Tag Archives: media

Right Wing Media and the UK Election

Even though I’m now living in Ireland the UK election continues to fascinate me. The leaders debates for politics geeks like me have been fascinating – which doesn’t mean to say some of the content has been pretty dull.

Last year I was really impressed by Cameron and the Conservative party – it really did seem that they were changing, but over the last few months that impression has faded quickly as I’ve heard more about Lord Ashcroft, and as it has become obvious that they still are a party of the elite.  I know I’ve always had a left lean which to me is to do with a book that I read that talks about justice and equality so I may be slightly biased but I do feel increasing affinity for the Lib Dems. Especially after the very obvious Murdoch Media Tory supporting papers launching a series of smears against Nick Clegg, and James Murdoch bursting into the office of the Independent editor outraged at the “Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – You will” ad.

Then I read this article from Johann Hari suggesting that the UK electorate is more left than the governments we tend to elect. Obviously there is some of his spin on it but it does make you think:

Britain is a country with a large liberal-left majority. Eighty-five per cent of us say the gap between rich and poor should be “much smaller”, and a majority would get there by introducing a maximum wage that caps the incomes of the rich at £135,000 a year.

Fifty-eight per cent support a dramatic increase in the minimum wage. Fifty-eight per cent want to ditch Trident – an act of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Seventy-seven per cent want to bring the troops home from Afghanistan now, or within a year at the latest. Fifty-three per cent say people come out of prison worse than they go in, and would rather spend money on more youth clubs than on more prison places.

Across most policies, our views are to the left of all three parties. (These statistics are all from Mori, Ipsos or YouGov polls.)

A liberal playing the statistics. Maybe. but then there is the Vote for Policies not Personalities website, which gives you a variety of policy areas and the policies from 6 parties without telling you which is which, until you’ve chosen in all the categories you select. their results so far would back up Hari’s assertion:

Even more fascinating is the Vote for Policies vote breakdown on policy areas:

Sky News spinning of the results giving Cameron the debate does make you wonder if Sky is becoming a UK Fox as Murdoch manipulates the press – even the Sun suppressed poll data showing people polled feared a Lib Dem government less than Labour or Tory. Will this be the election when the freedom of the internet and social media lands a blow to the big boys who traditionally spin elections?

Is the UK population more left than we’re led to believe or is this just a ploy by the left wing media?

Just so you know, having never really considered Liberal Democrats before I came out 66.6% Liberal Democrat, 33.3% Green… so maybe I’m just spinning it my way…

Jade Goody – are we taking celebrity culture too far?

For many of you the obvious answer is probably yes – our celebrity culture has gone far too far, and our obsession with celebrity and five minutes of fame has become destructive in how we so quickly write people off, and dispose of them once their celebrity usefulness is over.

Jade Goody’s very public struggle with cancer has been making me think a bit. Her openness at living out her illness in the public eye has resulted in many women going for cervical screening and all sorts of other screening. This is a good thing. The media’s attitude to Jade has been fascinating. She tends to be a love her or hate her character. The was vilified in 2007 over the racist comments in Celebrity Big Brother. Even then what did we expect when people are put in such an intense environment and despite what Endemol may have claimed they are put under pressure so they do and say shocking things, cos we all know that’s what pulls the viewers in. So we despite our verbal disdain often fuel that obsession with celebrity. It’s interesting watching how the media are now responding to her – tragic is the word often used. Have they forgotten how they treated her? Does her illness wipe the slate clean in their eyes?

Today she has gone for more surgery but there is something that just makes me very uncomfortable about watching what looks like her eventual death in the public eye. The article is peppered by statements from her publicist,  the very phrase ‘her publicist’ makes me squirm and I just wonder how morbid we have become? Are we quite content to watch someone’s life ebb away in the public eye? Are we just taken in by the dramatic twists and turns in her very public life? Does anyone else feel the deep unease I do? When it comes to the end stages of cancer we often hear the phrase ‘dying with dignity’. What does that mean to die with dignity? Is it a completely subjective thing or is there a point when we should say no – enough is enough?

I’m also intrigued that she plans to get christened with her two sons next week. I hope and pray she finds even more than she is looking for…

It’s o so quiet – have Irish church leaders lost their voice?

On Boxing/St. Stephen’s day, the BBC website carries stories about church leaders speaking prophetically into our culture in Wales, England and Scotland. There was a general story on the front page, alongside the Pope’s Christmas message. But then I began to look for what Irish church leaders were saying at Christmas. Maybe because it’s Christmas church leaders get more airtime, and it was interesting to read most of them speaking intelligently and some might say prophetically into our society and culture. A simple trawl of stories on front page and search deeper into Europe and NI sections reveal nothing. Is it just they are not getting reported or have church leaders in Ireland lost their voice?

I’ve been censored by the big brother of Rugby World Cup Ltd!

rugby World Cup ballPrepare yourself for an outpouring of indignation. I have received an email from youtube informing me of a copyright infringement, and my video of the haka at the France-New Zealand Rugby World Cup Quarter Final has been removed! Not even action from the game but the haka. Waht the flip are Rugby World Cup Ltd up to? Have they nothing better to do with their time than trawl the internet and remove the slightest footage or photos of all their games? Seriously think about it – someone must be being paid from the money I paid for my ticket to trawl you tube looking for videos from matches. Do they expect us to pay to take videos and photos or something? What sort of world are they living in? Do they have Orwellian dreams and want to take on Rupert Murdoch for control of the media? Is 1984 looming? Can anyone tell me what major crime an advert for what is possibly one of the most attractive games to watch played is? I’m awaiting a writ now for criticising their small minded ridiculous pettiness, and to be told that I have to remove the photo of the French fans as it was at an official Rugby World Cup Ltd event. Maybe it should be Big business is watching instead of big brother…

the soapbox – so angry he can barely type