Leveson: Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question 192

I am with David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch in one respect on the Leveson report. British mainstream politicians are still more repulsive and self-seeking than the British mainstream media, and state regulation of the media, however modulated, is not good.

But Leveson was answering the wrong question.

The real problem is the ownership structure of UK mainstream media. Newspapers and broadcasters function as the propaganda tool of vast and intertwined corporate interests, shaping public opinion to the benefit of those corporate interests and ensuring popular support for politicians prepared to be complicit with those interests.

The only answer to this is to break up the corporate structure of the UK mainstream media. The legislative framework to do this is not difficult. What needs to be changed are the criteria. I would propose something like this; no organisation, state or private, should be allowed effective control of more than 20% of the national or regional newspaper market or the television market, or more than 15% of those combined markets.

The extraordinary thing is that Leveson specifically states that plurality issues do fall within his terms of reference, and that he must address them. He then completely fails to address them. At pages 29-30 of the executive summary of his report, he acknowledges that the current situation is unsatisfactory but makes no recommendations for change, only urging “Greater transparency on decision making on mergers”.

Leveson has provided us with the distraction of an argument about a regulatory body to look primarily at invasion of privacy abuse. The important factor for Leveson is not what Cameron or Clegg think of that idea. It is what Murdoch and the media corporations think of it, and the truth is that they could live with it, after huffing and puffing, because it would have zero effect on theirfinancial bottom line.

But what Leveson has totally failed to do – and doubtless never had the slightest intention of doing – was anything that hurts the corporate financial interests. Leveson’s failure seriously to address the question of media ownership and its use in the nexus of commercial and political interests is itself an appalling act of establishment collusion. Very successfully so – in all the “debate” going on about the regulatory body, the media ownership question has completely vanished. Brilliant.

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192 thoughts on “Leveson: Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question

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  • Cryptonym

    Thanks for the further explanation of this Clark. I only looked it over superficially and with an admittedly prejudiced highly sceptical eye. I still feel that thermal efficiency will be poor and heat losses will be great, pathways to the heat exchanger must be short and relative to the reactor the heat exchanger(s) and turbine(s) themselves might be quite small, on scale perhaps a reactor the size of a football field driving one or two turbines the size of a double decker (I do like these tabloid audience units of measure). Surplus power after meeting its own consumption might be quite small, much offsite power will be required up to the point of getting it actually running, perhaps they might burn coal to pre-heat it. 🙂 Shutting it down must require the reactor and heat exchanger circuits purged. It’s possibly suited to batch reprocessing, dealing only with the most radioactive waste, handling and processing of which might well produce greater volumes of only slightly less dangerous waste still requiring a long term storage solution.

    I still feel continuing with nuclear sources of power is a one-way trip up a blind alley.

    I agree too that many renewable energy sources themselves require rare and ultimately finite raw materials too for which there will be great competition but not so much that the dogs of war might again be unleashed and we might end up back in our present hole. A major concern ought also to be that if much public money is to be invested in renewable energy, that the eventual profits replenish abundantly the public purse over the long term and that won’t be another case of socialising the costs and private parasites pocketing most of the profit.

    We do need energy storage, lots of small scale pumped storage/hydro schemes, electric vehicle fleets too that can both charge from and supply power back to the grid as required.

    Political and economic obstacles rather than technical issues stand in the way.

  • Clark

    To highlight a positive point from Mary’s nuclear explosion animation link: of over two thousand nuclear detonations, only two have actually been used as offensive weapons.

    The fall-out and displacement of populations from these explosions is also horrendous, of course. But less than 0.1% used in actual conflict; I’d be surprised if this isn’t a record among all weapons systems.

    Which calls for a re-post of Dreoilin’s link:


  • Clark

    Cryptonym, if MSRs suffered from those sorts of problems, I would have already abandoned my investigation. The first MSR was designed as a power source for nuclear bomber aircraft; the design was chosen specifically for its small size, power density and efficiency. Bombers that could stay aloft for months on end without refuelling were never developed and became obsolete with the development of ICBMs.

    MSRs can, it seems, “burn” just about any nuclear fuel, from the highly radioactive protactinium to the barely radioactive depleted uranium. It is by extracting the energy that drives radioactivity that MSRs reduce waste volume, mass and longevity. If you’d like to “cut to the chase”, the most serious objections I’ve found so far are:

    (1) Most MSR designs require highly toxic beryllium and/or fluorine in the fuel salt – but so do numerous non-nuclear industrial processes. Notably, the refining of rare earth metals for renewable energy technology needs lots of fluorine, and leaves behind radioactive waste, which is already creating serious environmental problems in Africa, and, presumably, China.

    (2) After MSRs have “cooked down” radioactive substances to their smallest volume, you’re still left with long-lived radioactive technetium to deal with, though a lot less of it than the stuff you started with. Just how much less is something I’m still looking into.

    Note that renewable power technology is not free from nuclear waste problems. Those problems are just produced in far off lands with impoverished populations instead of in more powerful countries using vast amounts of energy. Another typical foreign policy disaster in the making.

  • Mary

    Murdoch’s mother has just died in Australia, aged 103! Will he have the same longevity?


    UK editors back most of the Leveson proposals but ‘they are said to be continuing to resist the idea of a statutory body to oversee the new organisation’.


    Hugo Rifkind twitters that because he has seen Murdoch only twice in the Times offices in ten years, there is no undue influence from him on the editorial staff. Pull the other one Hugo!

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    We need a fresh thread infusion….

    This is interesting. What doe’s “Vox Populi” hav to do with the Internal Revenue Service?


    “Twin Pillars

    The symbolism of the twin pillars is ancient and very meaningful as it refers to the core of hermetism, the basis of secret society teachings. In short, the pillars represent duality and the union of opposites:

    “The right Tablet of the Law further signifies Jachin – the white pillar of light; the left Tablet, Boaz – the shadowy pillar of darkness. These were the names of the two pillars cast from brass set up on the porch of King Solomon’s Temple. They were eighteen cubits in height and beautifully ornamented with wreaths of chainwork, nets, and pomegranates. On the top of each pillar was a large bowl – now erroneously called a ball or globe – one of the bowls probably containing fire and the other water. The celestial globe (originally the bowl of fire), surmounting the right-hand column (Jachin), symbolized the divine man; the terrestrial globe (the bowl of water), surmounting the left-hand column (Boaz), signified the earthly man. These two pillars respectively connote also the active and the passive expressions of Divine Energy, the sun and the moon, sulphur and salt, good and bad, light and darkness. Between them is the door leading into the House of God, and standing thus at the gates of Sanctuary they are a reminder that Jehovah is both an androgynous and an anthropomorphic deity. As two parallel columns they denote the zodiacal signs of Cancer and Capricorn, which were formerly placed in the chamber of initiation to represent birth and death – the extremes of physical life. They accordingly signify the summer and the winter solstices, now known to Freemasons under the comparatively modern appellation of the “two St. Johns.”

    In the mysterious Sephirothic Tree of the Jews, these two pillars symbolize Mercy and Severity. Standing before the gate of King Solomon’s Temple, these columns had the same symbolic import as the obelisks before the sanctuaries of Egypt. When interpreted Qabbalistically, the names of the two pillars mean “In strength shall My House be established. “In the splendor of mental and spiritual illumination, the High Priest stood between the pillars as a mute witness to the perfect virtue of equilibrium – that hypothetical point equidistant from all extremes. He thus personified the divine nature of man in the midst of his compound constitution – the mysterious Pythagorean Monad in the presence of the Duad. On one side towered the stupendous column of the intellect; on the other, the brazen pillar of the flesh. Midway between these two stands the glorified wise man, but he cannot reach this high estate without first suffering upon the cross made by joining these pillars together. The early Jews occasionally represented the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, as the legs of Jehovah, thereby signifying to the modern philosopher that Wisdom and Love, in their most exalted sense, support the whole order of creation – both mundane and supermundane.”
    – Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages


  • nevermind

    There never was a temple of Solomon, howzat Ben, all made up, just as the exodus and Masada and and, whatever else, but really good for controlling and screwing minds.

    Ah what would we do without religion, we wouldhave tom think for ourselves.

  • Roderick Russell

    Oddie @ 4 Dec 10.54 PM – Re your comment on the “Ben-Menashe story” where suspected ARSON destroyed his Montreal home.
    Just a year ago Mr. Ben-Menashe’s name was all over the press in Canada. He had a business relationship with Dr. Arthur Porter who was Chairman of the SIRC – the tame review body that supposedly oversees the activities of Canada’s out-of-control Spy agency, CSIS.
    As the National Post reported on Nov 11, 2011:
    “Last year, Mr. Ben-Menashe signed a consultancy agreement with Arthur Porter, then a federally appointed member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watchdog for CSIS. A few weeks later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made Dr. Porter SIRC chairman” ….. “Details of Dr. Porter’s unusual dealings with Mr. Ben-Menashe were reported first by the National Post on Tuesday. On Thursday, Prime Minister Harper accepted Dr. Porter’s resignation from SIRC.”
    Neither Canada’s out-of-control CSIS Spy agency, nor Prime Minister Stephen Harper can have been happy with the manner of the resignation of Dr. Porter.

  • Clark

    Cryptonym, I have some preliminary answers to my earlier omissions, but the complexity of the papers is exceeding my ability to interpret them. However, it looks very hopeful indeed.

    With one mix of fuels (Paper17.pdf, page 11), the AMSTER MSR should be able to reduce radioactive waste by a factor of ten thousand (“four decades”, a “decade” being a factor of ten) for any given quantity of electricity. Producing all the world’s electricity for a year is claimed to produce less than four kilos of new waste! I know; this is so startling that I wondered if a decimal point was in the wrong place, but the other paper seems to confirm it.

    A different fuel mix (287.pdf, page 15) would enable two and a quarter tonnes of “spent” fuel to be reduced to six grams of transuranic waste and six kilos of U-236. Quite a lot of U-238 (DU) is also produced, but another fuel mix configuration can burn that.

    A passing comment on page 5 of Paper17.pdf suggests that these reactors can actually synthesize rare earth elements, which are vital to the production of renewable power technology and flat screens etc.. And contrary to my earlier pessimism, technetium-99 can also be burnt away, though it’s a hassle.

    Previously I posted the more technical paper on my web-space; the new one linked below is simpler. Take a look page 11. Note that the input vs. output graph on page 12 is logarithmic, ie. the ratios are much better than they look, so check the numbers on the axis:


  • Clark

    Who writes viruses and malware? According to this article, the major source is nation states. “Hacking On A Scale You Can Barely Imagine” did you say, Mary?

    “Researcher Dan Guido reverse-engineered all the major malware toolkits used for mass exploitation. His findings about the sources of exploits are compelling:

    * None of the exploits used for mass exploitation were developed by malware authors.
    * Instead, all of the exploits came from “Advanced Persistent Threats” (an industry term for nation states) or from whitehat disclosures.”


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