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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When printworkers took on Rupert Murdoch

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

In 1986, Rupert Murdoch, working closely with the Thatcher government, set out to smash the print unions. Knowing how Murdoch did that is essential to understanding how he became a feared and feted establishment figure.

Murdoch began his domination of media business in the UK with the acquisition of the News of the World in 1968, followed by the Sun (1969), then the Times and Sunday Times (1981). Soon after acquiring the Times/Sunday Times, Murdoch pushed through major staffing cuts and a wage freeze.

In 1986, Rupert Murdoch, working closely with the Thatcher government, set out to smash the print unions. Knowing how Murdoch did that is essential to understanding how he became a feared and feted establishment figure.

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Oppose Prevent, but don't ally with Cage

Author: 

Omar Raii

The Daily Mail has condemned the National Union of Students over its links with the organisation Cage (formerly Cageprisoners), run by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg.

We do not have to defend groups like Cage in order to defend Muslim students or overlook the views of Islamists in a battle against a greater enemy.

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Seumas Milne: ready-made is not best

Author: 

Martin Thomas

I first met Seumas Milne when he was 21 and we studied economics together in evening classes at Birkbeck College, London, in 1979-81.

He was affable and sparky: Balliol, Winchester, and an upbringing as son of the BBC Director-General do something for you. And unlike most from similar backgrounds, he identified with the left.

Some Corbyn supporters have defended Milne’s appointment as Labour’s head of communications by saying that Milne “understands our politics inside out” or has political views identical to Corbyn’s.

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Tories attempt BBC stitch-up

Author: 

Les Hearn

If it is news to you that the government has been running a public consultation on the future of the BBC, then don’t panic. It’s already too late to take part. The consultation was quietly announced to start on the 16 July, just five days before the House of Commons broke for summer.

In general, the BBC does a lot better than any other broadcaster in the world because it is largely independent of government or big business. We need to tell the Tories to keep their hands off.

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The media and Corbyn: in place of fear

Author: 

Patrick Murphy

There is no reason why any attentive socialist should be surprised at the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn by the British media. Angry yes, surprised no.

The great majority of the print media is after all Tory. The very rare exceptions to that rule purvey a peculiarly tepid form of liberalism which holds that growing income inequality and poverty are very bad things, but that the collective working class action which would reverse it is, on balance, the greater evil. Across the entire national press only the Daily Mirror has shown consistent support for Labour.

No socialist should be surprised at the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn by the British media.

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Something to learn from the past

Author: 

Michael Weller

Although familiar with Martin Thomas’s educational agitation, analytical explanations and delivery of argument in discussion over the last five years: I don’t share the same historical tendency, having come to political maturity through the Communist Party of Great Britain (original CPGB 1920-1991) in its final eurocommunist stage.

Social media is now the place where intersection is engaged with, argued about, and fought through. But there may still be something to learn from the past.

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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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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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