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Smaller parties: Mebyon Kernow – ‘progressive left-of-centre’

In an earlier post, there was a reference to the possibility of a coalition of the left involving Labour, the Liberal Democrats and possibly other smaller parties as the most likely outcome of the 2015 election, according to Citibank’s analysts.

mk logoHaving covered the Greens and NHAP, we now turn to Mebyon Kernow, a progressive left-of-centre party in Cornwall.

MK has a good presence in local politics and is putting up an able candidate in the general election: Councillor Richard (Dick) Cole – below. MK is working to build a confident and outward-looking Cornwall with the power to take decisions which direct affect the people of Cornwall, locally.

mk conf dc

Its policies are founded on three core values:

  • Prosperity for all
  • Social justice
  • Environmental protection

Read more here:

Policies include:

mk flyerA poll undertaken by Survation for a research and film documentary project at the University of Exeter (Penryn) sampled 500 voters in the Camborne and Redruth seat.

It found that voters in the constituency supported the devolution of more power from Westminster to Cornwall, with 60% in favour and only 19% opposed. It also found that 49% of respondents supported the creation of a Cornish Assembly (similar to that in Wales) with 31% against.

dick coleCllr Cole (right) told conference delegates: “The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond described the whole process as a ‘triumph for democracy,’ while even the Better Together campaign acknowledged that there was a ‘cry for change,’ which was likely to be ‘echoed in every part of the UK.’ “Friends, it is up to us to ensure that the echo from Cornwall reverberates across the length and breadth of the whole United Kingdom, and we must – with confidence – put our case for Cornwall into the political spotlight, and build the momentum to bring home significant political and economic powers to our local communities.” 



Corporate-political alliance: “the British Establishment can be a thoroughly unpleasant bunch when cornered”

Steve Beauchampe writes – as the British establishment attempts to bludgeon Scottish voters into submission:

“Right now they feel cornered, horrified, terrified, panicking that the sureties of power and control that they have held for several centuries, and which they complacently expected to hold on to after the referendum on Scottish independence, might be less certain than they believed . . . several arms of government, supported by their pro-Unionist cheerleaders in the media, financial sector and business world, rapidly up the ante by threatening the Scots with all manner of grief if they dare to break with Britain”

A Sassenach conspiracy? Robert Peston reports:

“For what its worth, some bankers have seen the invisible hand of 10 Downing Street corralling these bankers to make announcements that have been embarrassing for Alex Salmond and those campaigning for independence.

” ‘There was someone in Number 10 trying to get the banks to co-ordinate on this’ a senior banker told me. But Downing Street says this isn’t true”.

scotland cartoon

    Defending oil and nuclear weapons via ‘Project Fear’?

Media 34: study finds BBC favours campaign opposing Scottish devolution

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 Media Lens’ ‘Amazing Litany’ Of BBC Bias summarised:

 Coverage of the Scottish independence referendum, due to be held on September 18 this year, is a compelling example of the deep establishment bias of the corporate media. Some critics have characterised the BBC’s coverage, in particular, as though Scotland is merely a region or a county of the United Kingdom calledScotlandshire‘.

Findings of a year-long study conducted by a small team led by Professor John Robertson (University of West Scotland) summarised:

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Professor Robertson told Media Lens that there was also: ‘undue deference and the pretence of apolitical wisdom in [official] reports coming from London – the Office for Budget Responsibility and Institute for Fiscal Studies, for example; but, also, Treasury officials [were] presented as detached academic figures to be trusted.’ (Email, March 18, 2014) . . .

He added that: ‘the conflation of the First Minister’s wishes with the YES campaign seems a classic case of undermining ideas by association with clownish portrayal of leading actors [in the campaign]’.

This media performance was, he said, reminiscent of past corporate media demonisation of former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill and Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot. The Scotsman also wrote an article in this vein.

Finally, Professor Robertson noted that there was a strong ‘tendency to begin [news] reports with bad economic news for the Yes campaign […]. Reports leading off with bad news or warnings against voting Yes were more common than the opposite by a ratio of 22:4 on Reporting Scotland (BBC) and a ratio of 20:7 on STV.’

So how did BBC Scotland respond to Professor Robertson’s documented evidence of clear bias in its coverage of the Scottish independence referendum?

Amazingly, BBC Scotland sent a 6,000-word letter to Professor Robertson in an attempt to demolish his study and undermine his credibility, copying it to the professor’s principal at the University of West Scotland. This unprecedented move seemed deliberately calculated to intimidate the researcher. In a careful and detailed response, Robertson rebutted the BBC criticism of his one-year study, and he concluded:

‘I think I’ve answered all the questions needed to contest these conclusions. […] The BBC response is a remarkably heavy-handed reaction. Why did they not report the research, let their experts critique it on air and then ask me to defend it? Instead we see a bullying email to my employer and a blanket suppression across the mainstream media in the UK. I’m shocked.’

Following Prof. Robertson’s solo appearance before the Parliamentary Committee, BBC Scotland put up a four-man panel to counter him. Prof. Robertson hailed the Committee Chairman’s ‘dogged extraction of the fact that the BBC had never mounted such a campaign against a piece of research before, ever.’ Prof. Robertson also noted that the Committee had exposed the BBC’s ‘failure to record and organise criticism of their performance’.

We asked Prof. Robertson to expand on what had been the response to his study from academia, including his own colleagues and management. He told us that at his institution, the University of West Scotland, there had been: ‘strong support for me at all levels, including the Principal, for my right to expression of intellectual ideas. Otherwise, a disturbing silence with no leading academic in politics, history, media theory prepared to protest the suppression of my report.

The Telegraph reports that a BBC spokesman said: “The BBC’s coverage of the Scottish referendum debate has been fair and balanced and we will continue to report on the story without fear or favour.”

The military-industrial complex rules OK!

As Cameron and Sarkozy delight in proposing collaboration on military and nuclear ventures, Rae Street writes in The Guardian:

” . . . In my town, society as we knew it is being broken down. Because of the reduction of money from government, the local authority has had to make swingeing cuts in social and welfare services. Last week it was announced that grants would be withdrawn from at least 10 groups which support the homeless and most vulnerable in society. Because of this the Salvation Army will have to close its doors to those who have no shelter and food. 

“The Salvation Army’s officers are the people David Cameron said we needed: those who take “responsibility”. He also said local authorities can make choices. No, they cannot. They have nowhere to go. There is no money. But there is money in other budgets.



“This same prime minister, his coalition colleagues and the Labour party leadership are quite prepared to spend public money on the UK’s four nuclear-armed Trident submarines. These cost us £2bn a year to “maintain”, and their replacement will cost upwards of £100bn in total. In the same speech, Cameron was very keen on “a culture change”. So here is a fine example. We show our young people that money is no object when it comes to threatening the whole world with genocide, but if it is health and welfare in our own town then the most vulnerable in society have to bear the brunt of the cuts.”

 PCU: Salmond for prime minister?