Jeremy Hunt and his war against ‘fake news’

Kevin Smith

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

INTRODUCTION

I thought it would be helpful to explain my general perspective on the media and the endless warmongering by our governments. One of my observations about many independent news sites is that while you can see much of the readership is enlightened and knowledgeable on these matters, sometimes people feeling vindicated for their beliefs retreat back to their comfort zones.

For example, this site may include many discerning ex-Guardian readers who’ve seen the light and are content they are reading articles which represent their views. But what’s next? My thinking is we need to reach out to others and the way to do that is appeal to the ‘lurkers’ reading this site. In my experience on a site like this the majority of readers are lurkers and never comment because they are slightly behind the curve and don’t feel knowledgeable or confident enough to join the debate.

So my take on this is that to some degree we now need to take the next step, gather what we know and put this is into plainer, simple language to appeal to more people .

JEREMY HUNT’S ARTICLE

Last week the Foreign Secretary was writing in the Evening Standard setting out his strategy for fighting so-called fake news.

The title was:

Britain champions free speech, so we’re leading the war on fake news’

My initial thoughts went back to when I was part of the Libel Reform Campaign about 7 years ago trying to change the draconian libel laws in England. At this time London was known as the libel capital of the world because of the notoriously easy ride libel claimants received in our courts. Trivial claims were entertained so much in the courts that the law was becoming a laughing-stock and free speech was dead.

Thankfully the campaign succeeded in changing the law. But I must admit to being surprised that according to Jeremy Hunt Britain has evolved in 7 years from this to ‘champions of free speech’.

But Hunt’s article should be of obvious concern coming from a Foreign Secretary of a state which has waged numerous wars in the last 20 years based on lies and fake news. But more of that later. This is a rough summary of what he said.

Hunt says that Britain has a free press and so should lead the way on the fight against fake news. He explains the correlation between those states which are the least corrupt (like the UK, according to him) and a free press. Those states most corrupt tend not to have a free press.

Hunt explains that the reason there is less corruption in states with a free press is because corrupt behaviour is more likely to be exposed by the press so there is a deterrent effect.

OK – I guess that all makes sense and many less informed people reading Hunt’s article would not take issue with much of what he said.

However, I would argue that what Hunt has written is superficial and false and he knows it . I believe that at many layers in our society including the media, government and at corporate level there is a veneer of respectability. However just by looking beneath the surface, it all falls apart. Let’s look at a few examples in the context of the points Hunt made:

THE PRESS IN THE UK

Hunt says we have a free press. My description would be we have a controlled and dumbed-down press. Yes, free on some levels but on the most pressing matters of the day such as foreign policy, the media are in the pocket of the UK Government. If you look at the many mainstream newspapers and channels on offer, their narrative on foreign affairs are all the same and closely aligned with government policy. Rarely do they deviate from this.

For example, if you’ve been observing mainstream media over a period of 20 years or so, you would have noticed coverage of regime change wars we’ve waged have been of omission, dumbing-down, distraction and sensationalism. And following each war promoted by the media the truth finally is revealed that they were misreporting all along.

Newspaper barons such as Murdoch have vested interests in the outcome of wars in the Middle East. Meanwhile the tabloids are obsessed with celebrity trivia and distracting audiences away from the reality of our world. The largely unreported Saudi genocide in Yemen with our support and arms is a prime example of the lows our media have sunk to

So, I would argue that to someone who cares about the world and wishes to be informed of the truth, the UK press is far from free.

CORRUPTION IN THE UK

We may well be in a league table of one of the least corrupt countries but this seems more about perception than hard facts. If you had to bribe your way through an African airport on arrival you would probably call it the most corrupt country in the world. But the league table showing us as less corrupt, I believe is another illusion. It doesn’t take much to find corruption lurking at many levels in the UK and here’s a few examples.

The financial services industry in the UK is riddled with corruption. Most of it is undetected, ignored and unpunished. The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) is a prime example where investors are ripped off by companies that list on this market and by other financial sharks committing market abuse on a daily basis. This behaviour is out in the open but the regulators dismiss complaints. They smooth over concerns raised with platitudes and simply ignore them.

The UK regulator intervention into financial crime is a drop in the ocean, hopelessly ill-equipped for the job, merely picking off and punishing a few offenders.

This corruption is replicated in our insurance industry where vulnerable consumers are ripped off by insurers and our legal profession where unethical and criminal behavior is updated daily on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Disciplinary Tribunal website.

Corruption comes in many forms within our government and House of Commons. Expenses and other financial scandals, sexual misconduct and conflicts of interests. And these institutions are over-represented with the privileged few and the cronyism this environment breeds.

So to summarise, corruption may well be a way of everyday life in some parts of the world – but this tends to be out in the open. Corruption is big in the UK but is not described as such. Like many other things corruption operates under the counter and is less obvious so you have to delve a bit to understand the extent of the problem.

‘FAKE NEWS’, PROPAGANDA & OTHER STATES

Jeremy Hunt complains of fake news and propaganda of foreign states. It seems he’s decided that it is for him and our government to choose what fake news is and I would guess this means critics of his policies will be on the receiving end of the ‘fake news’ fight.

The reality is if you’ve been observing UK mainstream news over the last 20 years and especially recently, propaganda has been at full blast. Sensationalism over alleged chemical attacks in Syria, anti-Russian hysteria including troll factories, hacking and whatever Trump’s been writing on Twitter. It’s a complete circus and an insult to the intelligence of viewers who are gradually waking up.

The main give aways for me is the rush to judgement over the alleged Syrian chemical attacks and so-called Novichok and newsreaders presenting conjecture as fact. If you take some time to reflect, we are on a fast-track journey back to times of McCarthy. Hunt’s article simply reaffirms this is where we are heading.

UK FOREIGN POLICY

For me, corruption at home is something we have to accept and deal with internally. But my red line for corrupt behaviour is when we impose ourselves on other countries through regime change policy.

The fact that the Evening Standard article was written by the Foreign Secretary is significant and perhaps sends us a message that future foreign policy is going to be even more aggressive and dissent against warmongering shut down

We all know of the numerous regime change wars. Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen but how many of us have actually reflected on the history of this chaos? How many of us simply watch events as they unfold and then move on to the next without linking them up to build a true picture of how corrupt we’ve become in the world order?

We all lead busy lives and with a biased pro-regime change media its easy to be distracted and unfocused. But just reflecting on this for a few moments should bring this point into context.

A final point on how corrupt we’ve become through our foreign interventions is the UK funded White Helmets ‘rescue group’ in Syria. For those who’ve done 30 minutes of research will tell you without any doubt they work with Al Qaeda terrorists and are behind the chemical attacks and fabrications in Syria. Meanwhile our government and Jeremy Hunt in particular presents them as heroes.

The White Helmets through their provocations are probably the biggest threat to world peace today. Their last provocation nearly caused a direct confrontation between Russia and USA. Yet they were recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This absurdity alone should make anyone wonder whether anything Jeremy Hunt writes should be taken seriously.

MOTIVES FOR THE WAR ON ‘FAKE NEWS’

With the narratives of regime change wars, alleged chemical attacks and hacking crumbling in the eyes of an increasing number of people, the establishment have become rattled. They fear exposure of their corrupt behaviour which can be discovered with increasing ease.

In the last year or so, the tone in the media has changed to something more aggressive. Whereas before they would try to defend their narrative or ignore criticism now they operate through smearing independent journalists and experts. History shows that when those who are corrupt and under threat of exposure they will cause a diversion by creating enemies to try to convince the public our way of life is under attack.

And Jeremy Hunt’s article about ‘fake news’ is largely based on the fear that those in the establishment who have committed war crimes and supported terrorists in Syria and elsewhere will one day be exposed and brought to justice.

SUMMARY

A cursory review of our press and corruption could well lead someone to think Hunt’s article is impressive. But like so many things in life if you look beneath the surface and connect events past and present , things are not as they seem at all. Corruption is corruption in Africa, Russia and elsewhere. Corruption in the UK is not recognised as such and that’s the difference.

Just like a controlled UK press is described as a ‘free’ press. It’s all a nonsense.

Fake news is alive and has been for years. But the fake news I refer to is that in the mainstream media and Jeremy Hunt’s article. So I think it’s up to us to take the fight to them. To do nothing would give the corrupt the excuse to clamp down on our right to free speech and in the worst case scenario start yet more wars which surely will affect us directly in time.

Kevin Smith is a British citizen living and working in London. He researches and writes down his thoughts on the foreign wars promoted by Western governments and media. In the highly controlled and dumbed down UK media environment, he’s keen on exploring ways of discouraging ideology and tribalism in favour of free thinking.

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flaxgirl
Reader

The “fake news” label is the most ludicrous propaganda nonsense out there.

Molloy
Reader
Molloy

. “So I think it’s up to us to take the fight to them. To do nothing would give the corrupt the excuse to clamp down on our right to free speech and in the worst case scenario start yet more wars which surely will affect us directly in time.” Agreed. Totally. However, exactly how and what methods are proposed for action required to cut out 1,000 plus years corruption, abuse, and murder? We know who the controlling individuals are; we know the main facilitators, Y CroctearsCooper was blobbing sorry! ‘blubbing’ on TV (msm) over one of them. e.g. What… Read more »

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

The White Helmets narrative is probably the weakest point in all this. Here’s Hunt admitting his first decision as FS was to help these terrorists escape. Hunt and other former FS’s will be prosecuted using this terrorism legislation. That’s aside from any charges of warmongering and treason for putting the British public at risk from their criminal recklessness. Foreign Office ‏Verified account @foreignoffice 21h21 hours ago “helping the White Helmets was actually the first decision I had to make as Foreign Secretary.” In July @Jeremy_Hunt coordinated an international effort to rescue members of @SyriaCivilDef and their families from Syria. Terrorism… Read more »

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

1. Completion and full implementation of the anandoned Leveson Inquiry is the cornerstone of a future news mediascape. 2. Actual progress and completion of the child abuse Inquiry under independent judges, with full publication of facts, is vital to dethrone the compromised and compromisers. 3.1 As far as the Utter And Complete Hunt … anyone know what happenned to Professor Hawkings case against him on the NHS? 3.2 Hunt as probably ine of the richest cabinet member, has been protected through the last two givernments to deliver the grand prize of privatisation, the NHS, which he has taken to near… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

ANY attempt to reform an highly malignant social, political, moral, ecological and spiritual cancer like capitalism is a TOTAL waste of time. Its overthrow and extirpation forever is inevitable, either by humanity waking up in time to the existential dangers of rule by psychopathic parasites, or by its own self-destruction, taking humanity with it, in the ecological Holocaust or thermo-nuclear war, or both.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Argh sorry for typis – thumb typing on phone- Admin please feel free ti tidy.

rilme
Reader
rilme

Don’t worry, DunGroanin. I’ve recorded your comment for posterity, spelling and all.

Straw was lying. An illegal, not very secret state is a dark force in the US. Its tentacles in the UK include “Conservative Friends of “israel”” and “Labour Friends of “israel””. And of course the UK has been involved in torture.

grafter
Reader
grafter

Speaking of Fake. Where are Sergei Skripal and his daughter now ? Also where is Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey now residing and why are the MSM not interviewing him ? Come on you fraudster investigative journalists, do your job ! You did the easy part now finish what you started.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

Jeremy Cunt is just another little Tory demon running amok. He and his type sometimes make me wonder whether they’re actually human beings, such is their derangement and depravity.

Truly, they are damaged goods.

Gezzah Potts
Reader
Gezzah Potts

Jeremy Hunt is going to wage war on Fake News!!? Ha ha ha, is this a joke? Hunt is just another puppet on a string, a cowardly, slimy, sniveling apparatchik for the Anglo Zionist Empire. One of the slime pushing the World to the edge of the cliff. I agree with a number of the commenters here who allude that we are talking amongst ourselves, sort of like in a bubble. As I said the other day, am greatly impressed by the knowledge of many who comment on OffGuardian, but how do we get this out to a wider audience?… Read more »

Makropulos
Reader
Makropulos

Ironically the very term “Fake News”, when used as if it was a genuine expression, seems like a declaration of actual fake news. When someone says he is fighting “Fake News” then he is delivering it.

Hugh O'Neill
Reader
Hugh O'Neill

Good article asking a question that bothers us all i.e. now that we agree that MSM is Propaganda (and probably has been for over a century) what next? When 2 million marched through London in 2003 to protest the invasion of Iraq, we knew that Blair, Bush and BBC were lying through their teeth – yet nothing changed! When the BBC could announce the collapse of WTC7 25 minutes too early, could we not see how the system works? As the bra advert proved, WMD = Weapons of Mass Distraction. The wizard simply distracts us from the reality. But what… Read more »

Hugh O'Neill
Reader
Hugh O'Neill

Whoops! I had meant to raise the issue of withholding taxes intended for military purposes. Mass campaign for legal reform. Though I am now a Kiwi, allow Scotland Independence and they will scrap Trident. Freedom 😉

Kerry F
Reader
Kerry F

Kevin, personally I am always surprised at different the kinds of people who are clearly looking for answers beyond the MSM and are reading alternative publications. You just can’t judge it these days. I don’t think your language is complex in the first place so there is no need to dumb it down. As for “lurkers” the term sounds creepy and should not be used to describe anybody who reads here. People waking up to the real situation we live in is an organic process.I don’t believe it can be forced. I see it happening more and more but have… Read more »

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

I think the primary role of the article was Jeremy Hunt telling the puppet masters of UK Government that he is a safe pair of hands to be Prime Minister. Everybody knows May is gone as soon as Brexit is done. She has made a right pigs’ breakfast of Brexit so the Tories will kick her out. We are now therefore in the campaigning period before campaigning officially starts. Hunt is a reliable slimeball for Murdoch, so will do right by Genie Energy and all that that implies for policy in the Middle East. He has all the rebelliousness of… Read more »

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

An example of good old Great British corruption is the fact that the prime minister’s husband’s employer benefits from decisions such as the one to involve us in the bombing of Syria, as that employer (Capital Group) is a major shareholder in Lockheed Martin.

Einstein
Reader
Einstein

And British ‘drugs minister’ Victoria Atkins, responsible for the continued Prohibition, is married to Paul Kenward who owns the biggest cannabis farm in the UK!

TheThinker
Reader
TheThinker

And G4S which has the contracts to run our Privatised prison service (presided over the worst riot in Birmingham since Strangeways) also was the original Securicor security services till it merged with a Dutch firm back in 2004. it also has contracts to guard nuclear facilities in the US and runs the prisons in Israel – it also runs security for loads of smaller African nations (like a private Military contractor) – In fact it has contracts in over 50 different countries over 6 Continents. This is the same company the UK tasked with securing the UK London Olympics, and… Read more »

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

In the article Kevin Smith links to Jeremy Hunt says “Defending a free media must therefore be a central element of British foreign policy, in keeping with our country’s role as an invisible chain linking the nations that share our values.” Does the man who tried to hand over a substantial portion of the British media to Rupert Murdoch (in the doomed £8 billion BSkyB bid) not realise that we certainly DO NOT share his values – in fact his values, along with the values of those he pimps for epitomise all that is wrong with our economy, our foreign… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
Reader
Mulga Mumblebrain

Rupert Murdoch cannot have a ‘soul mate’ as he has no soul. Nor does Rhyming Slang.

John2o2o
Reader
John2o2o

Well Kevin, speaking for myself, I sometimes feel that I have nothing to add to what I read in pieces such as this. “Great article” seems a bit lame and sycophantic. I more or less agree with every point you make. Oddly enough, I don’t remember exactly how I discovered the alternative media, but I have been much happier since I did so. The truth – however horrifying it may be at times – is less disturbing than the lies. Without alternative opinion the MSM Skripal case would have driven me mad. So clearly lies. All of it. My current… Read more »

Jim Porter
Reader
Jim Porter

I’m at a loss as to who to vote for in the UK, corruption is the norm. There might be a few dozen MPs that you can trust to work for the people that voted them in and Hunt is in the top dozen who are just evil bastards, in it for themselves. Please excuse my language, but it is the only way to describe him.

John A
Reader
John A

“I’m at a loss as to who to vote for in the UK, corruption is the norm.” Unless you live in a so-called ‘swing seat’, that does change hands between the main 2 parties in General Elections, that make up a small proportion of the total MPs, it does not matter who you vote for. I have voted in every election since I was 18. I grew up in a safe Labour seat, lived in Islington that is safe Labour and for the past 20+ years have lived in a safe Tory seat. My vote has never changed anything, even… Read more »

Jim Porter
Reader
Jim Porter

As an extra to my previous comment, if I mention OffGuardian to my friends, they say that I’m one of those conspiracy theorists, eh…..

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

Hi Jim, As my dear Mum used to say ‘we can’t educate sheep,’ but we can educate ourselves.
Have you ever read anything about ”Full Spectrum Dominance?’
http://thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/PartOne_FSD_Engdahl.html

After reading this you will find a lot of the jigsaw pieces fall into place and the picture becomes totally clear.

David Porter
Reader
David Porter

I agree with all you say in the article. The problem, it seems to me, is how to bring alternative news into the mainstream. The sheer weight against it is daunting. At present, as the article suggests, those on sites such as this are just talking amongst themselves.

James Graham
Reader

He’s got it in for the Russians…because they’ve got crime there. There’s no crime in the UK….because we are a democracy and we’ve got values. Why am I even talking about this war criminal?

Gezzah Potts
Reader
Gezzah Potts

James Graham: coz you’re angry and disgusted at the state of the World, and at the searing hypocrisy of slime like Hunt, just like I am. Down here in Australia, we have many Hunt’s doing the bidding of Empire and Imperialism. They are members of the Liberal and Labor parties. Apparently they ‘represent’ the people.