In a time of demagoguery, “impartiality” and “establishing the facts” are contradictory terms. Another sterling example of the Fourth Estate failing the people, speaking for power and making a mockery of the facts. Enjoy 😏

‘Why is the BBC bending to the Government’s definition of impartiality?’, Owen Jones

“When faced with a very clear choice between yielding to government pressure or serving viewers by telling them the truth, BBC management, shamefully, chose the former,” says one Newsnight source. “BBC bosses believe this helps preserve the organisation. All it will really do is sign its death warrant.” 

Here’s to those we don’t deserve


As we lurch through the end of days and watch the complete degeneration of Question Time into clickbait vying with GMB’s Piers Morgan for YouTube views, thank god we still have those we can stare up at.  Enjoy:


Mark Steel, ‘If you say Muslim women look like letterboxes, the only job you can get is prime minister – it’s the woke brigade’s fault’


Stewart Lee, ‘Laurence Fox is the hero we deserve – and I have just the role for him’

The Broken Fourth Estate


On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock hurried over to Leeds to get a grip on the scandal caused by photos of a 4 year old boy receiving medical treatment on the floor of Leeds General’s A&E.


Unsurprisingly, he was not met with open arms. Accosted by several angry locals and Labour activists, at one point, one of Hancock’s aids walks into the a Labour activist from behind. The established press exploded with news of Labour activists turning violent and assaulting the gentleman.


We know the media is bias. It is not difficult to quantify* nor difficult to understand – there is no conspiracy theory, merely the very Anglican fact that, when access to the media is the exclusive reserve of the upper middle classes, the media generally has an upper middle class bias. What continues to astound me, however, is how increasingly debased the profession has become. Perhaps it is a symptom of social media, whose clickbait profits have helped kill investigative journalism and spawn “client journalism” (Peter Oborne’s term for ‘journalism as decoration of power, or court reporting’. In other words, vanity pieces in exchange for privileged access, as exemplified by Laura Kuenssberg). Perhaps the unmeritocratic social order has reduced the qualitative stock of our journalists or, maybe, it is our own partisanship which has rendered balanced reporting an unwanted anachronism and perpetuated sensationalist commentators blind to their own hyperreality (Baudrillard’s term for “reality” as presented by a media largely reporting on other media reports).


Either way, all we know is the media revealed their hand with how desperately quickly they pointed the finger and the silly wanker walked into the bloke’s hand.


Judge for yourself:


http://Labour Activist Wrongly Accused Punching Tory Adviser

Boris, every step of the way


He’s angry and he should be.


What Mr Pie encapsulates here is not just the nature of the Conservative Party but, importantly, the firm support they have received from our broken Fourth Estate. Every step of the way, the established media has held the Conservatives’ hands and kept them firmly within an Overton window of their common interest.


This is not a conspiracy, there is no grand design. The Fourth Estate mirrors our society as a whole. Our education system, unpaid internships, social prejudices and, in this industry like many others, our unapologetic nepotism all but ensure the journalists, producers, editors and owners of our established media are wholly drawn from the same schools, demographics and interests as the Conservatives.


Enjoy the rant but don’t forget to do something about it!:


Jonathan Pie, ‘A Decade of the Tories’

Pinch, Punch, First of the Month


As the world, our attention and the click-bait news cycle rumbles on, here is a reminder of the ongoing fight in Chile.


For decades, Chile has been a poster child for the radical, neoliberal project – its sole success story in the face of the former Soviet Union, East Asia in 1997, the EU, Pacific, Caribbean, Africa and, of course, the rest of South America. Indeed, it is not unusual to hear commentators like Niall Ferguson declare the wonder of Chile as easily worth the horror of Pinochet.


So, as the fight continues and the vested interests of the Washington Consensus, grown weaker by the year, look on in anguish as their mother, like Saturn, devours yet another one of her children, I thought I’d revisit and share an elucidating commentary from one of our sharpest economic observers.


Branko, take it away:


Branko Milanovic, ‘Chile: The poster boy of neoliberalism who fell from grace’