Journalists as State Functionaries 144


There was a brief moment of truth on Sky News this morning, where there was a short discussion of disquiet among journalists that Theresa May will only take questions that have been pre-vetted and selected in advance by the Tory Party. The Sky reporter even gave the detail that the journalists are not allowed to hold the microphone, which is controlled by a Tory Party functionary so it can be switched off if the journalist strays from the script.

This has been the case right from the start, something I highlighted a few days ago.

But the overall treatment on Sky was that this was not really important, and was simply a matter of ensuring “fairness” in distributing questions between journalists.

This is a desperate situation. I do not know any genuine democracy in the world which would accept this. I have just spent two months in Ghana, where there would be a commendable roar of outrage if the President tried to limit what questions can be asked of him – and he would never dream of doing so. Nowhere in the European Union, not even in authoritarian Hungary, are journalists’ questions pre-vetted.

The idea that the head of the government both gets to choose what they have asked, and gets advance warning of every question so they can look sharp with their answer, is totally antithetical to every notion of democratic accountability. If we had anything approaching a genuine free media, there would be absolute outrage. All genuine media organisations would react by boycotting such events and simply refusing to cover them at all.

The media know perfectly well that the reason May needs protection from difficult questions – and even advance notice of soft ones – is that she is hopeless. Her refusal to debate Corbyn and her car crash interview with Marr illustrate that. But our servile media cover up for her by colluding in entirely fake events.

I learn from a BBC source that in the special Question Time the BBC have organised for May in lieu of a debate, questioners will be selected in advance and May will see the questions in time to prepare.

My observation that the Conservative platform is in its essentials identical to the BNP manifesto of 2005 has received widespread social media coverage. I simply cannot conceive that the UK can have become so right wing. Now add to that, it has become so authoritarian there is no reaction to advance vetting of journalists questions – something Vladimir Putin does not do. And very few people seem to care.

I understand that Theresa May has succeeded in going so far to the right she hoovers up all of UKIP votes. In some ways she has gone further to the right than UKIP ever did. For all his faults, Nigel Farage would be quite genuinely horrified at the idea of pre-vetting of which questions from journalists are permitted. The thing I do not understand, is that it appears that there is no lurch too far into right-wing authoritarianism which causes more liberal conservatives to desert.

I suspect many are deluding themselves she has the ability to control the far right forces to which her every word and action pander. They delude themselves. Firstly, May really is that right wing and illiberal. Secondly it has gone beyond control. Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society has a major article in The Sun today in which he forecasts violence (“deeds not words”) by “the people” if immigration specifically from Muslim countries is not curtailed. He does not state what form precisely these deeds not words by the people would take, but it is hard to see anything he can mean except violence against Muslims. People like Murray are now the mainstream Conservatives.


144 thoughts on “Journalists as State Functionaries

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  • giyane

    In their desperation to be more racist than UKIP the Home Office is now writing to asylum seekers from war-torn lands that Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein may be able to take responsibility for offering them asylum, while the UK considers that it is not responsible for offering it. Note, not France, Italy or Holland, through which they may have travelled, but countries very unlikely to have been in their path.

    It does seem that the Tories are now so exaggerated in their election positions they will soon pop in our faces. Compare that with the sober commonsense of John MacDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn, looks like we’ll be getting a big majority Labour government on June 8th.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    No surprise, but it’s intensely annoying, that the BBC has not played hardball and insisted on a leaders’ debate with an empty podium for May.

    I would also have liked to see a camera on that empty podium for a specified amount of time after every question, to emphasise that May had been given an opportunity to participate and had refused.

    The accommodation shown by the BBC is a perfect example of direct bias in favour of the Conservatives.

    • Alistair Granham

      I wish Jeremy Corbyn hadn’t helped May by saying he wouldn’t debate if she didn’t. It’s hard for them to empty-chair her without him. I don’t understand his position: he usually comes over well when speaking for himself (rather than being reported by others) and I would have thought his best strategy would be to take every opportunity to do so.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        I think he would have done better to agree to debate and insist on an empty podium for May. Perhaps he suggested it and the BBC wouldn’t wear it.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Disappointing and very odd. I wonder what his reasoning was.

          • Paracelsus

            Craig, don’t you find it suspicious that Corbyn agreed to an election in the first place and then helped May a second time with the leader’s debates? It simply doesn’t make sense on its own. The only explanation I can think of is that his loyalty is to the Establishment first and foremost (he did go to Eton) or that he has been compromised in some way and subject to co-ercion by the authorities.

          • Burt (not bert)

            I guess the thinking was everyone else would just turn on corbyn, and any sort off fractious debate or even any agreement would play straight into tories ‘coalition of chaos’ mantra (though these mantras seem to be going off the boil a bit (i like for the many not the few though)

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Given the wholly negative treatment Corbyn’s had from the BBC’s various presenters, I imagine he reasoned that the chair of the ‘debate’ would not be impartial. And that precisely the same control over who said what would be exercised as that of which today’s post complains. He’d be stupid to play their games. He’s quite right.

        • Gulliver

          Had Corbyn agreed to debate with all the other party leaders present except May then it would surely have meant that, as the leader of the only realistic alternative government, he would become the main target of these party leaders. On any question, particularly economic ones, he would be defending his party’s policies/record with absolutely no scrutiny taking place of the Tory record.

        • Manda

          I wonder if it is “stupid”? It would clearly be an ambush. I doubt Corbyn’s team made the decision lightly. Media are pulling out all the stops to discredit the “unelectable” Corbyn and Labour. Strange really if his policies are so unpopular.

      • DaveM

        Perhaps because Corbyn is the biggest waste of political time this side of 2000. He’s played into the Tories’ hands at every possible opportunity, as far as I can tell. Maybe he’ll be happy to march Labour into electoral oblivion so he can resign the leadership and go back to his allotment?

    • ThrowAway

      Agreed even the coverage of the electoral fraud which apparently the BBC cant now ignore given the traction its getting else where is being painted as “administration error due to very confusing rules”. Those poor tories its not like its their job to know these kind of things of course the strong end stable leadership is entirely innocent of wrong doing. Its no coalition of chaos afterall!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39865801

  • Archie Hamilton

    Absolutely spot on. Who would have thought that the once hallowed democratic United Kingdom would fall so far and yet have so few people putting up any effective opposition.

    • Shatnersrug

      I don’t what uk you’ve been living in but this has been the case since 1979.

      Thatcher handed the country to Murdoch and that’s where we are now.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Now add to that, it has become so authoritarian there is no reaction to advance vetting of journalists questions – something Vladimir Putin does not do.”

    No he gets the journalists sacked or takes over the newspaper
    https://www.ft.com/content/45a8a9c4-1c3b-11e6-b286-cddde55ca122
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/11678629/Russian-state-TV-reporter-fired-after-criticising-Vladimir-Putin.html
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/25/how-russia-independent-media-was-dismantled-piece-by-piece

    You may well have a point over the soft handling of May but to say it is worse than what Putin does is otiose in the extreme. Even more stupid than claiming that RT is only slightly biased towards Putin.

    • glenn_uk

      Putin takes telephone calls at random from the Russian public, and answers them on-air. He does this at some length, on a regular basis.

      That is the point here, not that he’s a great guy.

      • Resident Dissident

        I didn’t take you as being so gullible – don’t you think the callers are pre-vetted or cut off at the first sign of anything awkward? Strangely enough you never hear critical callers. Could I recommend the recent books by Pomarantsev and Ostrovsky if you want to understand how Putin controls the media.

        If you have ever had the joy of watching the evening Russian news program you will know what fun it is watching Putin meeting the visiting Womens Institute and similar puffs ad nauseam.

        • glenn_uk

          ok, so you’re saying that May is no better than Putin in this respect. Got it.

        • Macky

          Like all crazed conspiracy theorists RD relies on dodgy propaganda in order to fit the world into his blinkered version of it; the Russians are not stupid, they would not be giving Putin such record high approval ratings if he was obviously engaging in such fraud against them.

        • Stu

          He takes whatever stupid questions the BBC have for him at the annual christmas press conference so he’s certainly more open than May.

        • D_Majestic

          Pre-vetted, R.D.? Oh-are we talking about ‘Question Time’ and any televised appearance that May puts in, then? Oh-I forgot. No.It’s just Putin. Couldn’t happen in our ‘Democracy’, could it?

    • John Goss

      Oh, what a surprise!

      I never expected that!

      Resident Dissident has come out against Vladimir Putin!

      Well I’m blowed!

      • Resident Dissident

        NO the real surprise will be when you show a scintilla of criticism of the Putin regime.

          • Resident Dissident

            Happy to oblige – I wonder if anyone else has noticed how whenever I make a criticism of his hero Mr Goss tends to pop up here rather quickly with a response?

          • Harry Vijes

            You are missing the sub text here J. Which is to divert attention away from what our own establishment are doing to the behaviour of others elsewhere.

            If it’s good for Putin then it cannot be a problem for us eh ResDis.

      • Herbie

        Yes.

        It’s impressive stuff.

        No way lying Western politicians could handle that.

        They’re barely on top of their brief.

        Thing is of course. He’s a real leader. Our lot are little more than ventroloquist’s dummies.

  • Jo

    Yes, that May is being permitted to dictate the terms at every point is pretty shocking but the greatest shock is that there is not a murmur from the media. In fact, as Craig points out, the BBC is falling over itself to accommodate her. They even rolled May out on the One Show tonight with hubby in tow!

        • Sharp Ears

          How about the boy jobs (he puts out the bins) and the girl jobs? At which she giggled. He knows his place. I thought they were going to do that sketch.

          It was excruciating.

    • Harry Vijes

      It is not just the media either Jo. It is also the usual sycophantic cheerleading suspects still locked into their Uriah Heep syndrome. Pathetically and desperately trying to reframe the issue at every opportunity.

    • Manda

      I think May and “dictate” are bed fellows and a taste of what is to come if “Teresa May’s Team” wins with a large majority.

    • Herbie

      Well, let’s hope it turns everyone else off as well.

      There’s no way you can polish up someone whose daily business is stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

      Those crap heads at the BBC etc sure do try their best though.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig, I presume that you would prefer a weak and useless UK government, so one should bar that in context when reading your excellent (generally) blog..

    • Ian

      Haha, you ‘presume’ your own biased approach. I suppose your barbed little implication is that you much prefer the sad-masochism of May which you excitedly interpret as ‘strong’, a contentious assertion.

    • Doug Scorgie

      Hitler was a strong leader, Mussolini was a strong leader, Franco was a strong leader. Jeremy Corbyn is a gentleman and talks far more sense than any right-wing establishment elites and corporate “journalists.”

    • Ian

      We already have a weak and useless UK government. Don’t expect this this to be changing anytime soon.

  • Bobm

    Ask her if/why she is FRIT, over and again.
    Contrast with FRANCE.
    What is she afraid of?

  • Ian

    WTF is a British tabloid doing giving space to a right wing fascist normalising and fomenting the idea of violence against Muslims (under the predictable guise of ‘forecasting’ it)? If there was any press watchdog worth the name they would haul the Sun over the coals. We are heading for a dark place if this keeps up.

  • SF

    There’s a clip on Twitter – which is of course lacking full context because it’s very short – of May taking questions from an audience (maybe in a workplace), identifying someone wanting to speak, and then saying “you’ve got a pen in your hand; are you a journalist?”.

    So strong. So stable. So surreal.

  • reel guid

    The groundwork for all this was laid out in the 1990s with those bloody awful spin doctors the parties brought in. Copying what the Yanks did of course. No doubt as a result of subtle US coercion to refashion the world in their own image.

    Then we had Blair as Prime Minister turning up at national newspaper offices to give pep talks to the journalists about how he thought his government should be reported. And the editors and journos letting him do it instead of throwing the bastard out into the street. Or at least ignoring him until he went away.

    And of course every minister in New Labour aped their master by doing the same.

  • K Crosby

    “liberal conservatives” are the same as other liberals, fascists in cardigans. Liberalism is not a centrist ideology.

  • bevin

    ” I simply cannot conceive that the UK can have become so right wing. Now add to that, it has become so authoritarian there is no reaction to advance vetting of journalists questions – something Vladimir Putin does not do. And very few people seem to care.”
    Time spent studying the comments might be educational.
    Take the above, for example. It takes hardly any time before we have moved on from the matter of May and the obsequious Tory owned media to the more appetising subject of Putin and his relationships with Russia’s print and electronic media and, the, even tastier matter of Corbyn’s supposed collusions with May, the media and, in all probability the diabolical Putin (Hitler of the Year 2016) himself.
    We are, of course, simply following the course mapped out to us by the same media who allow May to vet their questions and control the mics. They want us to howl at Putin, even though we neither read nor speak the language in which he communicates, and pile on Jeremy-because that is what the Tory media wants us to do with our frustrated curiosity.
    For the record I have not seen a shred of evidence that Corbyn is in collusion with the Tories, and I have met enough powerful Tories to know that they hate him and fear his message passionately; nor that he will not, during the next few weeks, make certain that May’s failure to make herself accountable will be understood by the electorate.
    But don’t expect the media to tell you this. Or to explain Corbyn’s motives or to ask, their proprietors’ puppet,Mrs May any tough questions.
    This has been going on ever since newspapers were first established in Britain. All that has changed is that, thanks to the long ascendancy of the right over the radical and labour movements, those opposed to the current system, to imperialism abroad and unrestrained capitalism at home have divested themselves of the media that they once counted on to counter that of The Establishment. The Blairites convinced them that Murdoch and Rothermere would be happy to publish Labour’s point of view provided that it was ‘sensible’, which is to say indistinguishable from Murdoch et al’s.
    Happily blogs like this provide forums in which informed opinion can develop-which is why the trolls spend so much energy trying to change the subject back to Putin and Corbyn and what is wrong with them.

    • Tony Little

      Bevin. I was interested in your comment about Corby. I am, I think, like many people who thought that his election (twice!) would herald a new approach to the UK’s political scene. I remain totally confused about his actions, however, and have NO IDEA at all how he thinks his actions, and those of his party (I speak as a long time former voter) can bring this State back from the brink of extreme right-wing politics of hate.

      What ARE his motives? You seem to suggest you have some insight. I would welcome your sharing this with me. Why, for example, did his Labour Party abstain so many times on votes in Westminster that imposed draconian measures on those least able in our society. the very people Labour used to fight for? Of course, Labour has progressively abandoned them ever since Blair’s election and “repositioning” Labour as neo-lberal-lite.

      Corbyn could have been the breath of fresh air that could persuade me to vote for them again. but he didn’t stand up to the establishment when the opportunities arose. I can only see a sad ending to what was once an honourable and socially conscious party. The poor and unemployed, the weak and sick, the disabled and dispossessed have no one left to fight for them.

      • Harry Vimes

        Just to give a little insight Tony.

        The problems you highlight do not just stem from what you term the establishment. Corbyn may well have succeeded in being elected leader of the Party but the Party also contains it’s own establishment which has functionaries at every level working to undermine what is being attempted. The NEC sub committee dealing with membership are still expelling members who the Progress wing, still committed to the triangulation strategy of the 1990’s, do not want. Regional Organisers for example are largely young graduates with no life experience outside the political bubble who have the power to suspend entire Ward Branches. These are people who came through student politics, did an a bit of internship for some Blairite MP and we’re then parachuted into a job in order to watch the back’s of those Labour MP ‘s who are stuck in the past and still act as though Blair was the Messiah.

        There are still Constituencies and Ward Branches where many of the new members from over the past few years have never met one another because the local Progress (sic) supporting MP has their own functionaries in officership positions who will not even allow elected Membership Secretary’s who are not part of this little Tufty Club access to the local membership list and who use every means available to ensure members do not meet outside tightly controlled scenarios.

        The problem then is systemic because you still have an organisation staffed at every level by supporters of the ancien regime. Purging them, in the same way that many ordinary members and Branches/Constituencies are being purged, would divert energy and attention to dealing with the resulting howls of outrage from the media which would involve terms such as ‘dictatorship’ etc. Terms not used when the boot is on the other foot.

        Many of the MP’S and candidates from this wing of the Party are conducting local campaigns relegating the Labour logo below their own name with literature littered with statements about electing a strong local MP who will hold the Tory Government to account. Signalling clearly they do not envisage a Labour Government. On the doorstep these same MP ‘s jump on every voter who criticises Corbyn in order to validate their own position whilst ignoring those voters who take the opposite position to themselves. Stuck in their own bubble unable to read the runes currently available about the way the Executive views Parliament.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          That’s a good analysis. Corbyn has enough trouble kicking his own party back towards its founding principles against the very well-organised (and funded*) opposition within it. Only if he can do this will he have any possibility of reversing the steady creep of the Overton window to the right. Actually, he will have a better chance of doing so if he throws this election and plans for the next. Five years of May, and the pips will be squeaking loudly. We’ll be out of Europe, and/or embroiled in a monster Tory cockup. With luck, he’ll have lost some Blairite troughers – with more luck, they’ll have reinvented the SDP and be on the road to oblivion.

          He needs to get rid of Diane Abbott, though.

          *Progress in 2011. God knows what they’re raking in now:
          http://www.leftfutures.org/2011/09/labours-party-within-a-party-latest-funding-figures/

          • Harry Vimes

            Ba’al,

            It would be heartening to see that outcome. However, those around the Blair Progress cult have a track record of behaviour which indicates that if their unspoken but very obvious wish comes true and Labour do not win a majority on June 8th they will move to purge the Party. A process which is still going on.

            The problem they have is twofold. If Corbyn and the team around him deliver a Labour Majority or a Labour Government then they either have to stay and undermine their own Government or walk because in those circumstances the first words a lot of people would prefer to hear are “We ere elected as Real Labour, we will Govern as Real Labour.”

            If May’s gamble pays off for her there is little, if any, chance of them being able to deliver on the promises they are giving to their local electorate about holding a future Tory Government account. May and her Executive have already signalled their extreme authoritarian approach in the initial stance on Parliament having any say in the triggering of Article 50 – which took a court case to achieve which then saw a supine Parliament effectively roll over for the Executive.

            This was followed by Parliament being bounced into complience with the Executive’s wishes over a number of key Brexit negotiating positions along with a barley concealed contempt on the part of that Executive towards Parliament over its role, if any, in the Great Repeal Bill. A stance which has resulted in the obvious and only reasonable conclusion that in effect there is a feudal power grab at play here where in practical terms the divine right of kings is being adopted by the Executive to neuter Parliament.

            It is within this context where we had only two weeks ago the Tory funded poll agency Yougov (or YouGove as some have labelled it) flying a very obvious kite to assess the level of support for facism in these islands by asking whether those selected in the poll strongly agreed or strongly disagreed with the question “What the country needs is a strong leader who does not have to bother with Parliament or elections.” Unquote. With a follow up question which in essence asked people to score their own level of racism.

            People with that kind of money do not ask those kind of questions as some sort of rhetorical exercise. It is interesting that the usual suspects on this and other blogs chose to run with the usual diverting the debate and attempting to refrain the issue when that came up a few postings ago. May and the extreme right wingers, along with their useful idiot cheerleaders here and elsewhere wish to conduct the most far reaching set of negotiations a out everyone’s future in total secrecy with no involvement of Parliament whatsoever within a context where they have clearly signalled if they don’t get to have their cake and to eat it (like all spoilt brats) they will walk away and turn this society on these islands into a feudal hell hole.

            There is therefore no way for those Labour MP’S running a campaign on the basis of holding a future Tory Government to account can ever deliver on that commitment in such a context as will exist in the outcome many of them are secretly wishing for so they can bring back Tony Blair running behind the scenes a puppet leader.

  • defo

    Not a limp cliche this time…

    This needs sharing far and wide. (and could be)
    Well written, ffs even the bluntest of pencils…
    Thanks Craig.

  • sentinel

    Craig:’ Douglas Murray … forecasts violence (“deeds not words”) by “the people” if immigration specifically from Muslim countries is not curtailed.’

    The report about German soldiers allegedly planning to commit attrocities while posing as refugees struck me as the most important story today: see http://www.dw.com/en/report-top-german-officials-on-terror-suspects-hit-list/a-38766679
    It is easy see how some of “the people” (mistakenly attributing the attacks to refugees) might react and perhaps damage mainstream parties in the September election.

      • sentinel

        Thanks, bevin.

        It is so easy to take for granted the sixty years of peace between Member States. The referendum campaign gave us a taste of how populism can get out of hand: the murder of an MP, intimidation of lawyers and judges over the Art 50 case, hostile acts towards EU27 workers.

        If we did leave the EU, any free trade agreement with India (population: 1.25 billion) would lead to Indians replacing many (?all) of the hundreds of thousands of EU27 workers in food & drink production, health & social care, horticulture, hospitality – probally not the outcome many Leavers would want 🙂

        Let’s hope that things don’t kick off in Germany.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        The WSWS article states that Rommel was one of Hitler’s generals but nelects to mention his implication in a plot to kill Hitler and ‘in/voluntary’ suicide. Some 14million served in the Wehrmacht. That does mean they were hard-core or even half-heated National Socialists. The article also omits the training of thr German army in the S.U afrer Rapallo that helped maintained continuity between thWars..I think it is the common military tendency to glorify tradition and instil pride in recruits. The British and Soviet/Russian armies , like others, should ponder their crimes and not just glorify their victories.

        • Tony Little

          But you don’t get soldiers to obey without question and be prepared to kill if you spend time telling them how awful the military has been in the past! Mutiny always was a capital offence in the military for that very reason.

          To be clear, I am not defending any of the British atrocities of the past, just pointing out that giving the unvarnished truth to a new military recruit will never happen.

      • reel guid

        It’s disconcerting that the Bundeswehr would allow barracks to be named after Hindenburg and Rommel.

        Although neither was a Nazi they are too linked with that period of German history.

        Hindenburg as President appointed Hitler as Chancellor. Although the old general was a bit senile by 1933 and under the influence of his Hitler sympathising son Oskar, he nevertheless did little to counteract the rise of the Nazis and did share some of their outlook.

        Rommel had been happy to serve the Nazi regime when it brought him military glory in 1940. He was never central to the July Plot. He had been approached and was sympathetic to the plotters. It has never been established however that Rommel had definitely agreed to join the plot. His Chief of Staff Hans Spiedel – who later went on to a postwar career as a top NATO General – always maintained Rommel had decided to join the plot before being badly wounded in Normandy three days before July 20.

        So though Rommel doesn’t merit being reviled it’s worrying that anything in the modern German Army is named after him since he did serve the Nazis for many years without much protest. It’s even more worrying having barracks named after Hindenburg.

  • Barbara Dyce

    Theresa May and her treatment of the press/journos is from the Linton Crosby election campaign handbook. It is exactly what happened in Canada during the last election in Stephen Harper’s campaign in which Lynton Crosby had a hand. Press were limited to the number of questions that could be asked, everything had to be submitted before the event; press were handpicked; numbers of press were controlled; audiences were vetted and approved beforehand and tightly controlled at events and sometimes coached – all attendees had to be staunch conservatives and non-conservatives were barred. The aides were called “the short pants brigade” and became a laughing stock with the general public as they scouted out the hoi polloi before events. There were photo opportunity only events and they became the norm toward the end of the campaign as it was obvious Stephen Harper was not going to get friendly coverage except in the right wing press. I see such similarities between Theresa May’s and Stephen Harper’s campaign and they are even very alike in their personalities, coming across as cold and out of touch and mean. Too bad that most msm is not reacting against TM’s tactics- there needs to be a lot of questioning of her very controlled campaign – which is very contemptuous of the public.

    • Theresas EU pawn

      So none of the Canadian press failed to report what they were told to report?

      why is nobody cold shouldering these marketeers of terror and nuclear war, who scare the public witless and deal in uncertainties to only come up with some insane solution to SFA,

      Lynton Crosby is a terrorist to all of society a mercenary of doom who cares only about himself and another chance to big himself up on the backs of a compliant and media led public. He should be charged for acting against vital British interests…

      • Resident Dissident

        Would that be a people’s court in which he would be charged or just a kangaroo court. His tactics are perfectly legal – the job of the opposition is to understand what they are and deal with them. Some Tories are not very nice and will use all sorts of tricks to gain power – get used to it and deal with it.

      • Resident Dissident

        Not really Lynton Crosby has adopted exactly the same treatment in the 2 UK General Elections and 2 London Mayoral Elections – which if you had been working for the Party you would have known already. The Party also sent observers to the Australian elections where Crosby was involved. The knowledge of how Crosby works and how to counter him is there if Corbyn wants to use it.

  • Martin

    The English will vote her in no matter what you say Craig. It’s a pity but that country is a lost cause. Scotland needs to cut loose that her people may vote for socialist governments as they have done all my lifetime. I genuinely look forward to seeing the make-up of parties after Independence. I think you will see a huge upswing in Green and other genuinely socialist parties. Labour may even remember what they stand for.

  • Peter Beswick

    Put aside the hyperbole and partisan loyalties if you can (in this piece)

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/is-the-trump-administration-about-to-make-a-huge-mistake-in-syria/article/2622584

    Then consider;

    The British (Scots included) are, still, involved in shoring up US foreign policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria and goodness knows where else, lending paltry support but still spending billions on lost causes.

    If you think the Scottish question or the West Lothian for that matter is what matters when your taxes are still being used to kill innocents abroad (or benefits curtailed for the purpose of). If you think political poll irregularities / lies are a more pressing problem than incinerated children. If you think that Britain’s poisoned media trumps Trump’s delusional tweaks and that is what really matters.

    Then you are in the right place.

    • reel guid

      “the Scottish question”

      Scottish politics isn’t a question. A single question. Every nation has a right to discuss it’s political issues to the utmost. People don’t need your permission to discuss anything. And since an independent Scotland would undoubtedly have a peaceful and constructive approach to foreign policy there is nothing detrimental to international peace in supporters of independence vigorously pursuing our objective.

      • defo

        Since i’m on things canine, give that dug a bone eh !
        And take that whistle away, whilst your at it.

    • craig Post author

      Peter,

      Don’t be daft. Scottish Independence is the way for us to stop our taxes being spent on, and our children killed in, illegal wars. Plus it would be a huge blow to the UK’s ability to indulge in these crazed imperialist delusions, and hopefully do something to knock England out of its imperialist mindset.

      Scottish Independence appears the most politically viable means to obtain any of those goals.

  • Theresas EU pawn

    thanks Craig, what a show of ‘in love cuckoos’ who sat further apart than the two interviewees, no touching in any way by these lovesick two.

    Another puff piece by a compliant media of sexperts , people who know how to please the Murdoch empire and their staff, allegedly, they are soooo taken over by their muckraker already, their minds already work for Murdoch.

    As for the BBC, Laura wore her blue outfit today in awe of the Conservative campaign. She also pulled some grimaces whilst trying to put some leading questions to Corbyn.

    The media’s negative outlook and total bend over to all that is Tory tactics, makes the control over national broadcasting and television a vital and urgent necessity, a matter of national interest.
    This is a general election not sordid franchise love fest to keep the taxes coming.

    FFS. and your own, respect electoral rules and guidelines you amateurs!

  • kathy

    It may be a coincidence but the slogan “strong and stable” was also used in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.

    • Harry Vimes

      Yeah. That’s why Yougov ‘s selective poll the other week was flying a kite to test the level of support with a question which read “What the country needs is a strong leader who does not have to bother with Parliament or elections.”

      ‘Useful’ Idiot.

  • Robert Hopkins

    There is no way that the tories should get away with that. Is may trying to turn the rUK into Nazi Germany? But, as long as the idiots keep voting for them it will only get worse.
    People should wake up and realise what the tories are trying to do and vote them out, but, miracles don’t happen.

  • Gayle Smith

    This is beyond scary. I hope to God she doesn’t win but I have a horrible feeling about this election. It might be democracy but not as we know it.

  • Hieroglyph

    I think it may be more of a case of ‘state functionaries as journalists’. Given many of them are part of the CIA Mockingbird Media, perhaps there first role is state functionary, with journalism the ancillary cover story?

    May is an Oxbridge grad, with a serious political background as Home Sec. She is being treated as though she were, somehow, non-political. Neoliberalism is the new non-political; anything else is socialism (or fascism).

    • Salford Lad

      Neoliberalism is the new Feudalism. Control of the serfs by the means of debt.
      The MSM is already subjugated and controlled by a few wealthy interests. The BBC is a disgrace and has lost all credibility ,and spouts neocon propaganda drivel.
      The economy is at the mercy of privateers. The Govt has ceded control of the money supply to the private banking cartel and refuses to take responsibilty to stimulate a stagnant economy.
      Teresa May is incapable of making any real change, she is a captive of the Financial and Banking interests, as Tory Govts have always been.

      • defo

        Spooks aside, It’s their expectation not to be called out, born out of the Imperialist mindset, and get away with it, that really grates.

  • peter

    I’m writing this from Hungary, the last time Orban answered non-vetted questions was about a decade ago.
    He never appears personally at press-conferences, where journalists could ask questions. The media platform he uses is a Chavez-esque weekly radio spot, where every Friday he says whatever he wants, and the one host acts like a foil asking a few pre-vetted non-questions.

    • craig Post author

      I accept the correction, Peter. That May is just the same as Viktor Orban I am prepared to concede.

      • glenn_uk

        Happily, and rarely, we are reaching a consensus here. Res Dis was kind enough to point out earlier that Putin himself is no worse than May in this respect.

  • David hall

    This is entirely the result of a complete and utter failure by the so called monopolies commission by allowing our press to fall into the hands of the far right non Dom ultra rich. And the journalists that did nothing to stop it.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘The Conservative lead over Labour has been cut by eight points in a new poll.

    According to Kantar Public, 44 per cent of people intended to vote for the Conservatives, down four points, while Labour’s tally had risen four points, to 28 per cent, since the last poll over the bank holiday weekend. The Liberal Democrats followed on 11 per cent.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-2017-latest-updates-labour-conservative-tory-poll-lead-cut-8-points-a7726526.html

    14 hrs ago

    The antecedents of the polling organisation will probably now be rubbished by the usual suspects here. It is http://www.kantar.com/about

    • craig Post author

      Well, that does move Kantar to about the mean of recent polls rather than being an outlier, I am sorry to say.

    • reel guid

      Kantar Media is a market research company based in the Phillipines that specialises in determining that country’s TV ratings. So they’re not exactly the gold standard of political polling.

  • Je

    I would love to question her on that basis. I’d introduce the questions by telling the audience about the terms of them. And I preface every question with a reminder. She would squirm – it would be the worst interview ever for her. And when a journalist steps forward to do their job and do that – it’ll be the end of it. I wait…

  • AAMVN

    Request – unless an update is just to correct spelling/grammar I would appreciate any updates to a post be highlighted in some manner. Maybe this is already the case.

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