No alternative

No alternative

A much vaunted feature of modern British culture is the diversity and impartiality of our media. We are forever being told that ours is the highest quality, most diverse and most free media in the world.

Journalists- both T.V and newspaper- are frequently having awards ceremonies, congratulating each other on their integrity, their journalistic skills, and their fearless pursuit of truth. Recently, there was even a call for “front line” journalists to be able to be awarded a medal, like the soldiers they apparently rub shoulders with.

But to what extent is it true? Do we have an impartial, diverse and highly dedicated media? The answer, from over 20 years of despairing over the media’s cowardice, duplicity and mindlessness has to be “No”.

Pick up a newspaper. Read the stories- and after sifting through the half witted trivia such as David Beckham’s new haircut, or the pathetic and mindless adoration of “celebrities” and the predictable women’s section (diets, make up, relationships, “real life” horror stories, feminist propaganda and mild misandry) and the ongoing men’s soap opera that is football, and what’s left is what might be called “The News”.

An uncanny thing strikes you after reading 3 or 4 newspapers: they all say much the same things. They may appear to challenge one or two aspects of the story, but, essentially, they never question the BIG lies or controversies. They may, for example, criticise the Hutton Inquiry for being too sympathetic to the government. They may state that Dr David Kelly’s death was unresolved- but nowhere do they point out that the PURPOSE of the Hutton Inquiry was not just an inquest into Dr Kelly’s unfortunate and needless death, but into the legitimacy of Tony Blair’s war with Iraq. In short, they allow themselves to be sidetracked. The highly fictional WMD were all but forgotten.

No-one pointed out that even if the WMD were found, such an attack on Iraq was illegal. Read the Geneva Convention and the words of the judges at the Nuremberg War Trials- attacks on a country represents one of the greatest crimes on earth.

We’ve had John Simpson and other “reporters” congratulating themselves on their integrity- but where were the interviews with the Iraqi regime? Ordinary Iraqis? Or, come to that, ordinary Afghanis after the U.S led invasion of Afghanistan?

No British newspaper went into any depth. There is virtually a blackout on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. No news stories even attempt to lift the lid on much that goes on. This is war reporting of the worst possible kind: sanitised, self-censoring, mindless, evasive and cowardly. They might as well stay at home and just parrot the Government’s version of events. Contrast this with real reporters like Don Mc Cullin, who beat his head against the wall, trying to get the real horrors of war to the public via his superb photography. And his frustration when only the ones of generals decorating soldiers, visiting wounded men and U.S soldiers distributing aid packages to Vietnamese people (and the day after, they’ll be ordered to drop napalm instead) were published.

We are forever being told that we get the news “as it happens”. Yet, some form of self- censorship is plainly evident. Has journalism finally become the twin sister to spin? Are journalists these days so lacking in courage, and are so career focussed that they think it to be part of their job to cover up, deceive and deny the truth, even when doing so costs lives? If so, they are accomplices to tyrants and war criminals. And I believe it is so.

The BBC and “Impartiality”

The BBC is in no position to tell the truth. The once mighty and best broadcaster in the world is now a weak, effete shadow of its former self. Government long ago reeled it in and has tamed it utterly. How?

Foreign readers may be surprised to know that the BBC is still allegedly a public asset, and that the BBC is seen as a public service broadcaster with a charter to educate and inform the British public. This service is paid for via a Television Licence fee which everyone (except old age pensioners) pays per T.V set. This is, at time of writing, £121.00 for a colour T.V and a black and white licence costs £40.50.

(Edit; February 2007. A colour TV Licence now costs £131.50 and a black and white licence costs £44.00. The BBC wants even more money to spread government propaganda. Not even the Nazis made ordinary citizens pay for their propaganda!).

This is a considerable income- and means that the BBC does not broadcast commercials, and therefore (in theory) can make far more diverse programs because it does not rely on commercial sponsorship or advertising revenue.

Guess who controls the Licence fee? Its cost- or, indeed, whether it is levied at all? That’s right- Central Government. It is easy to see that this is an extremely powerful lever on the BBC. Show anything the Government doesn’t like- and they’ll scrap the licence fee, leaving the BBC high and dry. The brainwashed British public won’t mind, because they resent paying the licence fee in the first place. The government can even claim- with much justification- that the BBC is in breach of its charter. Most programmes are neither educational nor informative. The BBC’s stock diet is soap operas, second hand sport, programs about home ownership and American imports. And, ad nauseum, repeats.

This explains a great deal. The BBC is now merely a mouthpiece for government. Yes, we may get the Jeremy Paxmans “giving ministers a hard time” but it’s usually still within the established framework of “accepted truths”- truths that need to be challenged, and would be if Journalists did their job. Paxman may criticise, for example, the Bush/Blair alliance for not finding the mythical and elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction, but they’ll still drum in the “essential truth” that “Saddam is a monster and a tyrant”. Of course, they’ll forget to point out that he was a monster and a tyrant put in place with U.K and U.S backing, and that even if he is a monster, we have no legal or even moral right to attack his country and kill civilians quicker than he could.

“Independent Television”?

The name says it all, doesn’t it? “Independent” T.V. Not subject to the revenue provided by central government taxation, hence not answerable to the same masters as the BBC has, right? Wrong.

The ITV (Independent Television) network is not supported by the licence fee. (Although you must have a TV licence in order to watch ITV programmes). Government does not subsidise the ITV. However, big business does, via advertising, and the influence this has over the ITV cannot be underestimated.

The British manufacture almost nothing these days. Our utilities, even, are mostly in the hands of other nations or the Multinationals. Hence, only the cult of the “Consumer Society” and rocketing personal debt keeps our economy going. That, and the great Chinese conveyor belt. Advertising is therefore crucial to Big Business- and hence advertising revenue is absolutely critical to Independent Television. Upset the Multinationals, and bang goes the advertising revenue.

But that’s not all. For the benefit of foreign readers: the British Independent T.V network is supposedly regional, although, in practice, programs from any area get shown in any other area- in that sense, it is a national market. However, each T.V company that operates holds a franchise for its region. For instance, HTV Wales “covers” Wales: Grampian T.V as far as I know covers Scotland, whilst Granada used to represent the North West etc.

Guess who controls these franchises? Guess who decides which T.V company keeps, loses or gains it’s franchise? That’s right: central government. This is a very considerable lever to make sure that only “approved” programmes or points of views get aired.

An (in)famous example was Thames TV’s documentary, “Death on the rock”, which told of the events where an illegal SAS squad killed alleged I.R.A members in Gibraltar. This was, of course, highly embarrassing to the Thatcher government. This was one programme they did not want to get out. Result? When the time came for Thames TV to renew its franchise, it was refused. Of course, other reasons were given, such as Thames’ programmes not getting a large enough audience (which was plainly untrue: Thames TV made some of the most respected and watched programmes in the history of T.V). Thames TV disappeared, and were replaced by Carlton T.V who, in my opinion, have never made a decent programme in their existence. High quality documentaries and other programmes were swapped overnight for dross: rubbishy game shows, soaps, programmes by T.V about T.V. About as challenging as a 2 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Of course, this is all a part of the wider socio-political picture in the UK, one that, as usual, originates in America. A well educated population is plainly harder to control than a stupid, undereducated one. The easy way, of course, is to tell them that they are discerning, clever, astute and well educated- simply because they are so well informed. The BBC, in particular, is nauseating in its mission to congratulate itself on it’s integrity, professionalism, and how accurate its reporting is.

It is easy to shatter this cheap and tacky veneer. Try posting anything even vaguely controversial on the BBC’s forums, and you’ll be “moderated” before you know it. “Moderated” being new speak for “deleted”, no matter how politely you couch your post.

So narrow is the level of debate from the BBC and the Independent Channels that you could easily be forgiven for thinking that the world really is as television reports it. “Little Englander” mentality prevails, where politics is merely what happens in Westminster, (and nowhere outside), where our politicians are basically honest and decent and earnest in their intentions (whereas in reality, most are pathological liars and amoral career minded opportunists of the worst possible sort), where certain “truths” are never, ever questioned (e.g. Capitalism is the only way, “Communism” is what they had in the former Soviet Union, high house prices are good, men and women are not just equal, but the same (except, of course, women are better than men), that homosexuality is absolutely normal and is accepted as such by everyone, (and yet it must be promoted at every available opportunity, hence the vast majority of men on UK television are, if not effeminate, then at least androgynous or effete). Politician’s speeches are analysed not for truth or actual relevance but as a

“performance”. Like, “never mind that he/she’s a lying bastard, he/she put on a good performance versus the other party’s lying bastard).

I could go on.

The tragic thing is- this stuff actually works. A high percentage of Britons believe the recycled lies and misinformation and social propaganda we receive from our media.

The story from the newspapers is even worse. Equally as narrow in debate as the BBC or ITV etc, newspapers are mindless, shamefully shallow, and unashamedly biased (but always within that “Middle England” sphere. We’re talking minds so narrow they could look through a keyhole with both eyes). The “Express”, “Mail” and “Telegraph” are like reading about a foreign country, certainly not the one I’ve lived in for the last 40 odd years. The “Times” is a supposedly “up market” “Sun” (but generally without the tits), as you’d expect from Murdoch, with his deeply reactionary/Neocon leanings. The Guardian? A horrible, stupid and deeply false newspaper, aimed at the “Ciabatta munching” English middle classes, most of whom see themselves as Liberals, but who are in fact dupes of the reactionary Right wing. Pretentious, ostentatious, narrow minded, and even narrower of debate, toothless and shallow, that’s the typical readership of the Guardian. Sprinkled heavily with social references to this book or that book, or earnestly taking seriously the seriously laughable (e.g. Even rabid feminists are taken seriously, and their vile rants taken as gospel truth. Germaine Greer is revered as a Goddess of actual fact rather than of half baked misandry and espousing Feminism as an excuse for women to act like a bitch on heat. Example:

The willingly suffered discomfort of the Sixties bra, she opined vigorously, was a hideous symbol of male oppression”.

Sure, men like women with pointy, cone shaped tits. Sure, men tell their wives and girlfriends what to wear. Sure, fashion isn’t almost exclusively the realm of gay men and of women.

We may know this, but the Guardian won’t usually even discuss it. It pretends to be far encompassing, yet manages to keep debate narrow, by doing just as all the other forms of media do: by pretending that there are Essential Truths underlying all their “stories” and that these are so “true” that they don’t need to be questioned.

But, worst of all, the Guardian espouses the need for change and pretends to dislike the system……..yet it’s readership are mostly teachers, doctors and other moderately well-to-do people who are, by definition, moderately successful products of the system and who plainly believe in the system, because without it, they’re plainly nothing. Educators, for instance, tend to believe in education. And few like to be told that their educational credential are worthless. So it’s a case of whine and complain, but please don’t really change anything.

The Internet as an alternative? The main media corporations are already here, are well established, and are also aware that a good 50% of what appears on the ‘net is spurious rubbish. Hence, they’ve plenty of scope for spreading more lies and intentionally misleading misinformation. Plus, the Internet itself is often presented as a regular hive of perverts, traitors, fraudsters, terrorists and lunatics. (As it is). This does the BBC and ITV etc. no harm at all: it merely makes them appear to have more integrity, more professionalism. And, eventually, it could pave the way to a censored Internet……..presumably with the BBC and friends as the beneficiaries.

So, what do we do about this relentless wave of misinformation and downright lies by a bunch of (mainly Southern) English careerists? These people who have turned Journalism into a black art of spin, deceit and downright mouthpieces of a corrupt government?

So all-pervading are their lies that for most people, they aren’t lies at all. Most British people’s “opinions” are implanted and based on assumptions no intelligent person would fail to question. But, in all fairness to them, it is hard to find any other alternative. We may just as well have one newspaper, and call it “Pravda”, and ban all the others. For, at least, being openly lied to by the state taught citizens of the former USSR to know when they were being lied to, to learn to read between the lines and discern the truth by application of reason based on a wider knowledge of facts- facts which are real, and not the simple minded result of twisting things to suit our own prejudices, which is, of course, stock in trade with the British media.

But I fear that the odds are stacked against us, especially within what is effectively a U.S style 2 party system (and they’re virtually identical), an education system hellbent on promoting “diversity” and PC values, whilst training our kids to be no better than able to pass (ever easier) exams. A classic case of government saying “tell them that they’re clever, but in reality, they’re stupid”). In a society which also- paradoxically, given its much vaunted love of “multiculturalism and diversity”- increasingly is homogenising our society and where “eccentrics” or real individuals are harder to find, it’s harder to find any diversity of opinion. Just as our “retail experience” or musical tastes must be shoehorned into a marketing man’s “genre”, so people are encouraged to label those who are outside the mould politically. For instance, I get called a Fascist, Racist, Commie, homophobe and Reactionary all the time. None of these labels are utterly untrue: and none of them are at all true. The truth, as the British people must learn for themselves, is far more complicated, far more precious, and yet far more dangerous than they could possible believe. It is also frequently uncomfortable. Yet, the truth, no matter how unpalatable, remains the truth.





2 Responses to “No alternative”

  1. test comment

  2. Regarding: All female MP shortlists, we must form a male block vote alliance to fight this despicable misandry. Contact me if interested.

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