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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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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Journalists repressed the world over

Every year Reporters Without Borders produce a World Press Freedom Index, looking at how 180 countries rate on press freedom and the degree to which journalists and bloggers are targetted by militias, criminal gangs and the armed far right (both fascists and extreme Islamists). It is a window on how dangerous and unfree the world is.

The 2014 Index highlights the effects of the Syrian crisis. 130 journalists were killed between 2011 and the end of 2013; more since then have been killed, arrested or intimidated by Bashar Al Assad, ISIS and Kurdish PYD militia.

Journalists and bloggers are targetted by militias, criminal gangs and the armed far right (both fascists and extreme Islamists) around the world.

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Don't believe what you read in the Mail

Author: 

Harry Davies

Over the last fortnight the national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at Hinde House School in Sheffield.

To take the version initially printed by the Sheffield Star and then picked up by the Mail... three Roma Slovak pupils attacked another boy following an argument “about a football”. The victim was “punched to the ground” and left with a broken nose. The school has now, the reports continue, been presented with a 1,600 name petition demanding that, in the words of one parent “something be done”.

The national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at a school in Sheffield.

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FireChat: yet another spurious techno-panacea

Author: 

Eric Lee

Hardly a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about some new “revolutionary” technology that is going to make the world a more open, transparent, and better place.

There have been a few high profile ones in recent days, including the new social network Ello, which is being pushed as the “anti-Facebook” (it’s nothing of the sort). Ello claimed that 30,000 people per hour have been trying to sign up to be users of the beta version of its software.

Hardly a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about some new “revolutionary” technology that is going to make the world a more open, transparent, and better place.

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Survey

The political vacuum in Albania (Colin Foster)
Levers for the lovers of power (Joan Trevor)
Blair wins a place in the Sun (Jim Denham)
Glasgow councillors abandon election pledges (Stan Crooke)
Tony Blair and the union laws. (Tom Rigby)
Letter from prison (Dita Sari)
Anti-abortion campaign, a winning scheme? (Helen Rate)
Should holocaust denial be a crime?
Iranian oil workers dare to fight
Obituary: Coin Coyle
The left and the election

A round-up of news from WL39

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Kick the ice bucket, for collective action!

Author: 

Andy Forse

The recent “Ice Bucket Challenge” internet campaign had an impressive number of people taking part.

Participants video themselves tipping a bucket of cold water on their head and nominate others to do the same; if they refuse they have to donate to charity. Often those that take part still donate. Celebrities and political figures from Unite union leader Len McCluskey to George Bush have taken part.

Collective action is a more potent force for social change. While fads come and go, the work of socialists and trade unionists will reverberate into the future. Fight for genuine change; don’t get caught up in bourgeois forms of social action.

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