Even the sycophancy of an amoral Tory press couldn’t save Boris Johnson

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/even-the-sycophancy-of-an-amoral-tory-press-couldnt-save-boris-johnson

Historians will be baffled by the readiness of Britain’s largest media organisations to lick Johnson’s boots for so long, and will surely look for an explanation. Part of the reason is ideology. Murdoch and the Barclay brothers personally supported the Brexit movement which propelled Johnson to power. 

Another is that Johnson cleverly ensured the major newspaper groups had a vested interest in maintaining him in office. Though lazy and incompetent, Johnson understands the press exceptionally well, and as prime minister managed it skilfully, giving the newspapers everything they wanted in exchange for their support.

This meant allowing media barons to set his agenda. The BBC has long been a target of the press—Murdoch in particular—because it occupies public space which corporate media craves for itself. Johnson’s attacks on the licence fee—and the briefing by allies of his culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, that on her watch “it’s over for the BBC” as we know it—look like gifts to his media backers. So was the appointment of an unqualified Tory donor, former banker Richard Sharp, as chairman of the national broadcaster. The same applies to the proposed Channel 4 sell-off.

Sunday Times Rich List: Frederick Barclay still wealthiest on Channel Islands

Who are the Barclay brothers?

Continue ReadingEven the sycophancy of an amoral Tory press couldn’t save Boris Johnson

XR smash windows at Murdoch’s News UK in protest against heatwave coverage

Rebels Crack Windows at News Corp UK on the hottest day of the year

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/xr-smash-windows-murdochs-news-uk-in-protest-against-heatwave-coverage

CLIMATE activists smashed the windows at the London HQ of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire today in protest at his papers’ coverage of the heatwave.

Members of Extinction Rebellion also plastered recent copies of the Sun and sprayed “tell the truth, and “40° = death,” on the front of the building at London Bridge as they accused the media mogul’s right-wing rags of downplaying the severity of the heatwave.

“Instead of warning readers of the increased risks from such heatwaves as the climate crisis intensifies, the Sun chose to cover their front pages in images of women in bikinis, beach-goers and happy toddlers with ice creams,” the group said in a statement.

Humanity faces ‘collective suicide’ over climate crisis, warns UN chief

Europe burns in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

Doctors for Extinction Rebellion break glass at JP Morgan’s Canary Wharf offices in ’emergency’ heatwave climate protest

Doctors for Extinction Rebellion smash JP Morgan’s windows

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners and trade unions hit out at the failure to protect the public from the heatwave today, as temperatures are expected to continue to soar today.

Activists from Doctors for Extinction Rebellion (XR) cracked eight panels of glass at financial services giant and investment bank JP Morgan’s offices in Canary Wharf yesterday, in response to the first level-four national emergency heat alert.

JP Morgan was targeted by Doctors for XR due to its funding of fossil fuels, having poured $394.2 billion (£332bn) into the sector since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.

Continue ReadingXR smash windows at Murdoch’s News UK in protest against heatwave coverage

IPCC report calls for urgent action on climate

In summer, some polar bears do not make the transition from their winter residence on the Svalbard islands to the dense drift ice and pack ice of the high arctic where they would find a plethora of prey. This is due to global climate change which causes the ice around the islands to melt much earlier than previously. The bears need to adapt from their proper food to a diet of detritus, small animals, bird eggs and carcasses of marine animals. Very often they suffer starvation and are doomed to die. The number of these starving animals is sadly increasing.AWeith This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Endangered_arctic_-_starving_polar_bear.jpg

The most recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN body) report published today tells us that some impacts of climate change are now irreversible.

[A] liveable future remains within grasp – just. But the window of opportunity for action is “brief and rapidly closing”. The response from UN secretary-general António Guterres was stark: “Delay is death.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/28/what-at-stake-climate-crisis-report-everything

The IPCC report says that we must act now while world governments continue to pursue climate destroying policies. The point is this: We tolerate and suffer these governments and their super-rich masters that they pander to but we don’t have to. We can instead obstruct business as usual, refuse to tolerate and suffer these climate-destroying bastards. We need to act in unity putting away any other differences we might have. Our planet is getting killed, we must act for the sake of our children, young people and future generations. Delay is death.

Instead of responsible government Boris Johnson’s UK government is pursuing climate-harming policies and has stuffed his cabinet with climate-denying ministers. UK Tory MPs are campaigning against climate policies through the Net Zero Scrutiny Group. Legitimate government should be concerned with protecting it’s citizens while Boris Johnson’s UK government is doing the opposite.

IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown

Rupert Murdoch doesn’t understand climate change basics, and that’s a problem

Climate change causing widespread and irreversible impacts, says IPCC

Constituents set up ‘Steve Baker Watch’ over MP’s climate stance

Continue ReadingIPCC report calls for urgent action on climate

Priti Patel news

UK Murdoch Home Secretary Priti Patel appears in recent news items.

Priti Patel’s new powers to remove citizenship would turn ethnic minority Brits into second-class citizens

Consider the following example, because it’s about to come true. Someone has been a British citizen for decades. They go on holiday. When they try to return, they’re told that the Home Secretary has stripped them of their citizenship. They are not told why. They are not told the charges against them. They have no functioning right of appeal. They have been made stateless, by ministerial fiat.

This would be the consequence of a new provision added to Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders bill, which goes through the Commons over the next couple of days.

Making someone stateless has long been seen as one of the most egregious actions a government can take. In the words of Hannah Arendt, the great scholar of totalitarianism, it deprives people of “the right to have rights”. It makes you an unperson: without protection, without home, without legal status.

Jailed for 51 weeks for protesting? Britain is becoming a police state by stealth George Monbiot

This is proper police state stuff. The last-minute amendments crowbarred by the government into the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill are a blatant attempt to stifle protest, of the kind you might expect in Russia or Egypt. Priti Patel, the home secretary, shoved 18 extra pages into the bill after it had passed through the Commons, and after the second reading in the House of Lords. It looks like a deliberate ploy to avoid effective parliamentary scrutiny. Yet in most of the media there’s a resounding silence.

Among the new amendments are measures that would ban protesters from attaching themselves to another person, to an object, or to land. Not only would they make locking on – a crucial tool of protest the world over – illegal, but they are so loosely drafted that they could apply to anyone holding on to anything, on pain of up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment.

It would also become a criminal offence to obstruct in any way major transport works from being carried out, again with a maximum sentence of 51 weeks. This looks like an attempt to end meaningful protest against road-building and airport expansion. Other amendments would greatly expand police stop and search powers. The police would be entitled to stop and search people or vehicles if they suspect they might be carrying any article that could be used in the newly prohibited protests, presumably including placards, flyers and banners. Other new powers would grant police the right to stop and search people without suspicion, if they believe that protest will occur “in that area”. Anyone who resists being searched could be imprisoned for – you guessed it – up to 51 weeks.

The truth behind Priti ‘pull the drawbridge up’ Patel

Recently, the Guardian broke the news that the reason we are seeing increasing numbers of asylum seekers on our beaches is because they have cottoned on to the fact that, thanks to Brexit, we are no longer part of the Dublin Agreement. This inconvenient truth seems to have escaped Farage and Johnson and all those who are hell bent on ruining the country’s economy at any cost if we can only get control of our borders.

Since 2016, the Tory party has rapidly morphed into the BNP-NF-Brexit Party-UKIP-Tory party but how far has it gone? 

Put it this way. Now it’s suppressing its own reports on the reasons people make the treacherous journey across the channel. Home Office data show two thirds of those attempting to make the crossing are genuine refugees, many coming from war-torn parts of the world. As one of the world’s largest exporters of arms, the UK has had a great deal to do with creating the hell that they are escaping.

But the Home Office is not publishing this data. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the narrative. These are inconvenient truths that the Tories don’t want people to hear. So best they just make out that the asylum seekers are illegal immigrants coming over here to scrounge benefits and get a nice hotel on the back of the taxpayer.

Continue ReadingPriti Patel news

Rupert Murdoch’s history of political influence

Murdoch repeatedly meets UK prime ministers in secret. The deal is that Murdoch sets the agenda and provides support to these right-wing politicians in return for favourable treatment. It should be recognised and accepted that Murdoch is a foreign tax evading billionaire so politicians are promoting private foreign interests over those of their country.

4 January 1981 Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch meet in secret with the meeting repeatedly denied since. Thatcher agrees that Murdoch can aquire the Times and Sunday Times newspapers thereby controlling a huge proportion of UK newspapers without a referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Murdoch attacks and breaks the power of the UK newspaper unions with the support of Thatcher’s government and UK police.

The News of the World phone hacking scandal damages Rupert Murdoch’s influence. The News of the World hacked the phones of murder victims and thereby damaged police investigations as well as hacking the phones of royalty and celebrities.

Murdoch’s political influence returns following the phone hacking scandal.

Boris Johnson's thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch
Boris Johnson’s thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch owns prominent UK politicians Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel. Boris Johnson gets the thumbs-up to be UK prime minister from Murdoch at the London Olympics, Priti Patel and Michael Gove attend Murdoch and Jerry Hall’s wedding celebrations in London. Priti Patel behaves as Rupert Murdoch’s private secretary e.g. here and here.

Continue ReadingRupert Murdoch’s history of political influence

‘Cut the crap’ say Extinction Rebellion on their ‘Free the Press’ protest

Extinction Rebellion protested today about UK’s press and politics being dominated by the politics and interests of 5 [ed: 4] non-dom tax evading billionaires. The political agenda is largely set by these sihts who often engage in criminal behaviour e.g. phone hacking, or facilitate criminal behaviour e.g. corruption of high elected politicians like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. Surely it must be a crime for Priti Patel to be Rupert Murdoch’s Private Secretary instead of UK’s Home Secretary.

Extintion Rebellion deliver manure to press barons and call to cut the crap.

Extinction Rebellion protests take on media tycoons’ silence on scale of climate crisis

https://twitter.com/bearwitness2019/status/1409214113151078401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1409220452053098502%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readingchronicle.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fnational%2F19402504.23-arrested-extinction-rebellion-dumps-manure-outside-newspaper-offices%2F

Continue Reading‘Cut the crap’ say Extinction Rebellion on their ‘Free the Press’ protest

WORSE THAN USELESS BORIS AND HIS NASTY TORY PARTY SCUM :: UK :: It’s Murdochracy not Democracy

I am likely to revise this article but I want to get it out. It’s about the historical and continuing malign and corrosive influence of the Australian-American press baron Rupert Murdoch on UK politics. The article starts by looking at Murdoch’s influence over Tony Blair’s government before looking at how he still wields influence over Boris Johnson’s current government (and needs expanding there). I’m only searching the web so you can do this for yourselves.

https://pressgazette.co.uk/rupert-murdoch-documentary-rise-of-dynasty-bbc-tony-blair/

Former Sun deputy editor Neil Wallis was in charge during the 1997 election campaign when then-Sun editor Stuart Higgins was on holiday.

The paper made shockwaves when it published a “Sun backs Blair” front page after declaring “it was the Sun wot won it” for the Conservatives in the previous election.

He said he asked for a first-person piece from Blair on his party’s “cut and dried position” on Europe but it was “a piece of PR flim-flam that actually said nothing”.

“I said ‘I’m not running this Alistair [Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor] because it’s just saying nothing’. But I said ‘for this to be coherent, for this to have an impact, this needs to say you will not go into the Euro without a referendum’.

“And I duly got the piece under Tony Blair’s name committing them to a referendum on the Euro if it was ever considered that they would go into it.”

Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage directly linked this Sun column with the eventual vote to leave the European Union 19 years later.

He told the documentary: “The price of Rupert Murdoch’s support for Tony Blair was that Blair promised he would not take us into the European currency without first having a referendum, and if Rupert Murdoch had not done that we would have joined the Euro in 1999 and I doubt Brexit would have happened.

“So I think when we look at the long history of Britain’s relationship with the European project that led ultimately to the Brexit vote, I think that was a decisive intervention from Rupert Murdoch.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/murdochs-blair-chats-492134 July 2007

TONY Blair spoke to media mogul Rupert Murdoch three times in the 10 days before the Iraq war – once on the eve of the invasion – it was disclosed yesterday.

Details were released by the Cabinet Office the day after Mr Blair stepped down as Prime Minister.

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/sep/05/tony-blair-godfather-murdoch-daughter

Henry Porter writes in Sept 2011

So much falls into place with the revelation that Tony Blair became godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s two young daughters and attended their baptism on the banks of the river Jordan last year. True, it isn’t yet clear whether Blair had agreed to become a godparent while he was prime minister [see footnote], and the ceremony did take place after he had left office, but the important point is that the relationship underlines Murdoch’s deep entrenchment in British political life.

Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng, who let slip the information in an interview with Vogue, described Blair as one of Rupert’s closest friends. Blair’s account of the relationship in his memoirs is somewhat different, portraying Murdoch as the big bad beast, who won his grudging respect. That is clearly disingenuous. As other memoirs and diaries from the Blair period are published, we see how close Murdoch was to the prime minister and the centre of power when really important decisions, such as the Iraq invasion, were being made.

Blair and Murdoch didn’t have to be bosom buddies for the relationship to be counter to the interests of a healthy national life and politics. As Lance Price, the former Blair spin doctor, has said, Murdoch was one of four people in Britain whose reaction was considered when any important decision was made during the Blair years.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/murdoch-pressured-blair-rush-iraq-war-says-campbell-diaries-7855271.html June 2012

Rupert Murdoch launched an “over-crude” campaign to force Tony Blair to speed up Britain’s entry into the Iraq war, according to the final volume of [total cnut] Alastair Campbell’s diaries.

Mr Blair’s former communications director accuses the media mogul of being part of a drive by American Republicans to drag Britain into the controversial war a week before the House of Commons even voted to approve the intervention in 2003.

The claim is explosive because it appears to contradict Mr Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The News Corp chief told Lord Justice Leveson in April: “I’ve never asked a prime minister for anything.”

It is the second time that claim has been contested. Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister, told the inquiry this week that Mr Murdoch threatened to withdraw the support of his newspapers for his Government unless it took a tougher stance on Europe.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/tony-blair-not-order-hillsborough-9658130 July 2015

Liverpool MP Andy Burnham has suggested that Tony Blair did not order a full enquiry into the Hillsborough disaster because he did not want to offend Rupert Murdoch.

Mr Burnham, a Labour leader hopeful said he was told not to pursue his demand for an official investigation when serving under Mr Blair.

As a result a “major injustice” was allowed to remain in place for more than a decade, he said.

Mr Burnham was the driving force behind Gordon Brown’s decision to set up the Hillsborough Independent Panel into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

The Sun caused lasting outrage after publishing a report following the 1989 tragedy accusing “drunken” Liverpool fans of attacking rescue workers.

July 2020

Former Prime Minister Tony has always adamantly denied allegations he had an affair with Wendi, who was married to the News UK magnate from 1999 to 2013. However, the new BBC show spoke about Wendi’s affection towards him, including an unearthed diary entry in which she spoke about his ‘good body and legs’ before adding: ‘And what else and what else and what else…’.

But it was a series of emails, allegedly from Wendi about Blair, that effectively caused their divorce. ‘She made a bad mistake,’ journalist Ken Auletta explained. ‘She was sending emails on Newscorp email, so it’s easy for one of Murdoch’s minions, or lawyers, to extract those emails and see what they said – and they did.

dizzy: At Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall’s wedding in March 2016 Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel were invited – three prominent members of the current UK government. David Cameron and George Osborne – anti-Brexiteers – were not invited. Tony Blair was not invited – he’s been dropped by Murdoch after not having an affair with Wendi Deng.

Boris Johnson's thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch
Boris Johnson’s thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch
Continue ReadingWORSE THAN USELESS BORIS AND HIS NASTY TORY PARTY SCUM :: UK :: It’s Murdochracy not Democracy

Extinction Rebellion targets Murdoch newspapers

Extinction Rebellion blockaded three Murdoch newspaper printing centres in UK overnight Friday / Saturday morning. While XR disrupted Murdoch’s newspapers for one day, UK politicians have mostly responded in a ridiculously exaggerated way since they are keen to get Murdoch’s endorsement to progress their careers. It is Rupert Murdoch who has traditionally decided who will be UK’s prime minister. He appoints them and they serve him. [He seems to have been appointing some fairly stupid world leaders lately. It’s probably his management style that he doesn’t want too much (any?) independent thought.]

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/newspapers-classed-essential-infrastructure-stop-protests-extinction-rebellion-634095

The Government is now considering a range of possible new laws to give the police more powers to stop similar future protests. … One option being considered is updating the list of critical infrastructure which cannot legally be shut down by direct action – such as military bases and police stations – to include media production sites. Another is a new rule specifically protecting institutions seen as central to democracy, such as newspapers, courts and Parliament.

It’s ridiculous isn’t it? Crap newspapers are not critical infrastructure like military bases and police stations. They are instead crap newspapers that have been disrupted for one day. Crap newspapers are hardly central to democracy. It’s not a threat to democracy to disrupt crap newspapers for one day.

Boris Johnson's thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch
Boris Johnson’s thumbs up from Rupert Murdoch

Boris Johnson said: “It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.” Keir Starmer added: “The free press is the cornerstone of democracy and we must do all we can to protect it.” The Labour leader said the protest “does nothing to tackle climate change”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said “We must defend ourselves against this attack on capitalism, our way of life and ultimately our freedoms.” She wants Murdoch’s endorsement too. One days disruption of crap newspapers is hardly a credible threat to Capitalism, is it?

‘We Need a Free Press But Do Not Have It’: UK Climate Campaigners Defend Blockade of Murdoch’s Destructive Media Empire

After staging overnight blockades of newspaper printing and delivery operations owned by right-wing magnate Rupert Murdoch and others for perpetuating the global climate crisis, members of Extinction Rebellion UK on Saturday defended the provocative direct actions by pointing out the life-threatening role these media giants play by willfully misinforming the public about the emergency now facing humanity.

Continue ReadingExtinction Rebellion targets Murdoch newspapers