at the best school. The school as it turns out was not so great so he told me.

        • reinertorheit says

          Yes, those “best university listings” are notoriously out of balance. Moving a bunch of military-industrial research under the nominal umbrella of a ‘university’ doesn’t mean that students who study there see any benefit whatsoever from the enormous research budgets which are ‘laundered’ through a supposedly ‘educational’ institution as a tax-avoidance exercise.

      • I don’t need your advice thanks, ReineFRECHEIT, coz’ you BELIEVE IN

        C E S N S O R S H I P !!

        And lil’ ole I, (having done PROFESSIONAL Media Analysis & Research for 40 years & also for the CEO of the biggest individual corporate paymaster in the world as well, directly overnight), think that any of your suggestions therefore, are ridiculously & childishly ill considered and you should first define for me in law, the word

        F R E E D O M . !

        Do let me know when you are up to speed .. until then, shall I quote your first contribution to Balkydj’s SIN BIN or not ?? Hmmmm I wonder ..

        P.s. BEFORE i reponded to you the other day, I commented about the Corbyn article with Link to the Indy, and comment from Mugla Mumblebrain .. & you clearly were so distracted interested ONLY in making yourSELF sound all wise on everything, as usual, that you did not even see the real time reality of your MISTAKE and the fact that you were WRONG again on something you else said .. just saying ! 😉

  16. Dave Massingham says

    Well, well, well!!
    The establishment really is getting jittery.
    It’s a bit like military-run Thailand- Absolutely no dissent allowed.

    BTW, what happened to the Skripals?

  17. A. W. Rhod says

    I reckon the Quakers would be worth a try, I believe they are amenable to to meetings that are (wrongly) considered radical or dissenting.
    Very angry to hear about this nevertheless.
    In afterthought, somebody above in the comments said something about Glastonbury, I really think there should be a George Orwell Stage!

  18. PeaceCora says

    In the current climate this is shocking, in its inability to be surprising.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Welcome to the ‘Free World’ where ‘ Our Moral Values’ reign.

  19. Baron says

    That’s how much they fear the truth, because this is what the cancelling of the event says, unambiguously and clearly.

    Good luck with the alternative venue.

  20. Salford Lad says

    LEEDS University has a large Auditorium and the students would welcome its use to promote Press Freedom.

    • Jonny says

      Also sounds like an ideal opportunity for the seemingly establishment backed anti fa movement to turn up and disrupt. They appear to like universities.

  21. Brendan Holland says

    email sent by me today to Leeds Museum
    city.museum@leeds.gov.uk

    Today, on World Press Freedom Day, Leeds City Museum, a city council owned and operated venue, cancelled the Media on Trial’s booking for the event we had planned for 27 May.
    https://off-guardian.org/2018/05/04/media-on-trial-event-banned/

    Journalists in the UK are less free to hold power to account than those working in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to an index of press freedom around the world.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/26/uk-world-press-freedom-index-reporters-without-borders

    Happy now!

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      ‘Reporters Without Borders’ is a CIA front, originally set up to create black propaganda against Cuba.

      • George Lane says

        RWB tried to get Vanessa Beely off a panel for spreading crazy conspiracy theories and Ruskie propaganda when she was speaking at an event sometime last year, that’s what tipped me off. I didn’t know about its origins and its purpose with regards to Cuba, thanks for that.

    • John Marks says

      I also got a reply from the museum today saying:

      ” Good morning and thank you for your email.

      As you are aware, Leeds City Museum recently received a request to host a panel discussion on May 27.

      Since receiving that request, and before a booking was completed, we have been made aware of further details regarding some of the content, discussion topics and additional security requirements which would be part of the event.

      Whilst the council and museums service are always in favour of promoting free speech and debate, we always have to balance the suitability of any events with the needs of the general public who may also wish to attend the museum.

      Our booking policy also clearly states that events are subject to cancellation. In line with that policy, we have decided that the child friendly museum is not an appropriate venue for this event.

      We contacted the event organisers at the earliest opportunity to inform them that that their booking has been cancelled and we do always advise event organisers to avoid publishing their events until a formal booking has been completed.

      Please see our website for any further feedback or complaints: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/consultations-and-feedback/let-us-know

      Many thanks and apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

      Regards

      Leeds City Museum ”

      So it seems the debate may be “unfriendly to children”?
      More frightening than Tyrannosaurus rex?

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole