latest, media watch, Russia, Skripal case
Comments 35

In the land of fake news is the spin master king?

One MI6 shill selling the work of another just sums up the level of factual journalism at the Guardian.

Tutisicecream

Not only was Pippa Crerar one of the Guardian’s deputy editors called out for her pious tweet from the Labour conference writing:

“Corbyn criticises some parts of British media, claiming they “smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”. As a journalist, makes me very uncomfortable to hear him leading attack on our free press. Dangerous, Trumpian territory.”

The comment got her loads of flack from the general twittering public for her attempted smear, but then today we get another implausible piece of spin from Luke Harding. The hubris at the Guardian is palpable.

The reason I am writing connecting these two points is to demonstrate just how bad the standards of journalism at that once esteemed organ have become. Okay you’re right the Guardian was perhaps never esteemed, but it was shall we say a contrarian platform to some extent, where various independent voices would and could express themselves. Not anymore.

What we have, at the heart of these two examples in journalism at its most contrived, is both authors are trying to create agenda driven stories. In the belief that the public views them as somehow true and they are the sole purveyors of truth. Crerar like Harding appears come from the school of journalism where they actually believe what they write is factual because, well because – they said it. Why should anyone else be so stupid or even dare to not agree with them? They also are renowned for their hapless arrogance which exaggerates their own true stupidity.

So to get down to the Harding piece, as you will see even by his standards it’s pretty poor and seems to serve as a vehicle for repeating the regular Skripal memes dished out ad-nauseam at the same time as cementing a few new perception managed bits. Perception managed ideas like Sergey Skripal has actually spoken out and being a true patriot didn’t believe the Russian Government had tried to kill him! The author of the book if you haven’t guessed already is Harding’s brother in arms at the BBC Mark Urban. No he’s no “Urban Warrior” but a shill of MI6 too who is using this publication to get out an “authorised” story about Skripal as if posthumously. A story which on the face of it is blatantly not true he hasn’t spoken out has he.

Imaginatively entitled “The Skripal Files” it clearly is an attempt at spinning tale into money; both at the same time – a marketing strategy which has worked lucratively for Harding. Take a largely invented narrative which has been in the headlines for months write some drivel about it, making out you’re some kind of expert with insider connections and wham, your trousers are bulging all the way to the bank!

Of course this is a money making scam which has been adopted by many an old would be spook to bolster their incomes, the most recent being Christopher Steele who blatantly has been selling his state intelligence connections to run his private company Orbis. As we know Steele had a contract with the DNC and it was Steele who produced the salacious dossier on Trump’s alleged activities and connections in Russia. It is understood that Orbis received some $160,000 for these services. Interestingly Harding alludes to Steele in his article as Skripal’s Moscow based handler who cannot be named:

In summer 1996, an unnamed MI6 intelligence officer recruited him.”

As he also mentions we can assume, Pablo Miller as his wife Lyudmila’s contact in Spain:

His wife, Lyudmila, travelled to Spain and delivered the book to Skripal’s MI6 case officer. The officer gave Skripal a gift – a model English cottage – which later sat on the shelf of his Salisbury home. Skripal was betrayed by a mole inside Spanish intelligence, Urban writes, and arrested in 2004.”

Probably not the same house he was provided with eventually in Salisbury we can assume. But a little touch to tell us Urban had been there. Perhaps he too could be considered a suspect?

We are told the book says, as if it were a fact that:

When Skripal woke five weeks later from a coma, he faced some “difficult psychological adjustments” – not least the fact that he was at first reluctant to recognise he had been the target of a Kremlin “murder plot”.

Quite how Urban or Harding can determine this is not clear as no one is known to have spoken to nor seen Sergey Skripal since his disappearance on March 4 2018. As you will find if following the link provided by Harding it merely leads to a report which appeared in the Guardian itself regarding the Skripals’ discharge from Salisbury hospital. This is a typical device used by Harding to amplify a supposition, an idea, as if it were a fact when the report mentions nothing of the sort. What the report entitled “Sergei Skripal discharged from Salisbury hospital” does say as its sub-heading is:

Russia demands access to poisoned former spy and daughter to ensure they do not want help”

So nowhere in the report does it mention anything about Sergey Skripal’s difficult psychological adjustments. It does say owever:

Yakovenko [Russian UK ambassador] said nobody actually knew if the pair were alive and suggested that, if they were, they may have already left the country. Scotland Yard made clear that no details of the security arrangements for the pair would be given.”

Now we can assume from this statement both Sergey and Yulia Skripal might be under severe psychological pressure if they have been kidnapped by the British state. But we simply don’t know and neither does Harding nor is he interested in this. What he is interested in is creating along with Urban a narrative where the casual reader will believe, as a fact, that someone has been privy to the views of Sergey Skripal. Instead what is happening is a storyline being created with no corroborative evidence. No old evidence is being produced and nothing new either.

That Sergei Skripal was initially reluctant to believe the Russian government had tried to kill him, according to Urban’s new book, and that’s a fact? We are expected to take Harding reporting Urban’s word for it, really are we expected to be so dumb? The search for the truth, it appears, is as deceptive as ever at the Guardian.

How this works. One MI6 shill promotes the book of another MI6 shill claiming he has new revelations about the Skripal case when he clearly does not. Harding writes:

Skripal struggled to come to terms with his situation following the novichok attack on him and his daughter, Yulia, the author and BBC journalist Mark Urban writes.”

Urban writes in the past tense as if he has spoken to Sergey Skripal, but if there is no evidence to back such a comment up it is merely a conjecture. If you follow Harding’s link to Urban’s twitter page hoping to find some confirmation of this bold statement [which is not a fact] you will find the usual circular echo chamber of comments about Skripal, the Russian tourists to Salisbury Boshirov and Petrov and the Bellingcat screed about Boshirov being Chepiga etc. Nothing related to the claimed revelations about Sergey Skripal. No confirming facts.

Quite how Urban is allowed to peddle such dross while being paid for by state broadcaster the BBC is not hard to see, clearly it indicates its role in enabling such fake journalism along with the Guardian.

So it appears that the Guardian would wish its readers to believe what they are told. And that is exactly it! If you dare to question these types of journalists like Urban, Harding and Crerar you will be most probably attacked for the temerity of challenging their privileged right to tell you what they’re paid to tell you without compunction. This is not how a “free press” should be. It is a state of affairs where media is speaking so called truth from the panopticon of power.


35 Comments

  1. Eh, the land of genocidal pigs became the land of fake news. Now folks – that is the progress. We, the rest of the world and NOT part of your “international community” made of five, are waiting for you turning on each other. It will be good show to watch

  2. One way messages says

    Which is more accurate?
    The Guardian’s Propaganda represents the UK government’s agenda or the agenda of secret services??

    My guess, secret services (GCHQ + FIVE EYES + The Israelis) are the ones in the driver seat. Probably government officials have been reduced to puppets pretending to be serving the populace.

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    • Are humans puppets or free? The curious thing as I see it is that the attempt to ‘cut our strings’ delivers us to tyranny while extending the line of our true creation shares freedom.
      Does anyone see the behaviour of our politicians or Media as an expression of freedom?
      Because tyranny masks itself as the protector from evils, it garners support.
      If it forces support by delivering evils to non compliance, then its mask is off, but compliance is often given in form if not in spirit.

      Mere forms do not make life living.

  3. John says

    If anyone is feels my down please do look at the Pippa tweet above it’s a joy to see almost everyone has told her to go and get fucked essentially

  4. A thoughtful survey of historical background to St.Theresa of Westminster and her miraculous works ad majorem gloriam Rothschildiensis.

    anti_republocrat in today’s SyrPer:

    “…the real Empire, in operation since 1649. The nominal Anglo Empire, actually controlled by a “power elite” of financial interests like the Rothschilds, operated through Britain until the 20th Century. They lost partial control of the US in 1783, but fought hard (financially) to re-establish control of the US. After 130 years, they finally regained a foothold with the Federal Reserve and consolidated that control during the next 50 years, finally gaining absolute control by 1963. Meanwhile, the power of Britain as the bully boy under their control had been dissipated through their endless series of wars. The US, under tighter and tighter control through the first half of the 20th Century, became the co-bully boy with Britain during WW II, and replaced it entirely in 1956. However, the power elite still financially controls both the British Commonwealth and the US, and they sometimes indirectly influence US policy through British puppets like Theresa May (White Helmets, Skripals, the Steele dossier etc.)

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  5. Gary Weglarz says

    Thanks Luke for another exciting foray into your speciality of “Alice in Wonderland” journalism. So Sergei Skripnal “didn’t believe Russia had tried to kill him” at first? Interesting. Neither do I. Neither does anyone with an ounce of common sense and preference for evidence. So Luke, what exactly did it take to “convince Sergei” of this Russian plot? A little water-boarding? A few finger nails removed? Or as in your case, did the “truth” finally manifest itself to him through the simple provision of some cold hard cash?

    In my younger days I used to wonder how power systems like the Holy Inquisition or the Nazi death camps could find enough eager minions willing to do all the barbaric psychopathic dirty work for the elite psychopaths pulling the strings. I’ve long since ceased wondering about this little detail. The answer can be found everyday by simply perusing the Western corporate news media.

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    • DunGroanin says

      It does explain why all the made up tosh in the lMSM – the ‘second’ poisonongs and death, the suspects, Tess in parliament, the Dutch hackers, the privvy council briefing ‘convincing’ Corbyn of the Russian guilt (the same method used by Blair to get approval for Iraq).

      ALL of it designed to CONVINCE the Skripals – not the public.

      They need to produce the pair to publiclly state it WAS Russia and it is taking time to convince them!

      QED

      • “No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.”
        ~ Alan Bullock, in Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives

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        • deceptive freedom says

          “to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance”

          This is a frighteningly accurate description of the situation in Australia. It is bewildering to observe a large swath of the population uttering the same noises, same vocabulary and opinions, covering a limited range of topics.

          Yes, a different perspective creates a jarring dissonance. It is like living in a vacuum. A vacuum of lies and deception

          • The asserting of twisted or made up narrative is an expression of power, by nature of the alignment to it or under it – or indeed set against it.
            There are similarities in political narrative control and the mind’s own tricks – which of course have more under the table than above it.
            Denial operates as the ability to think and see something ELSE than ‘what is’ as it is.
            I could just as well have said ‘mind’ operates… but mind does not HAVE to serve that function.
            But that is up to you.
            Meanwhile… acquired and inherited habit-conditioning runs as default.

            Yes it is unsettling to find the ‘world’ is following or demanding/expecting something that is not true of you. What will you do? Learn to ‘think and see’ so as to blend in and ‘belong’? Or be curious as to what is true?

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      • DunGroanin: “the privvy council briefing ‘convincing’ Corbyn of the Russian guilt ”

        Royal Prerogative, same as George V 1914 to PM: “Grey, Rothschild says you’ve got to get Britain into this war and Mesopotamia”.

  6. MichaelK says

    We seem to be rapidly moving into an era where ‘credible allegations’ by themselves are enough to secure a ‘conviction’ and serious consequences for the accused; and the accused can be a group, an individual, or even a country like Russia. The necessity of a trial, where the facts and opposing views are aired, examined, weighed, tried… just isn’t needed anymore. What I believe is what I know and what I know is true! This is, unfortunately, a profound cultural shift and appears to function on many different levels. Small and absurd and great and incredibly dangerous.

    The Russians are being denounced as evil and brutal and they are attacking us, even killing people on our streets. Putin is equal to Satan and he has an army of devils doing his bidding across the world, undermining our faith in our way of life, politics and ideals. The public are being groomed for conflict with Russia. The entire Skripal Affair is a rather clever and cynical way of showing that the attacks are real and not just confined to the mysteries of the Internet and ideas and fake news spread by Putin’s army of ghastly trolls.

    What’s frightening is how so much of what passes for public debate in the UK is, today, soaked in quasi-religious imagery and mythology dug up from the witch-trials, religious zealots and deep and unhealthy paranoia.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Western states, led by the USA and Israel, are true kakistocracies, ie they are ruled by the worst, the genocidists, the parasites, the hate-crazed and the psychopaths. Faced by their eclipse, principally by China, but also frustrated by Russia, which refuses to obey orders and allow itself to be vivisected, these psychopaths have gone raving mad. I seriously doubt that we will survive the next few years, what with two prime US psychopaths, the Ambassador to NATO, and Zinke, threatening direct military attacks on Russia just this week.

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      • Gezzah Potts says

        Bang on the money Mulga, and it scares the crap out of me where this is all heading. Even today, yet again on bloody ABC, more hysterical denunciations of Russia. I note also that ABC no longer post the Russiagate – Skripal garbage on their Facebook page anymore. It only appears on their ‘news’ service. Wonder why? Perhaps that know they’ll be deluged with derisory, angry comments about them being Presstitutes, and being purveyors of Fake News. Psychopaths indeed. Do they even know what they’re doing?

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        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          I do admire the gargantuan hypocrisy of the presstitute scum,who, after Saddam’s WMDs and scores of other outright untruths, still peddle Imperial lies without question. And who imply that ONLY Russia has spy agencies, or only Russia uses cyber intrusions to gather information or plant disinformation, even after Snowden’s revelations (now well down the Memory Hole) that the USA is by far the greatest practitioner of cyber attacks on the planet. Let’s face it-the Liar is King in the West these days, attended by Hypocrites and Arse-lickers and Hate and Fear-Mongers, collectively known as ‘the Free Press’ and ‘liberal democracy’. Evil is in charge everywhere in the West, from top to bottom, and surely seems Hell-bent on taking us all out, simply because they refuse to exist in a world where the God-ordained glory of the USA and Israel is denied by anybody, anywhere, at any time.

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  7. MichaelK says

    I should of course have mentioned another important example. The decision to strangle the CiF platform. It’s been radically curtailed over the last few years and fewer and fewer articles allow comments. I suppose they blame that on the Russians too? Gosh, where would we be without the Russians? They seem to justify a tidal wave of oppression. ‘We’re protecting you from the Russian menace and their disturbing ideas!’ When really they are protecting the State, which they increasingly and uncritically identify with the nation, except the opposition who are in league with the Russians. It’s like we’ve returned to the dark days of the old Cold War where paranoia reigned supreme. Are you with us, or the Reds? And we are expected to simply bow our heads and nod agreement, our consent based on us accepting the wildest allegations without asking any questions, everything based on faith; faith that Luke Harding and Mark Urban are guardians of the Truth and not a couple of loonies.

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  8. Urban and Harding sources, CIA, MI6, each other, the tiny voices they hear whispered in their ear or already their bouncing around in that vacuous space sitting on their shoulders is highly unreliable, but to many is very entertaining. And entertaining sells newspapers and the government lie.

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  9. MichaelK says

    The decline of the Guardian is sad. Once upon a time, really a few decades ago, it did represent, something like an oasis amid the ghastly conformist desert that was the rest of the British press. Radical and oppositional, critical voices were allowed a platform to express themselves and criticise the government, the West and the United States. Not that the Guardian was ‘socialist’, but it did allow people with a socialist agenda a platform, a space to disagree and analyse; not anymore. There’s been a clampdown. It began with the security services visiting the Guardian’s offices and forcing them to ritually smash the computer hard-drives that held the Snowden revelations. They also hinted at what the alternatives might be, though only as a form of ‘humour.’ Then Rusbridger left and Viner took over and things have rapidly gotten much, much, worse; the lurch to the right, so the Guardian on ‘defence’ and national security is in line with the Daily Mail and the rest of the media. Luke Harding’s status has grown to the extent that he’s ‘untouchable’ similar to Jonathan Freedland. Help!

    The decline of the Guardian reflects the decline of the liberal/left as a whole. Tightening times and school fees have imposed a ‘sense of realism’ on vast swathes of people, economic discipline that’s similar to a kind of slavery. Slaves who are lucky to work in the big, white, mansion and not out sweating in the fields, but, none-the-less… slaves.

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    • Frankly Speaking says

      That’s why i call it The Guardian Of The Establishment.

  10. Sergei Skripal’s 1st public statement since the March 4 event – in response to Vladimir Putin’s calling him a traitor of Russia – was absolutely amazing!

    Wait a minute … Please accept our sincerest apology. That was from an unpleasant dream, not unpleasant reality.

  11. You are focussing – like Media Lens – on poor journalism, when I see rather a desperate attempt to drive or dictate narrative by power that others are aligned under or afraid of.

    If you had a gun to your head – or to your beloved’s – and you had to fake-dance for a tyrant. How would you ‘message’ or leak the invalidity without drawing calamity down upon your life?

    I am not suggesting this is the only facet in why people behave as they do – but self interest is not really a matter of conforming to any one else’s ‘moral’ high ground when they are not in your shoes.

    People – all of us – have to live with the consequence of our thoughts, beliefs and actions. But I only have to live with mine. I cannot answer for you or those who would seem to sell out on themselves and their own to stay afloat.

    I quite agree that The Guardian is a travesty of anything except a disinformation campaign, yet I met someone in my family the other day who thinks it the only or best source of true news amidst a sea of lies. That is part of how the illusion works; by having different contrasting facets all of which are false.

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    • vexarb says

      @binra: “all of which are false”. Not all assertions are false, though verification may be difficult. The world is not an illusion, though many may have illusions. Objective reality is “truthifiable”, though some truths are stranger than we can imagine. That is the difference between Science and Buddhism.

  12. bevin says

    There is a very interesting article in the Canary today written by a young American friend of The Guardian’s freelancer in Nicaragua.
    https://www.thecanary.co/exclusive/2018/10/04/longtime-friend-of-deported-guardian-

    This is a new world in which the intelligence agencies have enormous budgets and, in an era of highly priced ‘education’, all sorts of scholarships and grants are in the gift of irresponsible, partisan organisations and individuals.
    At the same time the traditional business models in the media no longer work: there is no money to be made out of honest journalism. With luck and the ability to enrol public support it is possible to survive but there is nothing available for the expensive investigative projects necessary to get to the bottom of increasingly sophisticated state skulduggery.
    Perhaps most alarmingly the public seems to accept the state’s argument that lies and distortions are ‘necessary’ in the information wars it engages in. The dead truth lies unmourned by the plain people who need it most.
    Finally there is the almost inexplicable failure of the socialist opposition to set up its own media, allowing it the freedom which would distinguish it as honest in a landscape dominated by propagandists of the crudest sort. Were it to do so not only would it attract the finest and most honest writers but it would become essential reading for all serious people regardless of their political proclivities (there was a time when the Daily Herald’s literary editor was Siegfried Sassoon and George Orwell was the lead reviewer for Tribune.)
    The reason for this, of course, is only too obvious; the Labour Party will not set up or encourage an independent newspaper to tell the truth because it has little peccadillos of its own to hide: the continued protection of right wing MPs from the membership, the appalling lack of democracy and accountability in the Trade Unions, the elemental fear within the party, which goes back more than a century, of the membership and the egalitarianism which is the soul of socialism and the enemy of privilege. For the Labour Party as many a bruised delegate now reflects to her cost is run by highly privileged individuals who blanche at the idea of equality no less than His Grace of Omnium does. Perhaps, even, a little more.

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    • BigB says

      Did you miss JC’s ‘Alternative MacTaggart Lecture’ 2018? A Curates Egg of seemingly decent proposals on press freedom, mixed in with a few dodgy ones. Which, if you are skeptical of Labour’s universalist pretence, like me, might raise alarm bells.

      One would be Tom Watson overseeing ‘Leveson 2’. I did post the Series link to UK Column’s expose of Leveson 1 (if not, all the articles are still up on the Column’s site). To recap, this was David Bell’s Common Purpose attempt to curb the last vestiges of press freedom remaining, turning them into the Fourth Estate of Power. Judging from the interim period, a wholly successful attempt: to be completed by Tom Watson? He, who most recently left a conference hall awash with the black, white, green and red of the Palestinian solidarity flags, to join Joan Ryan, and share the stage with Mark Regev – who he warmly welcomed. Also on stage was Labor MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin: who pulled out the blue and white Star of David (and embraced Thornberry later at the reception). Kinda makes a mess of there faux-solidarity stance: especially when he broadcasts how proud it made him feel.

      https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/tom-watson-proud-of-attending-lfi-reception-at-labour-conference/

      With a turncoat hypocrite like this in charge of press freedom, what could possibly go wrong?

      Another would be the championing of an independent press, such as the Bureau of Investigative Journalists …funded inter alia by the Guardian and the Open Society Foundation.

      Meet the new press, same as the old press …only ideologically fully aligned to bourgeois socialism? The lapdog media we want to control?

      https://labour.org.uk/press/empower-create-consume-media-want-control-jeremy-corbyn

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  13. The G has become like the “bullshitter” – who tells a mixture of truth and lies and something in between, so you have no idea where the truth lies.
    In fact, Urban and Harding’s speculations on how Skripal might have felt on reawakening could well be true, if we believe that Skripal had no idea what was about to happen to him and Yulia. He could NEVER have guessed that Moscow would try to poison him with “Novichok” or anything else for that matter, because he would have no idea why. So he would surely be reluctant to believe the lies that were told to him. On the other hand, we might imagine it possible that Skripal knew he was going to be incapacitated, and was perhaps being blackmailed to go through with this with his daughter – who cannot have been allowed to know about the plot. If that were the case, then Skripal would not have been surprised at all to be told what he already knew was the story.
    There’s a problem though – because Urban and Harding aren’t supposed to know either that a) Russia didn’t have anything to do with the attack, or b) that Skripal was hit with incapacitant and was an (un)willing participant.
    So they are just story tellers, or CIA agents, or both.

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    • John A says

      “if we believe that Skripal had no idea what was about to happen to him and Yulia.”
      It is hard to believe the door knob story for well-rehearsed reasons. Both falling ill simultaneously, it taking so long to take effect, actually smearing the door know in broad daylight on a sunday – the day more neighbours would be at home etc. etc. Ditto spiking the food in Zizzi or the pub. The most likely point of contact was somewhere near or at the park bench where they were found collapsed, in which case, Pa and daughter would remember someone coming up to them and spraying something in their face. If either were to tell the police that, the whole story would again go out of the window, as the 2 Russian ‘tourists’ were already on the train back to London and the door knob fantasy would be shown to be ridiculous. As PC Bailey was probably tailing them, he would also have witnessed this. Indeed, he could well become a prime suspect as he got blowback while spraying. None of the trio has been seen since. If pa and daughter know it was Bailey, all the more reason to keep them prisoner forever.

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    • Rhisiart Gwilym says

      Story-tellers, David? It demeans that noble, ancient and essential art to contaminate it with lying shills like Urban and Harding. Mediawhores – whilst impolite and impolitic – is at least an accurate description; as is: spooks’ bitches. Why does that old reference to ‘thirty pieces of silver’ keep springing to my mind? Cheers bro! Keep sluggin’! 🙂

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  14. MICHAEL LEIGH says

    How happy it makes me to hear that Guardian journalist, M/s Pippa Crerar is not pleased to understand why; a senior British poliician Mr Jeremy Corbyn has the ‘ common law right to comment ‘ upon the British press!

    And, more precisely how sad I find it that the ” British Press ” numbers such ignorant and biased commentators like the editor Pippa Crerar, rather than among it’s once more well-respected contributers?

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  15. Hope says

    “…the Guardian was perhaps never esteemed…”

    It was genuinely esteemed once.
    I esteemed it highly; I subscribed to it; I am genuinely sad, these days, to see what a click-baiting, toadying echo-chamber it has become. Or maybe not echo-chamber, since it seems to fall into line to muffle out the faintest echo of every item of news or every viewpoint not deemed in line with the ruling western dogma.

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    • Francis Lee says

      ”It was genuinely esteemed once.”

      A case in point being the British war in South Africa 1899-1902 against the Dutch settlers. The then editor, one C.P.Scott, took a stand against the war and he earned the hatred of jingoistic mobs which damaged the offices of the Manchester Guardian, as it was then known, and Scott’s own home, to the extent that he needed police protection. Those were the days when indeed, ”Facts were sacred’

      Can anyone imagine that the present day Guardian would take such a stand. If so please sign on a postage stamp.

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    • moscowexile says

      I read the Guardian literally “man and boy”. I read it regularly until about 5 years ago, when I at last decided that I had had enough.

      I liked the Guardian, and my first encounter with it was when it had ceased being the Manchester Guardian only the year before. That was when my English teacher at the grammar school that I had begun to attend in September 1960 urged us to start reading regularly a “quality” newspaper. Nearly all of the boys in my class were most definitely “bourgeois” and chose the Daily Telegraph as their source of printed news. I chose the old Guardian.

      When i was in my 20s, I started having the paper delivered daily by my newsagent. After having left the UK, I suffered withdrawal symptoms through my inability to read the guardian daily. I could and did occasionally buy exorbitantly priced editions of it in Moscow 5-Star hotels, but they were always on sale 3 days after their publication, whereas the German press, for example, appeared here in Moscow upon its publication date.

      And then, wonder of wonders, I was able to read the Guardian online, but after that it went all downhill.

      Sad, really.

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      • grandstand says

        I began my grammar school career a few years earlier in 1955. I too was an avid Guardian reader for many years and trusted its reporting. It was only with the advent of the internet that I learned that there are “alternative realities” to the ones it portrays. Perhaps if the internet had been around earlier I would have seen the Guardian differently. One thing I learned in my maturity – after I gave up religion – was that the (Manchester) Guardian was always pro-Zionist – going all the way back to C.P. Scott – and that there was a very different narrative about Palestine than the one it, by and large, portrayed – one that made more sense historically. It was over Palestine/Israel that I understood – starkly – that the Guardian and the Western press more widely are not there to tell us facts. If they do tell us facts and educate us in the truths of history. In my wilder moments, I wonder if there is a flip side to this: the need to propagandise and protect Zionism might be the cancer that eats away their integrity. Is it why and where the rot sets in?

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        • grandstand says

          I meant “that the Guardian and the Western press more widely are not there to tell us facts and to set those facts in the context of history”.

      • DunGroanin says

        They fooled us with SDP1.

        They fooled us with Blair.

        They even fooled us with LibDems!

        Three strikes – they are out!
        I will not let them fool us again.

        • The formula has worked for centuries if not millennia – how will you ‘save us’ from our gullibility or indeed our unwillingness to question or challenge authority (in terms of that which is believed to have the power to make or break our reputation, career or health, wealth and freedom).

          You can of course determine to guard your own mind from deceit and this can only be an education. However, the ‘bad cop’ often paves the way for the ‘good cop’ to elicit your sympathy and support.

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