The media

Rendezvous in Northern Ireland?

Martin McGuinness shaking the Queen's hand offended socialists because of our contempt for the institution of monarchy but his motive at least was progressive, and also republican in the sense defined by the founder of modern Irish republicanism Wolfe Tone — “to replace the name Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name Irishman”.

In a hugely symbolic moment on 27 June, during a royal visit to Northern Ireland to mark her jubilee, the former commander of the IRA shook hands with the Queen.

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Why the Times hates democracy – and Jeremy Corbyn

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The Times is establishing itself as the leading advocate of direct action to stop Jeremy Corbyn leading the Labour Party, or leading it for long.

Its regular anti-Corbyn editorial diatribes have included a call for Labour MPs to overthrow Corbyn if he is elected, and now (18 August) a call to suspend the election on grounds of supposed irregularities.

The Times newspaper argues that Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to become Labour Party leader - and justifies itself on grounds of democracy!

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Defending the nation from “Red Ed”

Author: 

Harry Davies

It was St George’s Day last week, so I decided to have a look at the Daily Express, the paper which still uses a crusader-esque knight errant as its logo, complete with English flag shield.

The Express and the General Election.

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The continuing attack on Charlie Hebdo

Author: 

Patrick Murphy

On Sunday 26 April I saw a Facebook posting which carried the pithy comment “anyone still Charlie”? The posting shared a story from “OurAfricaBlog” about an allegedly outrageous cartoon which, the blog claimed, appeared in the French satirical magazine whose leading staff members were brutally murdered by religious fascists earlier this year.

The determination of much of the British left to smear Charlie Hebdo, months after the murderous attack on their office can seem incomprehensible at times. The persistence and desperation has all the appearance of an especially odd obsession. We should resist that conclusion though. It is nothing of the sort.

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How to insult your readership

Author: 

Harry Davies

I’m under strict editorial instructions to leave the Daily Mail alone this week. Which is the first time anyone’s ever said that to me.

So I lazily rolled across the barricades to the Mirror, a paper I’ve not had much connection with since they stopped running Garth the first time around. But their election coverage is quite interesting, for all sorts of reasons.

It’s primarily geared around people not intending to vote; an admirable move, for sure.

The Mirror's election coverage is quite interesting, for all sorts of reasons.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Stop calling Ed “red”

Author: 

Harry Davies

It’s that time of the week when I read the Mail and whimper slightly.

I skipped past an article on polyamory (“‘The man who lives with two girlfriends!”‘) because they had made me feel angry enough about their coverage on mental health last week and it’s starting to feel a bit personal.

Anyway, party politics dominates, but the Mail is still insisting on not being insistent about anything.

The Daily Mail and the General Election.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Stigmatising mental illness

Author: 

Harry Davies

I’m trying to summon some grit in order to explain the Daily Mail to you. This is a difficult task because my recurrent thought — “intolerant small-minded newspaper publishes astonishingly offensive and insensitive intolerant small-minded commentary” — is a. not that original and b. news to none of you.

In Daily Mail world, all pilots are Dan Dare and only foreigners and lefties are weak-minded enough to admit to depression.

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Stifled Story of the Month

Author: 

Harry Davies

On 20 January, The Guardian reported on academic research showing benefit sanctions push people into destitution, not jobs.

The 1.9 million benefit sanctions that were imposed between June 2011 and March 2014, stopping people from receiving jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and the 43% of those sanctioned subsequently ceasing to try to claim the benefit, did reduce the unemployment figures. No surprise there. Massaging unemployment figures is what every government since the 1980s has done. 

But only 20% of those who went off benefit said they had found work.

The government is applying wildly unfair and fantastic sanctions against millions of people. No one really knows what is happening to the most vulnerable people in society. But can we read about it or hear about it in the general press? Apparently not.

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Trade Unions: 

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The Sun “drops” Page 3

Author: 

Rachel Barnes

Supporters of the No More Page 3 campaign celebrated a victory on Monday 19 January as rumours of The Sun getting rid of bare breasts in its newspaper did the rounds on the internet.

Apart from a tweet from its head of PR (who told followers that page 3 would be in the same place it’s always been, between pages 2 and 4), the newspaper has given no formal statement on the matter, only removed nipples gradually from its print over the last few months.

Supporters of the No More Page 3 campaign celebrated a victory on Monday 19 January as rumours of The Sun getting rid of bare breasts in its newspaper did the rounds on the internet.

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Cameron versus the Pope

The Pope’s repsonse to the murderous attack on the journalists and workers at Charlie Hebdo was essentially “the wife beater’s defence”.

“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal... You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

The Pope’s repsonse to the murderous attack on the journalists and workers at Charlie Hebdo was essentially “the wife beater’s defence”.

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