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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Socialist policies can beat the Tories

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Editorial

According to the YouGov polling company, Jeremy Corbyn has a negative rating of minus 29%. It is hardly surprising, given the media-boosted torrent of bad-mouthing of him by people who are supposed to be Labour politicians.

Socialist policies can win elections and change the world.

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Polarisation in Harlow

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Steve Drewett, Newtown Neurotics

“Brexit” is “Brexit” and “violent assault” is “violent assault”. Much as some people would deny that there is a connection between Brexit and the violence that occurred in Harlow over the August bank holiday, leaving one Polish man dead and another injured, there is undoubtedly one.

Both statements attempt to describe something and yet still leave one in the dark.I live in Harlow and have done so since 1959, I love this town. Its problems, such as they are, are no more (and probably less) than anywhere else in Britain.

Much as some people would deny that there is a connection between Brexit and the violence that occurred in Harlow over the August bank holiday, leaving one Polish man dead and another injured, there is undoubtedly one.

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Bring back industrial correspondents

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Daniel Randall

“It is that time again — when bickering between Tube bosses and union kingpins bring the London Underground to a juddering halt, and the streets of the city resemble a termite mound that has been poked with a big stick.”

So began a BBC online article, by Ed Davey, which promised readers the “facts to know” about strikes on London Underground in the summer of 2015. These facts included such things as: “New York’s subway has run all night since it opened... in 1904”, and “Tube drivers are happy and wealthy, statistics suggest”.

Bringing back industrial correspondents wouldn’t guarantee coverage that was sympathetic to strikes, but it would make the terrain of industrial relations, the actual activity of, and relations between, employers and employed, an aspect of mass media discourse, rather than a subsuming it into coverage merely about “business”.

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The real reasons why Keith Vaz is “not fit” to be an MP

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Sacha Ismail

“To choose Wembley Stadium, which is where the Champions League final takes place and where only rock stars perform, shows how special Narendra Modi is to all of us... MPs have just had a pay rise and because I am so excited about this event I will donate my pay rise for November for this great function.”
Keith Vaz, 2015

Keith Vaz is not fit to be a Labour MP. But that has nothing to do with the current media controversy and everything to do with his disgraceful political record.

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Not-so-liberal commentariat

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John Cunningham

Although I’ve never had had warm feelings towards the media, I also dislike the tendency to blame the media for every ill or woe in the world; it just doesn’t work like that. The media isn’t all bad all the time.

The commentaries and analysis coming out of even the middle-ground “liberal” press has descended to unprecedented levels of odious bile which has little, if any, connection with reality.

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The left and non-violence - a reply to the Guardian

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Dan Katz

The Guardian (19 August) is horrified by a discussion which took place inside Momentum’s steering committee. Momentum’s aims had been discussed in the meeting, and it was proposed by some to remove a commitment to only non-violent methods. The text was amended and the promise of non-violence at all times removed.

The Guardian is trying to whip up a scandal about a discussion that took place in Momentum about violence and non-violence.

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Defend Fatima Manji

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Gerry Bates

Kelvin MacKenzie is a loudmouth, a bully and political thug. For years, during the 80s and early 90s MacKenzie edited the populist, Tory rag, the Sun. He was responsible for the gloating headline “Gotcha” after a British submarine killed 1,200 young Argentinian soldiers and sailors by sinking an old warship, the Belgrano, which was steaming away from the Falkland Islands during the 1982 war.
MacKenzie commented, “The fact that the enemy were killed to my mind was a bloody good thing and I’ve never had a moment’s loss of sleep over it.”

Kelvin MacKenzie is explicitly inciting hatred against all Muslims, irrespective of their political beliefs, apparently slandering all Muslims as sharing some responsibility for the Islamist attacks.

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The most homophobic election ever

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Peter Tatchell

I was the left-wing pro-LGBT rights Labour candidate.

Described by many commentators as the dirtiest, most violent and homophobic by-election in modern British history, I went down to a crushing defeat at the hands of the Liberal candidate, Simon Hughes.

At Ideas for Freedom, 7-10 July, Peter Tatchell will speak on the struggle for LGBT rights in the labour movement. Peter Tatchell was the Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for the Bermondsey by-election in 1983.

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Letter: Make high salaries public

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Matthew Thompson

Elizabeth Butterworth is right to highlight the threat the Tories’ White Paper on broadcasting poses to the BBC (“Don’t Close the BBC!”, Solidarity 404).

One minor reservation: it’s hard to argue with the “White Paper calling for presenters’ wages to be made public”. Shouldn’t we be in favour of the high salaries paid by the Corporation to its executives and “stars” being made public?

On the issue of bias towards and interference from Government, I think this operates on three levels.

Shouldn’t we be in favour of the high salaries paid by the BBC to its executives and “stars” being made public?

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