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 press, regulation, and personal privacy

Author: 

Matt Cooper

Workers’ Liberty draws on and stands in a long tradition of the left standing up for the freedom of the press and free speech.

We believe the attacks the Guardian and its journalists faced over the publication of Edward Snowden’s revelations showed the unequal battle the press often faces when pitted against state power. Much of the privately-owned media has abandoned serious reporting and analysis of the news.

The vast majority of journalists want to write accurate news about important issues, not Z-list celebrity tittle-tattle; those journalists should organise. Beyond that we need a media that is under social, not private or state control. As much as issues of private privacy are important, it is unlikely that short-term palliatives to protect rights to privacy will move us closer to that goal.

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The metamorphosis of Andrew Gilligan

Author: 

David Osland

Andrew Gilligan, it should not be forgotten, once saw better days. Thirteen years ago, the BBC reporter’s role in making clear that the Blair administration purposely sexed up the first of the two dossiers advanced in fraudulent justification for the invasion of Iraq should rightly have won him every journalistic prize going, not to mention the plaudits of the entire left.

People who engage in politics at any level should be subject to scrutiny. But repeated corrosive attacks in mass circulation newspapers, with no means of redress, raises the obvious question of just who is being bullied here.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Prevent: not convinced

Omar Raii (Solidarity 390) and Patrick Murphy (Solidarity 391) both draw attention to the shortcomings and potential dangers of the Prevent programme, aimed at countering “extremism”/”radicalisation” in schools and colleges.

Two views on the Government's Prevent "anti-extremism" programme.

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Anti-Muslim campaign targets Sadiq Khan

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The campaign to stop Sadiq Khan being elected Mayor of London is starting to get a nasty, distinctly racist, anti-Muslim flavour.

The campaign to stop Sadiq Khan being elected Mayor of London is starting to get a nasty, distinctly racist, anti-Muslim flavour.

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Right-wing press attacks Momentum activists

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Following the first democratic national committee meeting for Momentum, the Daily Telegraph has published an attack, written by notorious right-wing hack Andrew Gilligan, on people elected from the meeting to the Momentum steering committee, as well as on the organisation more broadly.

The article is full of lies and inventions, including a claim that the Momentum NC was appointed — when in fact, following some arguments in Momentum, it was elected by a more democratic process. Gilligan's attacks focuses on individuals.

Attacks in the Telegraph attempt to smear Momentum.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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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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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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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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