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.

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

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  • guano

    Mark Golding
    “Agent Cameron I believe has been advised by his masters to fence the debate around a compulsory ethical regulation of the press that dilutes to a voluntary watchdog while retaining the established Blairite CIA liased Anglo-American influence from British Intelligence services and think-tanks like ….”

    As I see it the War of Terror was a vast collusion between political Islam and Global capitalism, based on expanding the success of building the economies of Far Eastern countries and extending the loving arm of Europe into the old Eastern block by opening our doors to them on one side of the deal, and opening the doors of the West to Islam.

    The politicians of the Judaeo-Christian West, that’s people like me and you, want a Global Market to satiate their unsatiable greed for money and power. The political Islamists, that’s also people like me and you who think about the meaning of life and Islam, want a Global network of Intelligence to satiate their unsatiable desire for control over the individual and their lifestyle.

    The presence of Terror created a legitimate excuse for universal surveillance. Not all of us are criminals, so that would not be an excuse for universal espionage. So that was conceded by the Islamists because they want to control people (many having been spied on and tortured by dictators beforehand). The presence of the (socialist-conceived) Welfare State allowed a mass influx of Muslims to come to the UK and thrive, which has created a body of Islamic testimony to brush against and filter into the western mind.

    The old system of Islam, controlling people through dictatorship religious or secular, was a barrier to trade and can be replaced by the new system of control through IT monitoring. It was also a barrier to the spreading of Islam. Political unity. Peace on earth. David Cameron’s masters are USUKISPI ( political Islam ).
    The Mursi experiment does not need Judges. Judgement will be made by Mullahs from audio and video recordings in your home.
    I just hope your apricots look good on film.

  • Komodo

    I’m waiting to see where Fox thinks those rockets of Syria’s will go:
    The Fateh A-110 (M-600) missile is believed to have a length of 8.86 m, a body diameter of 0.61 m, and a launch weight of 3,450 kg. The payload is 500 kg. Guidance is inertial with GPS updates, and a single-stage solid propellant motor gives the missile a maximum range of 210 km. The accuracy is believed to be around 100 m CEP. The M-600 (Fateh-3 A-110B) improved version is reported to have a maximum range of 250 km, and may have a smaller 450 kg payload, but no details have been made public. [Jane’s]

    Will Cameron tell us that they could start landing on London in 45 minutes?

  • Komodo

    BTW “believed”…”is reported”. Looks like Janes’ sources aren’t a great deal better than Fox’s. Is Mike Ledeen still around these days? He was always good for making a rumour seem solid…

  • Mary

    Thanks John. I am not on Facebook so cannot add my congratulations but second your message to him under the photo. I call him Harry No Fear. He is measured, does not indulge in hyperbole and can be trusted to give us the truth. Did you see the You Tube of him near the ‘fence’ being threatened by the IDF?

    ‘John Goss Well done young man. Glad you emerged from the attacks unscathed. Everybody was worried about you and all the others under fire in Gaza.’

  • Clark

    Ben Franklin at 4 Dec, 12:15 am,
    Kempe at 4 Dec, 6:55 am,

    Kempe, you seem to be replying to Ben Franklin. But I think a misunderstanding has occurred.

    Ben Franklin, your comment seems to be based upon your two comments here:


    but you seem to have missed out the important bit, which is that there is no evidence or attribution for Fox News’ assertion that the chemical precursors are being prepared for use in a chemical attack.

  • John Goss

    Dreolin, I’ve posted a comment waiting for the editor’s approval. It was something to the effect that:

    “They will be denying that Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election next. Or that there is no Supreme Court warrant for Julian Assange.

  • Clark

    Kempe, my best guess regarding Syria is that there is both significant internal support for the existing government, and significant internal opposition, too. However, this internal division is being amplified and exploited by external forces, probably from US/Israeli ally Saudi Arabia, NATO through its member state Turkey, and extremist fighters that travel internationally to areas of conflict.

    The situation looks similar to the armed uprising in Libya; complex, difficult to analyse, and difficult to assess in moral terms when considered in isolation. However, the examples of Iraq and Libya suggest that the defeat of Syria’s existing government would cause more harm than good for Syria’s population, for many years, at the very minimum.

    The international strategic situation is abundantly clear, however:

    (1) The majority of the Western corporate media wish to incite public opinion to support military intervention by US/NATO forces, whereas Russian state media has the opposite motivation,

    (2) There are at present no US/NATO military bases in Syria,

    (3) Establishing military control of Syria is an important step towards Western military dominance of the southern arc surrounding the major oil reserves, see map:


    Please add your comments to this assessment, and describe what you think would be the best Western foreign policy towards this situation.

    Personally, I think that if we in the West want the affluent lifestyle that abundant energy makes possible, we should spend the money necessary to develop locally generated sources of energy. If our best efforts involve living with nuclear reactors and the toxic waste that they generate, so be it. Alternatively, we could choose a less affluent way of life.

  • Clark

    To all those people who claim that climate change is merely propaganda, I remind you that dependency upon fossil fuels is the major driving force behind ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

  • Komodo

    We, or rather the Palestinians, have been here before, of course. Remember?


    I wonder how long the rest of the world can persist in its wishful belief that Israel has any intention of facilitating a two-state settlement, or indeed any agreement of any kind with the Palestinians whose land it has stolen and continues to steal.

    No, Dreoilin. Netanyahu is not bluffing. He is creating facts on the ground as fast as he can. E1 may or may not stall for the moment, if he can buy something else by bargaining with it, but ultimately, it will go ahead. If he has his way there will not be a two state solution, a one-state solution, or any other kind of solution. This is the guy who got a landslide election victory after friends of his killed Rabin* for negotiating in good faith. He has a long and entirely consistent track record for encouraging settlement and shitting on the Arabs. He’s an ein Reich, ein Volk kinda guy, and I’m not too sure he’d turn down the chance to be ein Fuehrer.

    *That’s the last ever Israeli who negotiated in good faith…

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Looks like it’s time for 4th Quarter assessment of my return on investment, here.

  • Komodo

    Clark – I don’t think Turkey wants what’s going on in Syria. It certainly can do without a massive refugee problem, and it’s seen what happened in Iraq: not only were the Kurds empowered, they were given a de facto state…which they would very happily enlarge into a future fractured Syria, and use as a secure base for their longstanding guerilla war against the Turkish state. I wonder which side NATO would support, seeing as the Kurds are doing such sterling work destabilising and spying on W. Iran?

  • Cryptonym

    Clark, you’re initial reasoning is sound, huge military expenditures and the attendant inhumanity and immorality that follow from it, dwarfing annually even horrendous nuclear decontamination and waste processing costs in total must be added to the costs of oil and gas based energy sources. I think you go further than CM in his 2007 Daily Mail comment archived at europe.bg which you linked to.

    I see no need whatever for nuclear energy or your absurd contention that it is a choice between a less afluent lifestyle OR nuclear energy, that is an utterly false dichotomy. Present distribution of wealth in ‘the West’ is wickedly inequitable, a minor adjustment by a few, by the 1% of their obscene and tawdry acquisitiveness is all that is required and which many have long argued for convincingly, for a whole number of other and justifiable reasons, common sense and fairness the most obvious ones. Capitalism’s inherent evils.

    Nuclear power entrenches the monopoly power giants, inhibits renewable utilisation by saturating the market with subsidised power and requires the type of security state, in order to have them in our midst, that libertarians abhor. Tony Benn has described the Labour Government of the mid-seventies nonchalantly debating and adopting powers to shoot strikers/pickets to force road delivered CO2 supplies to near critical/shutdown AGR stations.

    I’d rather not have the continued habitability of these islands subject to the performance of a lowest cost bidder supplied tuppeny bolt or washer, unseen corrosion or flawed weld.

  • John Goss

    Glenn-uk, excellent trailer. I will definitely be going to see this film. I believe in co-operatives and the Co-op, which I bank with for their commitment to ethical investment, presents it. Billy Murray McCormac, who directed the Pacific high altitude nuclear tests, has a lot to answer for. I’ll repost the link.


  • Clark

    Jon, thank you for revealing the identity behind “Clarkstein” and “@Kempe”.

    Yet again, we see that sock-puppetry is the standard tool of those that harbour hatred towards specific ethnic / religious groups. This is because racists are motivated primarily by their internal fears of those they arbitrarily identify as “one of them, not one of us”.

    I again call for implicit, automatic registration of screen-name / e-mail address combinations. It would not add inconvenience to submission of comments, and it would not make contributors more susceptible to identification by governments or corporations than they already are. If implemented appropriately, the majority of contributors, who post under a consistent identity, would notice no change.

  • Clark

    Cryptonyn, firstly, I used the phrase “our best efforts” and avoided mentioning wealth inequality because I felt that my comment was long and complex enough already.

    Secondly, I do not advocate the construction of any more solid-fuelled, water-cooled nuclear reactors, which I regard as a dead end mistake from the Cold War; dangerous, dirty and inefficient. I believe that nuclear power can be done cleanly, safely and on a small scale. Indeed, clean-up of the so-called “spent fuel” already produced can only be achieved by “burning” it in an appropriate nuclear reactor, and there seems to be some 10,000 years-worth of electricity available as a by-product:


    Thirdly, my point is that if Western populations get the chance, and democratically choose a lifestyle that requires such high energy production, it is morally better to accept and deal with the consequences at home than waging wars or disposing of nuclear “waste” upon far-off populations against their wishes.

  • Clark

    Cryptonym, the UK lived with nuclear power stations for nearly fifty years before the construction of the current “security state”. I remember one notable incident where a protester walked onto the platform at Stratford station and pointed a small rocket launcher at the passing fuel nuclear casks. British Rail famously commented that so long as he had a valid ticket, the type of luggage he was carrying was his own business!

  • Phil

    Cryptonym 4 Dec, 2012 – 3:51 pm
    “Present distribution of wealth…a minor adjustment by a few…is all that is required”

    Does anyone know a source that unequivocally substantiates this?

  • Clark

    Phil, there is (or at least was) a dataset and associated graphs on the UK Office of National Statistics that establishes the greatly increased polarisation of wealth in the UK. I don’t know the exact URL.

  • Heretic


    You accused me of being a sock puppet. You also decided that my contributions are nothing other than race hate disguised as verifiable facts.

    You have never addressed one single point I have made, instead you repeatedly fall back to slurs, lies and innuendo. You also lump your critic of my comments together with other posters (again, who you accuse of being sock puppets).

    My points are valid and verifiable and I find it suspicious that when I post something about the holocaust within a few hours your sock-puppets are posting race hate, and then you chime “Jon, do we have to put up with this?” and then Jon deletes any messages relating to the holocaust except those supporting the six million narrative.

    Are you being paid by the Home Office or the Israelis?

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Peaceful, non-cooperation boat tour

    The boat tour, sponsored by the Center for Art and Urbanism in Berlin, is dedicated to release of Bradley Manning as a prisoner of conscience for exposing US war crimes in Iraq. The event explores the sea and its role in the discourse on freedom in support of peaceful non-cooperation.

    The seats on the boat are limited to 50 persons.
    RESERVE your seat by sending your name to [email protected]

    For any near Berlin….btw you can make donations to Manning’s cause.http://www.bradleymanning.org/events/peaceful-non-cooperation-boat-tour

  • Phil


    To someone as stupid as me there is nothing unequivocal about ons data. Anyway, far too parochial.

    I was more asking for an article that unequivocally substantiates the idea that a global wealth redistribution, on it’s own, could sustain average western consumption.

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